Jason Huang, M.D., an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the UR Medical Center, presented at the annual meeting of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, which was held in Orlando, Fla. this week. Huang spoke about his experiences in Iraq over the past year, where he went as a major in the U.S. Army Reserve.

The presentation focused mainly on blast injuries something Huang saw a lot of in both soldiers and civilians.

‘What we’re seeing in Iraq is different even from injuries suffered by soldiers in previous wars,” Huang said.

Huang found that soldiers with blast injuries were often worse off than their Computed Tomography (CT) scans indicated. He began to take more intensive surgical measures, such as performing larger-than-usual craniectomies, where a piece of the skull is removed temporarily to allow the injured brain to swell.

In his presentation, Huang discussed how a major contributing factor to his patients’ recoveries was the approach to therapy.

‘Sometimes, aggressive therapies can be critical for patients who previously might have been assumed to have very poor outcomes,” Huang said.

Huang is continuing his studies of brain injuries in his laboratory at URMC, where he is also a researcher in the Center for Neural Disease and Development. He hopes he can apply what he learned in Iraq to help those in Rochester.

Schneier is a member of the class of 2011.

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