Irving S. Cooper (1922-1985): a pioneer in functional neurosurgery

Update item information
Publication Type Journal Article
School or College School of Medicine
Department Neurosurgery
Creator Couldwell, William T.
Other Author Das, Kaushik; Benzil, Deborah L.; Rovit, Richard L.; Murali, Raj
Title Irving S. Cooper (1922-1985): a pioneer in functional neurosurgery
Date 1998
Description Irving S. Cooper (1922-1985), the son of a salesman, worked his way through high school, college, and medical school to become one of the pioneers in functional neurosurgery. He developed several novel techniques for the surgical management of Parkinson's disease and other crippling movement disorders. A keen interest in the physiology of movement disorders was kindled by his doctoral research and continued during his neurosurgical training. He began to apply this knowledge to surgical practice in 1952 when he began his faculty career as Assistant Professor of Surgery at New York University. At the time, surgical treatment of parkinsonian tremor focused on various techniques used to interrupt the pyramidal tract. During a subtemporal approach for a cerebral pedunculotomy, he inadvertently injured and, subsequently, was forced to occlude the anterior choroidal artery. Much to Cooper's surprise, following emergence from anesthesia the patient's tremor and rigidity were abolished without any residual hemiparesis. This serendipitous observation, together with Meyer's earlier work on the role of the basal ganglia in motor control, helped focus surgical efforts on targets within the basal ganglia and, subsequently, within the thalamus to alleviate the movement disorders associated with Parkinson's disease. While at New York University, Cooper developed chemopallidectomy and, later at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx (1954-1977), he used cryothalamectomy as a surgical technique for primary control of tremor in patients with Parkinson's disease. Cooper authored many original papers on surgical techniques and several textbooks on the lives of patients afflicted with Parkinson's disease and other crippling movement disorders. Although considered controversial, this fascinating and complex neurosurgeon made significant contributions to this field.
Type Text
Publisher American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)
Volume 89
Issue 5
First Page 865
Last Page 873
Subject Functional neurosurgery; Cryosurgery; Dystonia; Movement disorder; Parkinson's disease; Thalamotomy; Tremor; Neurosurgical history
Subject LCSH Cooper, I. S. (Irving Spencer), 1922- ; Neurosurgeons - Biography; Nervous system -- Surgery -- History; Movement disorders -- Surgery
Language eng
Bibliographic Citation Das, K., Benzil, D. L., Rovit, R. L., Murali, R., & Couldwell, W. T. (1998). Irving S. Cooper (1922-1985): a pioneer in functional neurosurgery. Journal of Neurosurgery, 89(5), 865-73.
Rights Management (c) American Association of Neurological Surgeons
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 1,424,770 bytes
Identifier ir-main,12568
ARK ark:/87278/s6g16hxs
Setname ir_uspace
Date Created 2012-06-13
Date Modified 2012-06-13
ID 702822
Reference URL
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