Clinical Interests: Epilepsy, Trigeminal neuralgia, Parkinson Disease, and Brain tumors.
Dr. Eskandar specializes in the surgical diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy in both children and adults. He is a world-leader in this field, and has over 15 years of experience in utilizing the most current techniques. These techniques include keyhole surgery (minimal incision), stereotactic electro-encephalography (SEEG), minimally invasive foramen-ovale electrodes, vagal nerve stimulation, responsive neuro-stimulation (RNS or Neuropace), and laser ablation of epileptic areas.
In addition, Dr. Eskandar is an expert in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia, an extremely painful condition affecting the face. He has vast experience in all the major therapeutic treatment modalities including micro-vascular decompression, percutaneous rhizotomy, and radiosurgery. He can provide comprehensive medical and surgical care for this debilitating condition.
Dr. Eskandar has vast experience in using deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of Parkinson Disease, Dystonia, Essential Tremor, and severe Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. He employs different methods for surgery including awake-surgery with micro-electrode recordings, frameless surgery, and surgery under anesthesia using real-time imaging.
Finally, Dr. Eskandar treats all types of brain tumors including meningiomas, gliomas, low grade tumors, and metastatic brain tumors. He specializes in the use of advanced brain-imaging and brain-mapping techniques to minimize the risk of injury and to maximize tumor resection. Dr. Eskandar is a pioneer in brain mapping and has published many seminal papers on this topic.
Dr. Eskandar also heads an active basic research laboratory investigating the Basal Ganglia, a group of centrally located nuclei in the brain. The Basal Ganglia play a central role in theories of learning, motivation, depression and drug addiction. His group uses microelectrode and electrochemical recordings to evaluate the role of the basal ganglia in both primates and humans performing complex behavioral tasks. The group also uses electrical stimulation to directly modulate neuronal activity during complex behaviors. This is a unique approach in that ideas from the laboratory can quickly be tested in the clinical arena and vice-versa. In addition, his group is actively working to develop the next generation of brain stimulators that will be MRI safe, use more intelligent technological interfaces and employ the latest innovations in miniaturization and battery technology.
The Eskandar lab has made numerous important scientific contributions. For example, one recent study, published in Nature, found that a part of the brain called the Cingulate Cortex plays an important role in adapting to varying degrees of cognitive difficulty. Another recent paper in Nature Neuroscience, found that delivering micro-stimulation in one part of the basal ganglia, the caudate nucleus, significantly increases the rate of learning beyond baseline rates. These findings suggest that the caudate plays a critical role in learning, and that learning can be enhanced to promote recovery after traumatic brain injury or stroke.
Dr. Eskandar received a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry from the University of Nebraska. He earned a medical degree at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and a master of business administration degree at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a neurological surgery resident at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA, and a neurophysiology fellow at Harvard Medical School. He previously, held the Charles Anthony Pappas endowed chair of Neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School where he also served as Professor of Neurosciences.
Dr. Eskandar is board-certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery. He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the American Academy of Neurological Surgeons. He is the current President of the American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery.