News from the EANS for the month of March
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March Newsletter: Table of Contents

Last call for the 6th Annual EANS Young Neurosurgeons' Meeting!
Research Spotlight:
     Report from the BNRG Annual Meeting in Cambridge
     Message from EANS Research Committee Chair, Radoslaw Rola

     RESCUE ASDH Trial
    Aesculap EANS Research Prize 2016 

Interview with Nejat Akalan
Results from the Exam Part II (FEBNS)
Acta Neurochirurgica app updated
Get to Know ... Carlo Schaller
Your Help Needed – two surveys 
Neurosurgical Oncology Course competition
EANS2016: Abstract submissions open
EANS Academy Hot Picks
Case of the Month


Last call!
Places filling up fast for the 6th Annual EANS Young Neurosurgeons' Meeting, 
7 - 10 April 2016

Taking place at the beautiful Royal College of Surgeons of England, London, UK.

Don't miss this chance! Featuring a
 world-class scientific programme – click here HERE to download; valuable opportunities to network both with your peers and with experts from around the world; a formal Course Dinner at the Royal College, and more.

For more information and a full list of speakers, please see the Meeting website:


Joint EANS / BNRG Research Course a success!

In March 2016, for the first time, the EANS Research Committee (RC) and British Neurosurgical Research Group (BNRG) joined forces and organised a 'clinical research methods' course. The course took place in Cambridge from 1 to 17 March. 

The first day featured invited talks from Peter Hutchinson (EANS Secretary and Chair of SBNS academic committee), Radoslaw Rola (EANS Research Committee Chair) and other members of the EANS Research Committee*. We also heard about the
IDEAL framework and how it can help surgeons design studies from first-in-human to long-term surveillance.

Undoubtedly, though, the highlights of the day were:
  • Two talks from Trish Groves (head of research at BMJ, BMJ Open editor) with tips on publishing clinical trial protocols and writing high impact manuscripts
  • A talk from Andrew Cook (representing the NIHR – the major funding body of clinical research in England) with tips on how to get funded
The first day closed with a stimulating debate session on how we can integrate clinical research with neurosurgical training.

On the second day of the meeting, the EANS RC together with the BNRG, ran a research sandpit. During the 1.5 hours of the sandpit, course delegates split into 4 small groups, selected a topic of importance and developed a proposal for a multi-centre clinical trial. This resulted in four excellent proposals that were then presented and debated. It was refreshing to see how this exercise can break down barriers and help neurosurgeons develop closer ties with colleagues.

Overall, the course was thoroughly educational and enjoyable. It was well attended and the EANS RC is considering a similar format for future EANS research courses.

Additionally, thanks to Trish Groves, we realised the power of Twitter, with Tweets from the course reaching thousands of people in several countries. A #Storify story summarising the main points of each talk is available online.
Angelos Kolias and Stephen Price (local organisers); Radoslaw Rola (EANS RC chair) 

* Thanks to EANS RC members Lorenzo Bello, Jan Berkelbach, Miikka Korja and Guy Rosenthal.


Message from ... Radoslaw Rola, Chair of the EANS Research Committee

Dear members of the EANS:
From their infancy human beings become fascinated by the way science explains the world that surrounds us. Personally, my love of science was one of the reasons for choosing medicine. For although medicine is a tough career it can be enormously gratifying, not only through the satisfaction that arises from the ability to help another human being, but also due to the vast area of medical research in which to immerse oneself. Moreover, the years of my Research Committee activity crystallized my opinion that research should be an indispensable part of neurosurgical training; for such an elite medical specialty will only develop through commitment to excellence of every individual and the whole neurosurgical community. Such a commitment is possible with a strong foundation that only research experience may provide. Therefore, I am truly honoured and excited to serve as Chair of the Research Committee for the next two years.

When considering neurosurgical research in different European countries, one can easily notice huge discrepancies between them. The explanation that all this relates to money seems to be an oversimplification.  Therefore, the challenge that we, as the EANS Research Committee, face is, on the one hand, to disseminate the passion for research within the neurosurgical community and, on the other, to facilitate cooperation between neurosurgical research groups from different countries.

In order to reach our objective in the coming two years we plan to launch series of joint meetings combining EANS research courses with other meetings. In addition, we will strongly promote a new initiative of the
EANS/SBNS Neurosurgical Clinical Trials Registry that allows  EANS members to cooperate internationally in order to excel in their scientific fields of interest.

We are also open to any other ideas that could help us expand the involvement of each and every one of us neurosurgeons in research, and build an understanding for such a need particularly among the younger members of the European neurosurgical family. Therefore, I personally request you to 
e-mail me if you have any thoughts on how the EANS community could bring to life to this demanding field.

RESCUE-ASDH Clinical trial – your participation requested!

Approximately two thirds of head-injured paitents undergoing emergency brain surgery have an acute subdural haematoma (ASDH) evacuated. When an ASDH is evacuated, the bone flap can be left out or replace prior to closing the skin. The RESCUE-ASDH trial will compare these two specific compoents of the operation to remove an ASDH. Both options are widely practiced and accepted but they have never been compared head-to-head in a randomised trial.
Research question:
Does decompressive craniectomy lead to better functional outcomes compared to craniotomy for adult head-injured patients undergoing evacuation of an acute subdural haematoma?
Primary outcome measure:
Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOSE) at 12 months
Sample size:
- 990 patients (including 10% loss to follow-up)
- Pilot phase: 120 randomised patient by March 2016
Participating in this trial:
This is an international trial and new centres are welcome to take part in this study. Please fill in the form on our
website and we will get back as soon as possible.
Tel: +44 (0)1223 254919


 Aesculap EANS Research Prize 2016

Thanks to the generosity of Braun Aesculap, we are once again delighted to invite applications for two awards of €5,000 each, one for the best clinical research paper and the other for the best laboratory research paper. The winners in each category will have the opportunity to present their work at EANS2016 in Athens.

The prize is open to neurosurgeons under the age of 40 who are individual members of the EANS. Applicants can either be qualified, or still in the course of their training. Full details are at:

Interview with Nejat Akalan

At last month's EANS Tumor Training Course in Sofia, Stefan Rückriegel, 6th year resident at the Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Wuerzburg, Germany, took time out to interview former EANS Training Committee Chairman, and Head of the Department of Neurosurgery, Hacettepe University Medical Faculty, Istanbul, Turkey

The full interview can be read at To give you a taste, see what Professor Akalan had to say about:

Sub-specialisation: I think getting too subspecialised during education may give you some trouble afterwards ... you are in a way decreasing your job abilities for the future if you specialise too early.
Research: [As a resident] ... I regarded it almost an obstacle to my career. But once you have been pushed into doing research, the most important thing it provides you with is the work discipline – taking notes, being more structured. This then reflects on to your clinical work ...
Family life
Even when the kids were very small, I never talked about ... my work at home. For a long time my kids didn’t think I was a doctor, but that I was “repairing kids” – some kind of repairman!

Click HERE to read the entire interview ...

Congratulations to the new Fellows of the European Board of Neurological Surgery! 

In October 2015 it was decided by the EANS and UEMS Section of Neurosurgery to form the European Board of Neurological Surgery (EBNS) and transform the existing exam into the European Board Examination in Neurological Surgery, in order further to increase its importance and general recognition. The successful candidates of both parts I and II will be appointed as Fellow of the European Board of Neurological Surgery (FEBNS). (Full details of the Exam can be downloaded HERE.)

We would like to congratulate the following new Fellows of the European Board of Neurological Surgery: Ra'ed Al-Jubour, Andrew Alalade, Bashar Alhani, Shankar Ayyappan Kutty, Moncef Berhouma, Yanish Bhanot, Davide Boeris, Christian Dimitriu, Paraneetharan Marimuthu, William Lo, Nada Mohammed, Mouness Obeidat, Pinar Ocak, Igor Paredes Sansinenea, Irfanullah Shah, Nicole Terpolilli, Ravindran Vashu, Prasanna Krishna Venkatesh.

Further congratulations to William Lo, who was awarded the Braakman Prize for the best performance by a candidate in the FEBNS Exam Part II.

We wish them all the best in their future careers!


Recommend a friend to join the EANS and you both could win a year's free membership! 


Get the updated Acta app!

We've just heard from Springer – the newest version of the Acta Neurochirurgica app is now available: 
iOS – click
Android – click HERE

Click HERE for the table contents of the latest issue of Acta!

Get to know ... Carlo Schaller

A new feature in which an EANS (or other neurosurgical) "personality" answers a mix of questions – some general, personal, some neurosurgical; some that we ask, some that the interviewee makes up ... Many thanks to Carlo Schaller, Chairman of the EANS Training Committee, for agreeing to be our first "victim"!
~ Holiday: beach / countryside / culture / other?  
Mountains and lake for biking and boating
Cities for gastronomy and nightlife
The wisest thing anybody every told you  
Two things:

From a Professor of Neurosurgery in Bangalore 1989: "If you anticipate something and you realise it - this leads to satisfaction; if you anticipate something and you fail to realise it - this leads to frustration."

From the same guy: "Having been trained as neurosurgeons and become neurosurgeons, we don’t fit into anything else – sometimes not even into neurosurgery."

~ Meet one person – dead or alive – who and why?  
I don’t have a burning desire to meet anyone specific – not even historical giants like Johan Wolfgang von Goethe or Nelson Mandela – I’m just happy to meet people that I like in everyday life in the little time there we have to spend.

~ Your first car?  
1972 Mercedes 200/8 - white & rust (brown)

~ Most overused phrase?  
"I’m sorry!"

~ List your favorites – pick a few from: book, movie or play, quote, poem, website, city, etc...
Book:  Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Movie: Stalker - Tarkovsky
Music: Lyle Mays / Pat Metheny

~ Where did you grow up?  
Lake Constance, Germany

~ Neurosurgical inspiration?  
I applied for a position in Zurich as part of my student rotation, but was originally rejected.  However I wouldn’t take no for an answer, and kept on bombarding Yasargil with letters.  In the end, they gave in, and I ended up spending the summer of 1988 there.  I was overwhelmed both by the spirit of the place and by the kindness with which the eminent staff and international guests within the department treated me, despite my being a mere medical student.  I made friendships for life, and took up the invitations to travel, which I received, visiting Japan, India, Pakistan and US during more than 18 months spent abroad. The gracious way in which these distinguished professors treated me – a “nobody” - made a profound impression on me and was really my neurosurgical inspiration.

~ Your best / worst / most embarrassing moment as a neurosurgeon
Only this morning, I got into a taxi to go to the hospital.  At first, I was irritated by the fact that the driver wouldn’t stop talking; I had a lot to think about and wanted peace to do so.  But then it came out that his wife was in our hospital with a suspected stroke, and the driver was horribly afraid.  I delivered a stroke lecture to him in the car – describing the symptoms, prognosis etc – and by the time we had arrived, I had managed to calm him down.  He was so incredibly grateful; he wouldn’t accept any fare at all.  Being able to put his mind at rest brought me enormous satisfaction; sometimes seemingly “small” everyday moments like this can be very fulfilling - not necessarily as a neurosurgeon, but as a doctor as a whole.

~ Best day for “difficult” operations  
Any day – that’s how it’s got to be

~ “If I knew then what I know now” – advice for today’s neurosurgical trainees  
Have no regrets.
Make sure you make plenty of memories: both personal and neurosurgical memories.
The better you are, the free-er you can be.

~ If you hadn’t been a neurosurgeon …?
I am not very organised at all; if I hadn’t been a neurosurgeon I would probably have been unemployed… I love playing the piano and always wanted to be a musician, and when I’ve stopped practising, I would like to write.

~ Can you become a neurosurgeon without becoming an asshole?
~ Can you have a life outside neurosurgery?    
One life is never enough!


**Please note that Carlo himself devised the last two questions; the penultimate question in no way reflects the views of the EANS office team!


Your help needed!

Recently you will have received mailings re two surveys, being carried out by our members. If you haven't already participated, your input would be most welcome:

EWIN Project 2015 – A survey being conducted to critically evaluate the gender situation in European countries. The survey should take 5 - 10 minutes at the most.

Feasibility survey for a Master's degree in Neurosurgery – the aim is to assess the level of potential interest and explore further issues such as financial and time constraints on individual members. The survey should take only a few minutes.

Thank you!

Essay Competition for EANS Individual Member Trainee Neurosurgeons

Win free entry to all the scientific and social events of the 5th Annual World Course in Advanced Techniques in Neurosurgical Oncology, 22 - 26 June, London, UK!

Entry is by writing a 2000-word essay on: "Challenges we are facing in treating patients with brain tumours in our country." Full details and terms and conditions of the competition are at:



The scientific programme is soon to be announced – we will be in touch as soon as it is.

In the meantime, abstract submissions are open! Deadline: 24 April, 2016.

EANS Academy: Hot picks for March

Spinal neurosurgery
Minimally invasive techniques
Giuseppe Barbagallo

Topic: Vascular neurosurgery
Surgical treatment of AVMs

François Proust

Topic: Neuro-oncology

Overview in the management of low grade glioma tumours

Ram Zvi
Topic: TBI
The changing landscape of TBI and its research
Andrew Maas


Case of the Month

March's case is from Yosef Laviv, MD, Matthew P Anderson and Ekkehard M Kasper, MD PhD, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. 

here to read the case.


Have your say...

We are always trying to find ways to make our newsletter more interesting and relevant to you, so please, if you have any suggestions, whatever they might be, don't hesitate to be in touch with Liz at

We look forward to hearing from you.
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