Discovering neurosurgery: new frontiers.


Over the centuries, discoveries of lands unknown, treasures lost and buried, and formulas to delineate physicochemical processes have led to advancements in our understanding of how the world is structured and governed. In science and medicine, discoveries are frequently made following deliberate periods of observation and experimentation to test hypotheses. However, in some instances, discoveries may arise either following a "eureka moment" that transcends rigorous scientific experimentation or following a serendipitous observation. In many instances, scientific discoveries will lead to new inventions that are aimed at improving the manner in which tasks or operations are performed. In this address, some of the key discoveries in science and medicine that have impacted significantly on the field of neurosurgery are described. Some of these include discoveries in neuroanatomy, anesthesiology, infectious diseases, antisepsis, and radiology. Discoveries in the field of molecular science, from the discovery of DNA to next-generation DNA sequencing, which have helped improve the diagnosis and prognosis of neurosurgical patients with conditions such as brain tumors, are also described. In the end, these discoveries have led us to new frontiers in the subspecialty practice of neurosurgery. Navigating our way through these new frontiers will undoubtedly lead to additional discoveries that are unimaginable at present but bound to improve the future care of neurosurgical patients.

DOI: 10.3171/2011.9.JNS111038

Cite this paper

@article{Rutka2011DiscoveringNN, title={Discovering neurosurgery: new frontiers.}, author={James T. Rutka}, journal={Journal of neurosurgery}, year={2011}, volume={115 6}, pages={1053-66} }