Joachim Krauss is a Professor working in Hannover Medical School as Director and teaches in the Department of Neurosurgery.
Prof. Marwan Hariz is an Honorary Emeritus at the Department of Neuromuscular Diseases in University College London.
Christian Moll is an interdisciplinary neurophysiologist at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf where he leads a research group at the Department of Neurophysiology and Pathophysiology.

#33: Joachim Krauss, Marwan Hariz, & Christian Moll – The History of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery and Serendipity

It was our great honor to talk with Joachim Krauss, Marwan Hariz, and Christian Moll about the history of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery and the impact of serendipity in driving discovery. Our conversation was centered on two publications:

  1. Rzesnitzek L, Hariz M, Krauss JK. Psychosurgery in the History of Stereotactic Functional Neurosurgery. Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2020;98(4):241-247. doi:10.1159/000508167
  2. Hariz M, Lees AJ, Blomstedt Y, Blomstedt P. Serendipity and Observations in Functional Neurosurgery: From James Parkinson’s Stroke to Hamani’s & Lozano’s Flashbacks. Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2022;100(4):201-209. doi:10.1159/000525794

In the first part of the episode, we reflect on the resonance of psychosurgery, talking about early pioneering work in this avenue. We delve into the fascinating history of Stereotactic Functional Neurosurgery, as outlined in Rzesnitzek et al.’s paper “Psychosurgery in the History of Stereotactic Functional Neurosurgery.” We discuss the advances in technology and surgical techniques that have led to the current state of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, and the challenges and ethical considerations involved in this field.

In the second part of the episode, we explore the role of serendipity in driving discovery, inspired by Hariz et al.’s paper “Serendipity and Observations in Functional Neurosurgery: From James Parkinson’s Stroke to Hamani’s & Lozano’s Flashbacks.” We discuss the power of chance observations and unexpected findings in advancing our understanding of the brain and improving patient outcomes. We contrast the serendipitous approach to the more systematic methods of target discovery and debate the strengths and limitations of both approaches.

Overall, our conversation with Drs. Krauss, Hariz, and Moll shed light on the rich history and exciting future of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, and the fascinating interplay between serendipity and scientific discovery.

We hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did and thank you for tuning in!

Five key DBS papers published in 1999:

  • Vandewalle V, van der Linden C, Groenewegen HJ, Caemaert J. Stereotactic treatment of Gilles de la Tourette syndrome by high frequency stimulation of thalamus. Lancet. 1999 Feb 27;353(9154):724. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(98)05964-9.
  • Nuttin B, Cosyns P, Demeulemeester H, Gybels J, Meyerson B. Electrical stimulation in anterior limbs of internal capsules in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorderLancet Lond Engl1999;354(9189):1526. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(99)02376-4
  • Krauss JK, Pohle T, Weber S, Ozdoba C, Burgunder JM. Bilateral stimulation of globus pallidus internus for treatment of cervical dystonia. Lancet. 1999 Sep 4;354(9181):837-8. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(99)80022-1.
  • Coubes P, Echenne B, Roubertie A, Vayssière N, Tuffery S, Humbertclaude V, Cambonie G, Claustres M, Frerebeau P. Traitement de la dystonie généralisée à début précoce par stimulation chronique bilatérale des globus pallidus internes. A propos d’un cas [Treatment of early-onset generalized dystonia by chronic bilateral stimulation of the internal globus pallidus. Apropos of a case]. Neurochirurgie. 1999 May;45(2):139-44. French. PMID: 10448655.
  • Kumar R, Dagher A, Hutchison WD, Lang AE, Lozano AM. Globus pallidus deep brain stimulation for generalized dystonia: clinical and PET investigation. Neurology. 1999 Sep 11;53(4):871-4. doi: 10.1212/wnl.53.4.871.

Important paper about history of the International Society of Psychosurgery and associated Letter to the Editor:

  • Lipsman N, Meyerson BA, Lozano AM. A narrative history of the International Society for Psychiatric Surgery: 1970-1983. Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2012;90(6):347-55. doi: 10.1159/000341082.
  • Hariz MI. Neurosurgeons were indeed promoting evidence-based, ethical, and multidisciplinary psychiatric surgery! Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2013;91(4):270-1. doi: 10.1159/000348322.

Old reference shared with us about DBS phobias post meeting:

Dieckmann DBS Phobias

Archival rejection letter from JNNP directed to Prof. Mundinger:

Joachim Krauss
Marwan Hariz was already a guest in episode #3
Christian Moll was already a guest in episode #1