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Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery

Stereotactic and functional neurosurgeons in the Department of Neurological Surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine is particularly strong in the areas of epilepsy, movement disorders and radiosurgery. For epilepsy, faculty perform focal resections, stereotactic laser ablation, responsive neurostimulation, deep brain stimulation and vagal nerve stimulation. While surgeons in this specialty currently implant electrodes to localize epileptogenic foci using frame-based and frameless techniques, the department anticipates acquiring the technology to robotically implant electrodes to enhance diagnostic yield.

The stereotactic and functional specialists perform awake and asleep deep brain stimulation, with or without microelectrode recording, for Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia and epilepsy. The department has a Gamma Knife Perfexion Unit for stereotactic radiosurgery. Faculty also collaborate with biomedical engineers at nearby Purdue University to study the use of cerebral excitatory/inhibitory ratios to predict the onset of seizures.

The epilepsy surgery program at IU School of Medicine is categorized as a Level 4 Epilepsy Center, and department faculty provide comprehensive evaluation and management of patients with medically intractable complex partial seizures. All patients undergo an extensive protocol-driven, pre-surgical evaluation including inpatient video/EEG monitoring, MR scanning, neuropsychological evaluation and intracarotid sodium amytal testing. Movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease and Essential Tremor, are treated with a multidisciplinary team approach that uses stereotactic deep brain stimulation with electrophysiological monitoring. New diseases that may also be treated with deep brain stimulation include obsessive-compulsive disease, depression and possibly obesity.

Deep Brain Stimulation


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To schedule an appointment with a neurosurgeon, call IU Health at 317-963-1300 or search the IU Health Find a Doctor portal.

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Thomas C. Witt, MD

Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery