Some Recent Trends and Further Promising Directions in Functional Neurosurgery

  • Travis S. Tierney
  • Tejas Sankar
  • Andres M. LozanoEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Acta Neurochirurgica Supplement book series (NEUROCHIRURGICA, volume 117)


The field of functional neurosurgery has developed a number of recent innovative neuromodulatory approaches to treat disease that remains resistant to the best medical therapy. These include novel surgical techniques to intervene in motor and cognitive sequelae of refractory epilepsy, neurodegenerative disease, and certain psychiatric conditions. To a large extent, much of the innovation in our field continues to be driven by a systems-level understanding of the impact of disease on the brain. For example, several groups have exploited findings from neuroimaging work to identify a number of new potential neuromodulatory targets for the treatment of refractory depression. Ongoing discoveries at the cellular and molecular level promise targeted gene or drug delivery aimed at curing disease. Neurosurgeons will certainly remain at the forefront of translating these strategies into practical clinical applications. Several randomized trials are now underway to assess the safety and efficacy of a number of new approaches, and we will continue to acquire better knowledge of optimal patient selection, identification of the most effective neuromodulatory targets, and recognition of adverse effects as these studies progress.


Alzheimer’s disease Epilepsy Deep brain stimulation Huntington’s disease Depression Gene therapy Parkinson’s disease Pedunculopontine nucleus 


Conflict of Interest

TST and TS declare that they have no conflict of interest. AML holds intellectual property rights in the field of deep brain stimulation, and has served as a consultant for Medtronic and St. Jude corporations.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Travis S. Tierney
    • 1
  • Tejas Sankar
    • 2
  • Andres M. Lozano
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryBrigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Division of NeurosurgeryToronto Western HospitalTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity of Toronto, Toronto Western HospitalTorontoCanada

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