Neurosurgery (or neurological surgery) is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of disorders which affect any portion of the nervous system including the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and extra-cranial cerebrovascular system.
Neurosurgery, or the premeditated incision of ones head for pain relief, has been around for thousands of years. But, notable advancements in neurosurgery have only came within the last hundred years
Around 7000 years ago the beginning stages of neurosurgery were starting to develop. A procedure known as trepanation, or burrowing, was used to cure people of an "affliction", where cutting and removing sections of the skull would relieve intracranial pressure. The reasons to initiate such a procedure are up to debate and vary among the different cultures who practiced. The procedure is still practiced today in parts of Africa, South America, and Melanesia
The main advancements in neurosurgery came about as a result of highly crafted tools. Modern neurosurgical tools, or instruments, include chisels, curettes, dissectors, distractors, elevators, forcepts, hooks, impactors, probes, suction tubes, power tools, and robots. Most of these modern tools, like chisels, elevators, forcepts, hooks, impactors, and probes, have been in medical practice for a relatively long time. The main difference of these tools, pre and post advancement in neurosurgery, were the precision in which they were crafted. These tools are crafted with edges that are within a millimeter of desired accuracy. Other tools such as hand held power saws and robots have only recently been commonly used inside of a neurological operating room.
Neuropathology is a specialty within the study of pathology focused on the disease of the brain, spinal cord, and neural tissue. This includes the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. Tissue analysis comes from either surgical biopsies or post mortem autopsies. Common tissue samples include muscle fibers and nervous tissue. Common applications of neuropathology include studying samples of tissue in patients who have Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Dementia, Huntington's disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Mitochondria Disease, and any disorder that has neural deterioration in the brain or spinal cord.