Guy L. Odom Professor of Neurological Surgery
Brain tumors, skull-base tumors, peripheral nerve surgery, pituitary tumors
At the present time, I am participating in collaborative research in the areas of primary malignant brain tumors, epilepsy and subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Primary malignant brain tumors are increasing in frequency. Patients harboring glioblastoma, the most malignant primary brain tumor, have a life expectancy of less than one year. In colloboration with the Division of Neurology and the Department of Pathology, clinical and laboratory trials have been initiated to identify better treatment for this condition. At present, trials of monoclonal antibodies and novel chemotherapeutic agents are being carried out.
Although physicians have been interested in seizures since the time of Hippocrates, the origin of seizures remains obscure. At Duke University we have treated approximately thirty seizure patients a year by removing abnormal portions of brain. Tissue from these resections is being analyzed for genetics and receptor abnormalities. Positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging are being used to ferret out the origin of the patient's seizures.
Approximately 28,000 patients each year suffer a ruptured intracranial aneurysm. Approximately ten percent of these patients have a genetic predisposition to forming intracranial aneurysms. In conjunction with the Division of Neurology, we are screening candidate genes searching for the cause of intracranial aneurysms.