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The ASSFN Fall Newsletter is now available. Click here to download

President's Message

The American Association of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery (ASSFN), serves as an affiliate joint section of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), and remains deeply involved in a variety of educational, organizational and advocacy activities on behalf of North American functional neurosurgeons and our patients. It gives me enormous pride and pleasure to be the current president of the ASSFN. Many members of the society attended the meeting of our sister society, the World Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery (WSSFN) in Berlin. This meeting was held on June 26-29, 2017. It was, by all accounts, a tremendous success, with a large and international group of participants and many exciting papers. We are actively planning for the ASSFN biennial meeting, which will be held June 2-5, 2018, in Denver. This meeting is being organized by past president Aviva Abosch, MD, PhD, FAANS, and will be fantastic. Please mark your calendars now and plan to attend.

Members of the ASSFN/Stereotactic & Functional Section continue to lead the way in promoting scientific and clinical research. Our field is uniquely poised for continued growth with the increased interest in neuromodulation.

This offers our members unique access to human brain physiology, the opportunity to explore new indications and the potential to design new devices. We should embrace the new possibilities and constantly strive to advance the field in a rational, ethical and thoughtful fashion. I look forward to seeing you all at the upcoming meetings.

Sincerely yours,
Emad N. Eskandar, MD, MBA, FAANS
President, ASSFN

WSSFN 2017

The 17th Quadrennial Meeting of the World Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery (WSSFN) was held in Berlin from June 26-29, 2017. Joachim Krauss, MD, PhD, IFAANS, presided over the meeting, which was a tremendous success by all standards. He also officially ended his four-year term as president of WSSFN and handed over the leadership reins to Michael Schulder, MD, FAANS. The Scientific Program was vast and deep, thanks to the efforts of co-chairs Mojgan Hodaie, MD, MSc, and Jean Regis, MD. It covered the full range of topics relevant to stereotactic and functional neurosurgery, including movement disorders, pain, epilepsy, psychiatric neurosurgery, radiosurgery, spasticity and basic neuroscience research. A record 460 abstracts were submitted, and nearly 800 individuals registered to attend the meeting from 60 countries around the world. To encourage worldwide participation and foster excellence in clinical and basic research, six named awards were given out. The Spiegel-Wycis Award was given to Yves Lazorthes, MD, and Franciso Velasco, MD, PhD; the Tasker Award to David Roberts, MD, FAANS(L); the Mundinger Award to Itzakh Fried, MD, PhD, FAANS; and the Riechert Award was shared between Dario Englot, MD, PhD, and Hemmings Wu, MD, PhD. In addition, 24 travel awards were given to individuals from Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas.

2017 AANS Gildenberg Award in Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery

The Philip L. Gildenberg Resident Award in Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery was given at the 2017 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting to Sarah Bick, MD, a resident at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Her presentation was entitled, “Caudate Stimulation Enhances Human Associative Learning.” This work examined the role of the caudate nucleus in human learning. Epilepsy patients with depth electrodes implanted for clinical seizure localization participated in an associative learning task. Caudate beta power changes were seen during feedback, when subjects learned whether their response was correct, and changes were different for correct versus incorrect trials. Caudate stimulation during this same time epoch following correct trials improved learning and was associated with dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens power changes. This work suggests that caudate stimulation during reinforcement of correct associations enhances learning and is associated with power changes in both dopaminergic circuitry involved in reward processing and areas involved in associative processes, supporting a role for the caudate in integrating reward information with associations. Dr. Bick is a fifth year resident at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She plans to pursue fellowship training in stereotactic and functional neurosurgery, followed by a career as an academic functional neurosurgeon with an interest in epilepsy, movement and psychiatric disorders.

Upcoming Courses

IVth Noble Art of Lesioning Course, October 7-8 2017
Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery Hands-On Workshop, November 10-12, 2017
Click here for more information

2016 Biennial Abstracts Available

Abstracts for the 2016 ASSFN Meeting are now available. Click here to download

Honor Your Mentor

You trained with the best, you succeeded and your patients have benefited. Now you can show your gratitude through the Neurosurgery Research & Education Foundation (NREF) by honoring a mentor who helped you achieve success in your field. By honoring a mentor, you are helping recognize the incredible people who have advanced neurosurgery. Each Honor Your Mentor fund has a specific purpose. Your gift will fund a research or educational endeavor in their name. This is your opportunity to acknowledge those who have established the specialty by aiding those who will follow.

To learn more about the honored mentors and the research they dedicate themselves to, please visit the Honor Your Mentor page for Roy Bakay and donate today. Don't see your mentor on the list? To establish a new fund, please contact Joanne Bonaminio at 847.378.0541 or via email at jmb@nref.org.

President's Address

The American Association of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery (ASSFN), serves as an affiliate joint section of the AANS and CNS and remains deeply involved in a variety of educational, organizational and advocacy activities, on behalf of North American functional neurosurgeons and our patients. It gives me enormous pride and pleasure to be the current president of the ASSFN.

Finish Reading more from Emad Eskandar, MD, MBA, FAANS

Poster Winners from the 2016 ASSFN Biennial Meeting

Single Neuronal Correlates of Subjective Opinion in the Human Prefrontal Cortex by Ziev Moses
Placement of Responsive Neurostimulation Depth Electrodes with Intra-operative MRI utilizing Real-Time Image Guided Neuronavigation by Jason Gerrard
International Tourette's Syndrome Deep Brain Stimulation Registry and Database by Alon Mogilner
Spinal cord stimulation improves gait in patients with Parkinson's disease previously treated with subthalamic nucleus Deep Brain Stimulation by Carolina Pinto de Souza
Processing of Emotional vs Non-Emotional Cognitive Conflict by Matthew Kamal Mian
Low Back Pain Relief with a New 32-Contact Surgical Lead and Neural Targeting Algorithm by Julie Pilitsis
Subcortical Targeting in Non-human Primates Using Magnetic Resonance Image Guidance by Jessica Bentley
Impact of Trajectory Planning with Susceptibility Weighted Imaging for Intracranial Electrode Implantation by Guilherme Barros

ASSFN Mission Statement

The mission of the American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery is to foster the use of image guided and physiologically guided surgeries that alter the function of the nervous system, for treatment of neurological disorders. The Society will improve patient care, educate neurosurgeons, other physicians, allied medical specialists, and the general public, support basic and clinical research, and provide a forum at national and international meetings to fulfill these goals. Through its meetings, the Society will also establish minimum standards for the performance of stereotactic and functional neurosurgery. Read more

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