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Women pioneers in basal ganglia surgery
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
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2014 (English)In: Parkinsonism & Related Disorders, ISSN 1353-8020, E-ISSN 1873-5126, Vol. 20, no 2, 137-141 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Stereotactic functional neurosurgery on basal ganglia has a long history and the pioneers are mostly men. We aimed at finding out if there were women who have contributed pioneering work in this field. Methods: The literature was searched to identify women who have been first to publish innovative papers related to human basal ganglia surgery. Results: Six women fulfilling our criteria were found: Marion Smith, a British neuropathologist, made unique observations on stereotactic lesions of basal ganglia and thalamus on autopsied brains, and the lesions' relation to the reported clinical outcome. Natalia Bechtereva, a Russian neurophysiologist, pioneered the technique of therapeutic chronic deep brain stimulation to treat various brain disorders, including Parkinson's disease (PD). Denise Albe-Fessard, a French neurophysiologist, pioneered the technique of microelectrode recording (MER) in stereotactic functional neurosurgery. Gunvor Kullberg, a Swedish neurosurgeon, contributed in early CT imaging as well as early functional imaging of stereotactic lesions in PD and psychiatric patients. Hilda Molina, a Cuban neurosurgeon, established the Centro Internacional de Restauracion Neurologica (CIREN) and pioneered there MER-guided transplant surgery in PD patients. Veerle Vandewalle, a Belgian neurosurgeon, pioneered in 1999 deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Tourette Syndrome. Conclusion: Although men constitute the great majority of neurosurgeons, neurologists and other neuro-specialists who have made groundbreaking contributions in basal ganglia surgery, there are women who have made equally important and unique contributions to the field. The principal two techniques used today in functional stereotactic neurosurgery, MER and DBS, have once upon a time been pioneered by women. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014. Vol. 20, no 2, 137-141 p.
Keyword [en]
Basal ganglia, Functional stereotactic neurosurgery, Deep brain stimulation, Microelectrode recording, Thalamotomy, History
National Category
Family Medicine
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-87420DOI: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2013.11.002ISI: 000331685500001OAI: diva2:709904
Available from: 2014-04-03 Created: 2014-03-31 Last updated: 2014-04-03Bibliographically approved

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Hariz, Gun-MarieHamberg, KatarinaHariz, Marwan
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Clinical NeuroscienceDepartment of Community Medicine and RehabilitationFamily Medicine
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