MQ Health - Macquarie University

Neurosurgery and neurovascular simulations

MQ Health researchers within Macquarie Neurosurgery are conducting leading research to improve the surgical treatments for conditions such as syringomyelia (a fluid-filled cavity within the spinal cord, which arises in a number of diseases and conditions), cerebral aneurysms (bulges or pouches on arteries in the brain, which can rupture and cause stroke or death), and arteriovenous malformations (where arteries and veins in the brain connect directly without the usual capillary bed, again risking rupture and neurological problems).

An important part of this work involves understanding the physiological origins and behaviour of these conditions, in order to develop treatments that deliver best outcomes for patients. For example, researchers are exploring non-invasive pathways to remove arteriovenous malformations, such as by use of ‘gamma knife’ therapy combined with pharmaceuticals. Likewise, they are developing simulation software that can predict the chance of aneurysm rupture and determine the most effective surgical intervention, when surgery is required.