Brett E Youngerman

CUNY Graduate Center, New York, New York, United States

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Publications (13)58.41 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an emerging treatment option for an expanding set of neurological and psychiatric diseases. Despite growing enthusiasm, the patterns and implications of this rapid adoption are largely unknown. National trends in DBS surgery performed for all indications between 2002 and 2011 are reported. METHODS Using a national database of hospital discharges, admissions for DBS for 14 indications were identified and categorized as either FDA approved, humanitarian device exempt (HDE), or emerging. Trends over time were examined, differences were analyzed by univariate analyses, and outcomes were analyzed by hierarchical regression analyses. RESULTS Between 2002 and 2011, there were an estimated 30,490 discharges following DBS for approved indications, 1647 for HDE indications, and 2014 for emerging indications. The volume for HDE and emerging indications grew at 36.1% annually in comparison with 7.0% for approved indications. DBS for emerging indications occurred at hospitals with more neurosurgeons and neurologists locally, but not necessarily at those with the highest DBS caseloads. Patients treated for HDE and emerging indications were younger with lower comorbidity scores. HDE and emerging indications were associated with greater rates of reported complications, longer lengths of stay, and greater total costs. CONCLUSIONS DBS for HDE and emerging indications underwent rapid growth in the last decade, and it is not exclusively the most experienced DBS practitioners leading the charge to treat the newest indications. Surgeons may be selecting younger and healthier patients for their early experiences. Differences in reported complication rates warrant further attention and additional costs should be anticipated as surgeons gain experience with new patient populations and targets.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Neurosurgery
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Reducing the rate of 30-day hospital readmission has become a priority in healthcare quality improvement policy, with a focus on better characterizing the reasons for unplanned readmission. In neurosurgery, however, peer-reviewed analyses describing the patterns of readmission have been limited in their number and generalizability. Objective: To determine the incidence, timing, and causes of 30-day readmission after neurosurgical procedures. Methods: We conducted a retrospective longitudinal study from 2009 to 2012 using the Statewide Planning And Research Cooperative System, which collects patient-level details for all admissions and discharges within New York. We identified patients readmitted within 30 days of initial discharge. The rate of, reasons for, and time to readmission were determined overall and within 4 subgroups: craniotomies, cranial surgery without craniotomy, spine, and neuroendovascular procedures. Results: There were 163 743 index admissions, of whom 14 791 (9.03%) were readmitted. The most common reasons for unplanned readmission were infection (29.52%) and medical complications (19.22%). Median time to readmission was 11 days, with hemorrhagic strokes and seizures occurring earlier, and medical complications and infections occurring later. Readmission rates were highest among patients undergoing cerebrospinal fluid shunt revision and malignant tumor resection (15.57%-22.60%). Spinal decompressions, however, accounted for the largest volume of readmissions (33.13%). Conclusion: Many readmissions may be preventable and occur at predictable time intervals. The causes and timing of readmission vary significantly across neurosurgical subgroups. Future studies should focus on detecting specific complications in select cohorts at predefined time points, which may allow for interventions to lower costs and reduce patient morbidity. Abbreviations: CSF, cerebrospinal fluidIQR, interquartile rangeSPARCS, Planning And Research Cooperative System.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Neurosurgery
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Improved training in the socioeconomic aspects of medicine is a priority of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the American Board of Neurological Surgeons. There is evidence that young neurosurgeons feel ill equipped in these areas and that additional education would improve patient care. OBJECTIVE: To present our experience with the introduction of a succinct but formal socioeconomic training course to the residency curriculum at our institution. METHODS: A monthly series of twelve 1-hour interactive modules was designed to address the pertinent Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-American Board of Neurological Surgeons outcomes-based educational milestones. Slide-based lectures provided a comprehensive overview of social, legal, and business issues, and a monthly forum for open discussion allowed residents to draw on their applied experience. Residents took a 20-question pre- and postcourse knowledge assessment, as well as feedback surveys at 6 and 12 months. RESULTS: Residents were able to participate in the lectures, with an overall attendance rate of 91%. Residents felt that the course goals and objectives were well defined and communicated (4.88/5) and rated highly the content, quality, and relevance of the lectures (4.94/5). Performance on the knowledge assessment improved from 58% to 66%. CONCLUSION: Our experience demonstrates the feasibility of including a formal socioeconomic course in neurosurgical residency training with positive resident feedback and achievement of outcomes-based milestones. Extension to a 2-year curriculum cycle may allow the course to cover more material without compromising other residency training goals. Online modules should also be explored to allow for wider and more flexible participation. ABBREVIATIONS: ABNS, American Board of Neurological Surgeons ACGME, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Copyright (C) by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Neurosurgery
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECT The object of this study was to perform a systematic review, according to Preferred Reporting Items of Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) guidelines, of the clinical efficacy and adverse effect profile of dorsal anterior cingulotomy compared with anterior capsulotomy for the treatment of severe, refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). METHODS The authors included studies comparing objective clinical measures before and after cingulotomy or capsulotomy (surgical and radiosurgical) in patients with OCD. Only papers reporting the most current follow-up data for each group of investigators were included. Studies reporting results on patients undergoing one or more procedures other than cingulotomy or capsulotomy were excluded. Case reports and studies with a mean follow-up shorter than 12 months were excluded. Clinical response was defined in terms of a change in the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) score. The authors searched MEDLINE, PubMed, PsycINFO, Scopus, and Web of Knowledge through October 2013. English and non-English articles and abstracts were reviewed. RESULTS Ten studies involving 193 participants evaluated the length of follow-up, change in the Y-BOCS score, and postoperative adverse events (AEs) after cingulotomy (n = 2 studies, n = 81 participants) or capsulotomy (n = 8 studies, n = 112 participants). The average time to the last follow-up was 47 months for cingulotomy and 60 months for capsulotomy. The mean reduction in the Y-BOCS score at 12 months' follow-up was 37% for cingulotomy and 55% for capsulotomy. At the last follow-up, the mean reduction in Y-BOCS score was 37% for cingulotomy and 57% for capsulotomy. The average full response rate to cingulotomy at the last follow-up was 41% (range 38%-47%, n = 2 studies, n = 51 participants), and to capsulotomy was 54% (range 37%-80%, n = 5 studies, n = 50 participants). The rate of transient AEs was 14.3% across cingulotomy studies (n = 116 procedures) and 56.2% across capsulotomy studies (n = 112 procedures). The rate of serious or permanent AEs was 5.2% across cingulotomy studies and 21.4% across capsulotomy studies. CONCLUSIONS This systematic review of the literature supports the efficacy of both dorsal anterior cingulotomy and anterior capsulotomy in this highly treatment-refractory population. The observational nature of available data limits the ability to directly compare these procedures. Controlled or head-to-head studies are necessary to identify differences in efficacy or AEs and may lead to the individualization of treatment recommendations.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Journal of Neurosurgery

  • No preview · Conference Paper · Aug 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Early mobilization after surgery reduces the incidence of a wide range of complications. Wearable motion sensors measure movements over time and transmit this data wirelessly, which has the potential to monitor patient recovery and encourages patients to engage in their own rehabilitation. We sought to determine the ability of off-the-shelf activity sensors to remotely monitor patient postoperative mobility. Consecutive subjects were recruited under the Department of Neurosurgery at Columbia University. Patients were enrolled during physical therapy sessions. The total number of steps counted by the two blinded researchers was compared to the steps recorded on four activity sensors positioned at different body locations. A total of 148 motion data points were generated. The start time, end time, and duration of each walking session were accurately recorded by the devices and were remotely available for the researchers to analyze. The sensor accuracy was significantly greater when placed over the ankles than over the hips (P<.001). Our multivariate analysis showed that step length was an independent predictor of sensor accuracy. On linear regression, there was a modest positive correlation between increasing step length and increased ankle sensor accuracy (r=.640, r(2)=.397) that reached statistical significance on the multivariate model (P=.03). Increased gait speed also correlated with increased ankle sensor accuracy, although less strongly (r=.444, r(2)=.197). We did not note an effect of unilateral weakness on the accuracy of left- versus right-sided sensors. Accuracy was also affected by several specific measures of a patient's level of physical assistance, for which we generated a model to mathematically adjust for systematic underestimation as well as disease severity. We provide one of the first assessments of the accuracy and utility of widely available and wirelessly connected activity sensors in a postoperative patient population. Our results show that activity sensors are able to provide invaluable information about a patient's mobility status and can transmit this data wirelessly, although there is a systematic underestimation bias in more debilitated patients.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015
  • Brett E Youngerman · Guy M McKhann

    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · The virtual mentor : VM
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    ABSTRACT: Approximately 10% of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have symptoms that are refractory to pharmacologic and cognitive-behavioral therapies. Neurosurgical interventions can be effective therapeutic options in these patients, but not all individuals respond. The mechanisms underlying this response variability are poorly understood. To identify neuroanatomical characteristics on preoperative imaging that differentiate responders from nonresponders to dorsal anterior cingulotomy, a neurosurgical lesion procedure used to treat refractory OCD. We retrospectively analyzed preoperative T1 and diffusion magnetic resonance imaging sequences from 15 patients (9 men and 6 women) who underwent dorsal anterior cingulotomy. Eight of the 15 patients (53%) responded to the procedure. We used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and diffusion tensor imaging to identify structural and connectivity variations that could differentiate eventual responders from nonresponders. The VBM and probabilistic tractography metrics were correlated with clinical response to the cingulotomy procedure as measured by changes in the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale score. Voxel-based morphometry analysis revealed a gray matter cluster in the right anterior cingulate cortex, anterior to the eventual lesion, for which signal strength correlated with poor response (P = .017). Decreased gray matter in this region of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex predicted improved response (mean [SD] gray matter partial volume for responders vs nonresponders, 0.47 [0.03] vs 0.66 [0.03]; corresponding to mean Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale score change, -60% [19] vs -11% [9], respectively). Hemispheric asymmetry in connectivity between the eventual lesion and the caudate (for responders vs nonresponders, mean [SD] group laterality for individual lesion seeds, -0.79 [0.18] vs -0.08 [0.65]; P = .04), putamen (-0.55 [0.35] vs 0.50 [0.33]; P = .001), thalamus (-0.82 [0.19] vs 0.41 [0.24]; P = .001), pallidum (-0.78 [0.18] vs 0.43 [0.48]; P = .001), and hippocampus (-0.66 [0.33] vs 0.33 [0.18]; P = .001) also correlated significantly with clinical response, with increased right-sided connectivity predicting greater response. We identified features of anterior cingulate cortex structure and connectivity that predict clinical response to dorsal anterior cingulotomy for refractory OCD. These results suggest that the variability seen in individual responses to a highly consistent, stereotyped procedure may be due to neuroanatomical variation in the patients. Furthermore, these variations may allow us to predict which patients are most likely to respond to cingulotomy, thereby refining our ability to individualize this treatment for refractory psychiatric disorders.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · JAMA Psychiatry
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    ABSTRACT: Background and purpose: Level of consciousness is frequently assessed by command-following ability in the clinical setting. However, it is unclear what brain circuits are needed to follow commands. We sought to determine what networks differentiate command following from noncommand following patients after hemorrhagic stroke. Methods: Structural MRI, resting-state functional MRI, and electroencephalography were performed on 25 awake and unresponsive patients with acute intracerebral and subarachnoid hemorrhage. Structural injury was assessed via volumetric T1-weighted MRI analysis. Functional connectivity differences were analyzed against a template of standard resting-state networks. The default mode network (DMN) and the task-positive network were investigated using seed-based functional connectivity. Networks were interrogated by pairwise coherence of electroencephalograph leads in regions of interest defined by functional MRI. Results: Functional imaging of unresponsive patients identified significant differences in 6 of 16 standard resting-state networks. Significant voxels were found in premotor cortex, dorsal anterior cingulate gyrus, and supplementary motor area. Direct interrogation of the DMN and task-positive network revealed loss of connectivity between the DMN and the orbitofrontal cortex and new connections between the task-positive network and DMN. Coherence between electrodes corresponding to right executive network and visual networks was also decreased in unresponsive patients. Conclusions: Resting-state functional MRI and electroencephalography coherence data support a model in which multiple, chiefly frontal networks are required for command following. Loss of DMN anticorrelation with task-positive network may reflect a loss of inhibitory control of the DMN by motor-executive regions. Frontal networks should thus be a target for future investigations into the mechanism of responsiveness in the intensive care unit environment.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Stroke
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    ABSTRACT: An almost sinusoidal, large amplitude ~0.1 Hz oscillation in cortical hemodynamics has been repeatedly observed in species ranging from mice to humans. However, the occurrence of 'slow sinusoidal hemodynamic oscillations' (SSHOs) in human functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies is rarely noted or considered. As a result, little investigation into the cause of SSHOs has been undertaken, and their potential to confound fMRI analysis, as well as their possible value as a functional biomarker has been largely overlooked. Here, we report direct observation of large-amplitude, sinusoidal ~0.1 Hz hemodynamic oscillations in the cortex of an awake human undergoing surgical resection of a brain tumor. Intraoperative multispectral optical intrinsic signal imaging (MS-OISI) revealed that SSHOs were spatially localized to distinct regions of the cortex, exhibited wave-like propagation, and involved oscillations in the diameter of specific pial arterioles, confirming that the effect was not the result of systemic blood pressure oscillations. fMRI data collected from the same subject 4 days prior to surgery demonstrates that ~0.1 Hz oscillations in the BOLD signal can be detected around the same region. Intraoperative optical imaging data from a patient undergoing epilepsy surgery, in whom sinusoidal oscillations were not observed, is shown for comparison. This direct observation of the '0.1 Hz wave' in the awake human brain, using both intraoperative imaging and pre-operative fMRI, confirms that SSHOs occur in the human brain, and can be detected by fMRI. We discuss the possible physiological basis of this oscillation and its potential link to brain pathologies, highlighting its relevance to resting-state fMRI and its potential as a novel target for functional diagnosis and delineation of neurological disease.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · NeuroImage
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    ABSTRACT: Substantia nigra neurons are known to play a key role in normal cognitive processes and disease states. While animal models and neuroimaging studies link dopamine neurons to novelty detection, this has not been demonstrated electrophysiologically in humans. We used single neuron extracellular recordings in awake human subjects undergoing surgery for Parkinson disease to characterize the features and timing of this response in the substantia nigra. We recorded 49 neurons in the substantia nigra. Using an auditory oddball task, we showed that they fired more rapidly following novel sounds than repetitive tones. The response was biphasic with peaks at approximately 250ms, comparable to that described in primate studies, and a second peak at 500ms. This response was primarily driven by slower firing neurons as firing rate was inversely correlated to novelty response. Our data provide human validation of the purported role of dopamine neurons in novelty detection and suggest modifications to proposed models of novelty detection circuitry.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Brain research
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    ABSTRACT: While a tumour in or abutting primary motor cortex leads to motor weakness, how tumours elsewhere in the frontal or parietal lobes affect functional connectivity in a weak patient is less clear. We hypothesized that diminished functional connectivity in a distributed network of motor centres would correlate with motor weakness in subjects with brain masses. Furthermore, we hypothesized that interhemispheric connections would be most vulnerable to subtle disruptions in functional connectivity. We used task-free functional magnetic resonance imaging connectivity to probe motor networks in control subjects and patients with brain tumours (n = 22). Using a control dataset, we developed a method for automated detection of key nodes in the motor network, including the primary motor cortex, supplementary motor area, premotor area and superior parietal lobule, based on the anatomic location of the hand-motor knob in the primary motor cortex. We then calculated functional connectivity between motor network nodes in control subjects, as well as patients with and without brain masses. We used this information to construct weighted, undirected graphs, which were then compared to variables of interest, including performance on a motor task, the grooved pegboard. Strong connectivity was observed within the identified motor networks between all nodes bilaterally, and especially between the primary motor cortex and supplementary motor area. Reduced connectivity was observed in subjects with motor weakness versus subjects with normal strength (P < 0.001). This difference was driven mostly by decreases in interhemispheric connectivity between the primary motor cortices (P < 0.05) and between the left primary motor cortex and the right premotor area (P < 0.05), as well as other premotor area connections. In the subjects without motor weakness, however, performance on the grooved pegboard did not relate to interhemispheric connectivity, but rather was inversely correlated with connectivity between the left premotor area and left supplementary motor area, for both the left and the right hands (P < 0.01). Finally, two subjects who experienced severe weakness following surgery for their brain tumours were followed longitudinally, and the subject who recovered showed reconstitution of her motor network at follow-up. The subject who was persistently weak did not reconstitute his motor network. Motor weakness in subjects with brain tumours that do not involve primary motor structures is associated with decreased connectivity within motor functional networks, particularly interhemispheric connections. Motor networks become weaker as the subjects become weaker, and may become strong again during motor recovery.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · Brain
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    ABSTRACT: The limitations of intravenous thrombolysis therapy have paved the way for the development of novel endovascular technologies for use in the setting of acute stroke. These technologies range from direct intraarterial thrombolysis to various thrombus disruption or retrieval devices to angioplasty and stenting. The tools in the armamentarium of the neuroendovascular interventionalist enable fast, effective revascularization to be offered to a wider population of patients that may otherwise have few therapeutic options available to them. In this paper, we review the current state-of-the-art in neuroendovascular intervention for acute ischemic stroke. Particular emphasis is placed on delineating the indications and outcomes for use of these various technologies.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2011 · International Journal of Stroke

Publication Stats

50 Citations
58.41 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2015
    • CUNY Graduate Center
      New York, New York, United States
  • 2011-2015
    • Columbia University
      • Department of Neurological Surgery
      New York, New York, United States