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1.  Moving Forward: Advances in the Treatment of Movement Disorders with Deep Brain Stimulation 
The modern era of stereotactic and functional neurosurgery has ushered in state of the art technologies for the treatment of movement disorders, particularly Parkinson’s disease (PD), tremor, and dystonia. After years of experience with various surgical therapies, the eventual shortcomings of both medical and surgical treatments, and several serendipitous discoveries, deep brain stimulation (DBS) has risen to the forefront as a highly effective, safe, and reversible treatment for these conditions. Idiopathic advanced PD can be treated with thalamic, globus pallidus internus (GPi), or subthalamic nucleus (STN) DBS. Thalamic DBS primarily relieves tremor while GPi and STN DBS alleviate a wide range of Parkinsonian symptoms. Thalamic DBS is also used in the treatment of other types of tremor, particularly essential tremor, with excellent results. Both primary and various types of secondary dystonia can be treated very effectively with GPi DBS. The variety of anatomical targets for these movement disorders is indicative of the network-level dysfunction mediating these movement disturbances. Despite an increasing understanding of the clinical benefits of DBS, little is known about how DBS can create such wide sweeping neuromodulatory effects. The key to improving this therapeutic modality and discovering new ways to treat these and other neurologic conditions lies in better understanding the intricacies of DBS. Here we review the history and pertinent clinical data for DBS treatment of PD, tremor, and dystonia. While multiple regions of the brain have been targeted for DBS in the treatment of these movement disorders, this review article focuses on those that are most commonly used in current clinical practice. Our search criteria for PubMed included combinations of the following terms: DBS, neuromodulation, movement disorders, PD, tremor, dystonia, and history. Dates were not restricted.
PMCID: PMC3211039  PMID: 22084629
deep brain stimulation; neuromodulation; Parkinson’s disease; tremor; dystonia
2.  Importance of the vasculature in cyst formation after spinal cord injury 
Journal of neurosurgery. Spine  2009;11(4):432-437.
Glial scar and cystic formation greatly contribute to the inhibition of axonal regeneration after spinal cord injury (SCI). Attempts to promote axonal regeneration are extremely challenging in this type of hostile environment. The objective of this study was to examine the surgical methods that may be used to assess the factors that influence the level of scar and cystic formation in SCI.
In the first part of this study, a complete transection was performed at vertebral level T9–10 in adult female Sprague-Dawley rats. The dura mater was either left open (control group) or was closed using sutures or hyaluronic acid. In the second part of the study, complete or subpial transection was performed, with the same dural closure technique applied to both groups. Histological analysis of longitudinal sections of the spinal cord was performed, and the percentage of scar and cyst formation was determined.
Dural closure using sutures resulted in significantly less glial scar formation (p = 0.0248), while incorporation of the subpial transection surgical technique was then shown to significantly decrease cyst formation (p < 0.0001).
In this study, the authors demonstrated the importance of the vasculature in cyst formation after spinal cord trauma and confirmed the importance of dural closure in reducing glial scar formation.
PMCID: PMC2981802  PMID: 19929340
traumatic spinal cord injury; vascular injury; glial cell response to injury
3.  Rigid Fixation of the Spinal Column Improves Scaffold Alignment and Prevents Scoliosis in the Transected Rat Spinal Cord 
Spine  2008;33(24):E914-E919.
Study Design
A controlled study to evaluate a new technique for spinal rod fixation after spinal cord injury in rats. Alignment of implanted tissue-engineered scaffolds was assessed radiographically and by magnetic resonance imaging.
To evaluate the stability of implanted scaffolds and the extent of kyphoscoliotic deformities after spinal fixation.
Summary of Background Data
Biodegradable scaffolds provide an excellent platform for the quantitative assessment of cellular and molecular factors that promote regeneration within the transected cord. Successful delivery of scaffolds to the damaged cord can be hampered by malalignment following transplantation, which in turn, hinders the assessment of neural regeneration.
Radio-opaque barium sulfate-impregnated poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid scaffolds were implanted into spinal transection injuries in adult rats. Spinal fixation was performed in one group of animals using a metal rod fixed to the spinous processes above and below the site of injury, while the control group received no fixation. Radiographic morphometry was performed after 2 and 4 weeks, and 3-dimensional magnetic resonance microscopy analysis 4 weeks after surgery.
Over the course of 4 weeks, progressive scoliosis was evident in the unfixed group, where a Cobb angle of 8.13 ± 2.03° was measured. The fixed group demonstrated significantly less scoliosis, with a Cobb angle measurement of 1.89 ± 0.75° (P = 0.0004). Similarly, a trend for less kyphosis was evident in the fixed group (7.33 ± 1.68°) compared with the unfixed group (10.13 ± 1.46°). Quantitative measurements of the degree of malalignment of the scaffolds were also significantly less in the fixed group (5 ± 1.23°) compared with the unfixed group (11 ± 2.82°) (P = 0.0143).
Radio-opaque barium sulfate allows for visualization of scaffolds in vivo using radiographic analysis. Spinal fixation was shown to prevent scoliosis, reduce kyphosis, and reduce scaffold malalignment within the transected rat spinal cord. Using a highly optimized model will increase the potential for finding a therapy for restoring function to the injured cord.
PMCID: PMC2773001  PMID: 19011531
spine fixation; transection spinal cord injury; scaffold; scoliosis

Results 1-3 (3)