MNS Summer School 2011 – Stereotaxical surgery – Turkey

Ondokuz Mayis University, Samsun (Turkey) – July 4-8, 2011

Stereotaxical surgery in neurological and psychiatric disorders

The first summer school of the MNS was held in Samsun University, Turkey, in July 2011. The topic of the course was Stereotaxic surgery in Neurological and Psychiatric disorders.
After one day of Lectures, the participants had the opportunity to practice stereotaxy both in rodent and human phantom conditions. The venue was the Faculty of Medicine, Ondokuz Mayis University, Samsun, Turkey. Samsun is a key city in the Black Sea region of Turkey. The University is located on the hills of Samsun, again facing the black sea. It is one of the biggest universities of Turkey, with approximately 40 000 students.

In this Summer School there were 40 participants from different countries: Egypt, Iraq, Costa Rica, France, Netherlands. The majority of the participants were from Turkey. The MNS decided to sponsor three participants. The course was a success in terms of participation and organization. We are grateful to the hosting University, and City of Samsun, and express our special thanks to our sponsors, Alpha Omega, Medtronic, Hebrew University of Jerusalem and European Graduate School of Neuroscience.

In research conditions, stereotaxy is frequently used to deliver substances locally, or to implant cannulae (e.g. for repeated/chronic infusion of drugs or for neurochemical detection of neurotransmitters) or electrodes (for electrical stimulation or electrophysiological recording) with submillimetric precision. In other words, this technique allows the scientist to study research targets in the brain with high accuracy in animal models of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

In this course, participants received comprehensive tuition in the relevant scientific theory, and had an opportunity to apply their knowledge during ‘hands-on’ training in key stereotactic applications. The course was composed of two parts. In the first part, the participants received Lectures about the most common stereotactical procedures for neurological and psychiatric disorders. In the second session, participants received a hands-on training to apply their knowledge in research conditions.

The scientific part focused on the following subjects:

  • Ethics in Neuroscience. Here, the Lecturer has not only focused on the use of animals, but also on the ethics of data publishing and collaborating with other scientists and industry.
  • General principles of stereotactical surgery
  • General principles of in vivo electrophysiology: extracellular recordings and local field potential
  • Stereotactical surgery in Parkinson’s disease and dystonia
  • Stereotactical surgery in Tourette’s syndrome
  • Stereotactical surgery in depression and OCD
  • Stereotactical surgery in epilepsy with video EEG

In the practical part of the course, we focused on the three main scientific applications of stereotaxy, which are related to the abovementioned clinical applications.

1) Local drug delivery: stereotaxy is used to inject a drug in a large volume (part of a brain nucleus) or in a very small volume (few cells or one cell, usually iontophoretically). Local drug delivery is used to make lesions (a general lesion such as an excitotoxic lesion or a specific lesion such as neurotransmitter depletion) with high precision. In addition, this procedure is also used to deliver experimental drugs to modulate receptor activity. This technique has been discussed and shown.

2) Electrophysiological recordings: Electrophysiology is a widely used technique in Neuroscience. It can provide vital information about the function of neurons under physiological conditions and in disease. For the majority of the electrophysiological approaches, implantation of electrodes with high precision is necessary. Single-cell extracellular recordings, local field potentials, and the concept of EEG and SEEG recordings have been discussed and shown.

3) Electrical brain stimulation: This is a relatively novel technique to modulate the neuronal activity of a brain region of interest. It is an alternative to a lesion. Lesions are irreversible and cannot be adjusted once performed. Electrical stimulation is reversible (switching on and off) and is adjustable (stimulation parameters can be adjusted). DBS is nowadays a frequently used procedure to treat patients suffering from severe neurological (e.g. Parkinson disease) and psychiatric (e.g. Obsessive-Compulsive disorder) conditions. This technique has been discussed and shown.

The subjects for the hands-on course were laboratory rats. All the teaching experiments have been performed in line with the ethical standards of minimizing the number and suffering of laboratory animals, and permission have been asked to the local animal ethic committee.

Board members:

Dr. Y. Temel, Maastricht, the Netherlands. Course director.

Prof. Dr. S. Kaplan, Samsun, Turkey. Course co-director.

Dr. Z. Altunkaynak, Samsun, Turkey

Dr. A. Benazzouz, Bordeaux, France

Prof. Dr. H. Bergman, Jerusalem, Israel

Dr. D. Boussaoud, Marseille, France

Dr. Sinan Canan, Ankara, Turkey

Prof. Dr. P. Chauvel, Marseille, France

Dr. A. Kaya, Samsun, Turkey

Prof. Dr. B. Sahin, Samsun, Turkey

Prof. Dr. H. Steinbusch, Maastricht, the Netherlands

Prof. Dr. V. Visser-Vandewalle, Maastricht, the Netherlands