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Dr. Jeffrey Ojemann Speaks On Brain Machine Interface

On October 4, 2012, UCSD neurosurgery was pleased to welcome Dr. Jeffrey Ojemann  of the Seattle Children's Hospital who presented rounds on brain machine interface in 2012. Dr. Ojemann's work centers on the use of cortical electrophysiology to map motor tasks and to then to generate real-time control of robotic devices. 

As one of the nations leading translational neuroscientists, Dr. Ojemann work highlights the power of using intraoperative recordings obtained during surgery to study and master brain function.


Cannon Design Visits the UCSD Neurosurgical Operating Room

UCSD is building a new medical center tower, the "Jacobs Medical Center" which will have an advanced operating room theater.  We have worked closely with Cannon Design to formulate an operating room for the future.  As part of the planning process, Cannon Design visited us in the OR during an Awake Craniotomy procedure to gauge work flow that is used in these types of cases.  Here is a link to an account of their visit.


Dr. Justin Brown discusses novel techniques for limb and hand reanimation. 


Parkinson’s Association of San Diego honors Dr. David Barba as its 2012 Health Hero

Neurosurgeon performs Deep Brain Stimulation surgery for Parkinson’s patients

SAN DIEGO, CA, March 13, 2012 – The Parkinson’s Association of San Diego (PASD) is pleased to announce that Dr. David Barba has been chosen as its 2012 Health Hero honoree. Dr. Barba will be honored at the Combined Health Agencies 2012 Health Hero Awards breakfast on Thursday, March 15 at the Prado in Balboa Park.

A prominent neurosurgeon at UCSD Medical Center, Dr. Barba performs Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery for people with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions. DBS is a surgical procedure that implants a battery-operated medical device called a neurostimulator under the skin near the collarbone. Similar to a heart pacemaker and approximately the size of a stopwatch, the device delivers electrical stimulation to targeted areas in the brain that control movement, blocking the abnormal nerve signals that cause tremor and Parkinson’s disease symptoms.

“We are delighted to honor Dr. Barba with this well-deserved award,” said Ron Hendrix, Ph.D, PASD Executive Director.  “Dr. Barba has long been a leading advocate in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. In addition, he has spearheaded a patient symposium at UCSD to spotlight the medical advances being made with respect to Parkinson’s.”

Dr. Barba, who is also on staff at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Medical Center, is excited about starting a program at the VA to provide DBS surgery for San Diego veterans. A resident of Point Loma, Dr. Barba shares the PASD’s vision of offering a suite of neurological services for the veterans of San Diego County. To that end, the VA and the PASD have started a support group for veterans with Parkinson’s. The group meets twice a month at the VA Medical Center. San Diego is home to one of the largest veteran populations in the U.S.

“I am truly honored and thrilled to receive this award,” said Dr. Barba, who has performed DBS surgeries since 1998. “It serves to validate the commitment of the UCSD movement disorder group to improve the quality of life for Parkinson’s patients.”

About the Parkinson’s Association of San Diego:  The Parkinson’s Association of San Diego is the county’s only comprehensive source of support and information for persons with Parkinson’s disease.  Parkinson’s is a neurological disease the effects over 60,000 local patients, families, and caregivers.  The Mission of the organization is to improve the quality of life for those affected by Parkinson’s disease through education, family services, and support of promising research.


Hypofractionated radiosurgery for brain metastases. 

In a new article, USCD Brain Tumor Center Radisurgery Program Director, Dr. Clark Chen highlights the safety and efficacy of hypofractionation of radiosurgery to the resection margins in patients with large brain metastases.  With increasing interest, in treating the margins of disease after resection of brain metastases without resorting to whole brain radiation, this article highlights the outcomes using the Cyberknife hypofractionated approach.  

From the article....

Development of hypofractionated stereotactic radiosurgery (HSRS) has expanded the size of lesion that can be safely treated by focused radiation in a limited number of treatment sessions. However, clinical data regarding the efficacy and morbidity of HSRS in the treatment of cerebral metastasis is lacking. Here, we review our experience with CyberKnife(®) HSRS for this indication. From 2005 to 2010, we identified 37 patients with large (>3 cm in diameter) cerebral metastases resection cavity that was treated with HSRS. This constituted approximately 8% of all treated resection cavities. We reviewed dose regimens, local control, distal control, and treatment associated morbidities. Primary sites for the metastatic lesions included: lung (n = 10), melanoma (n = 12), breast (n = 9), kidney (n = 4), and colon (n = 2). All patients underwent resection of the cerebral metastasis and received 800 cGy × 3 daily fractions to the resection cavity. Of the 37 patients treated, one-year follow-up data was available for 35 patients. The median survival was 5.5 months. Actuarial local control rate at 6 months was 80%. Local failures did not correlate with prior WBRT, or tumor histology. Distant recurrence occurred in 7 of the 35 patients. Morbidities associated with HSRS totaled 9%, including radiation necrosis (n = 1, 2.9%), prolonged steroid use (n = 1, 2.9%), and new-onset seizures (n = 1, 2.9%). This study demonstrates the safety and efficacy of an 800 cGy × 3 daily fractions CyberKnife(®) HSRS regimen for irradiation of large resection cavity. The efficacy compares favorably to historical data derived from patients undergoing WBRT, SRS, or brachytherapy.