The first neurosurgical interventions in the clinics of the Catholic University of Louvain were realized before the forties of this century. This step was initiated by professor John Morelle who had accomplished a training stage with Harvey Cushing in USA.
The institute of Neurology Louvaniste was created in 1952. At that era albert Dereymaeker (1916-1988) was stated as the first genuine neurosurgeon of our university. It was replaced in 1965 by the professor G. Stroobandt; the head of the Unit of Neurosurgery. This unit was considered as a part of the Neuropsychiatry department and associated pathologies.
In 1996, Professor Raftopoulos has created the Department of Neurosurgery. He has increased the departmnet's activity of more than 300%. Approximately, 1000 interventions are performed per year. Furthermore, the department was endowed with technologies that paralelly allowed the developing of several surgical fields. Hereby a general idea:
1996: The introdcution of the neuronavigation system (MKM-Zeiss). The initiation of the DBS group of St-Luc hospital and the beginning of the collaboration with the laboratory of neural rehabilitation.
1997: The development of the Sterotactic Functional Neurosurgery.
1998: The introduction of the spinal neuronavigation, establishment of a new type of electrode around the optic nerve in a blind patient, and a clinical experimental research at an international level of new agent facilitating the penetration of the cytotoxics at the level of the blood-brain barrier.
1999: The introduction of new software of stereotaxy useful for Deep Brain Stimulation as well for the development of brain endoscopic surgery.
2000: The management of medically intractable pain by cortical electrostimulation.
2001: The initiation of worldly unequalled intraoperative MRI
project, the development of doppler per-operative (in the microsurgery of the
aneurysms and intracranial anastomoses), radiotherapy, neuronal cell recording
in the surgery of Parkinson's disease and abnormal movements.