Following the recent stories regarding noted Game of Thrones Actress, Emilia Clarke, there has been much interest in cerebral aneurysms–what they are, what they do, and how you take care of them.

With cerebral aneurysms, the heart pumps blood under high pressure to the brain via arteries. As the arteries enter the spaces in the brain, the arteries branch into progressively smaller arteries like a tree, with microscopic vessels ultimately feeding the brain. When the arteries first enter the skull, they travel in a fluid-filled cleft called the subarachnoid space. Aneurysms are balloon-like outpouchings that occur typically at the branch…


Due to the tragic events of this past weekend, the death of a high school athlete and a severe brain injury of a college athlete, I feel it’s important to stress the importance of traumatic brain injuries around contact sports.

In one instance, a 16-year-old high school student playing linebacker was apparently involved in a severe collision. Following the collision, he returned to play. Shortly after he experienced numbness on one side of his body and then collapsed. …


When in clinic, I often see patients with “Chiari malformation.” What is it? What do we do about it? I will try my best to explain in a way that is accessible to my non-neurosurgeon friends.

There are two major types of Chiari malformation: Chiari I and Chiari II. These two structural brain abnormalities really are unrelated, except in name. Chiari II malformation is always paired with myelomeningocele, or what is more commonly known as “spina bifida,” and is almost always diagnosed at or prior to birth. …


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released new pediatric traumatic brain guidelines. Below, please find my fine-tuned list, as well as important recommendations and comments on how adults may differ.

Please note, the five key practice-changing recommendations for treating children with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) were originally published by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2018/p0904-tbi-guidelines.html

1. Do not routinely image pediatric patients to diagnose mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI).

CT scans entail exposing young brains to ionizing radiation. …


Dr. Charles L. Rosen, Neurosurgeon of Morgantown, WV, discusses head injuries in children.

Anybody who’s raised a child has watched their child get hurt, unfortunately, playing sports or playing around outside and the big issue is always deciphering when you need to get help and when you can take care of it yourself. The way we can think about that is the levels at which people get hurt, children in particular. The most common thing, and the least important is to just get a cut–what the physicians will call a laceration of the scalp. Kids will bang their head…


Playing in summertime, obviously, something that all of us enjoy or most of us enjoy is the pool and the thing that I’m super concerned about that I really focus on is the catastrophic spinal cord injuries we see–and this typically happens from one or two things. Either somebody is jumping headfirst into something like the lake and they strike a rock thinking that the water’s deeper than it is and there’s a rock or some other underwater obstruction, maybe a tree that fell into the water recently and lodged there that wasn’t there last month, and you strike…


Dr. Charles L. Rosen, Neurosurgeon of Morgantown, WV, explains epidural hematomas in children.

I do like to talk about one instance, or actually two instances, the same problem that I’ve seen twice in my career and that’s something that you can see in kids in particular called a Talk and Die Hematoma. What happens in the Talk and Die Hematoma, you get a skull fracture and when the skull fracture occurs, a blood vessel gets torn, but the skull fracture is in a very thin part of the skull and an area where sometimes the child does recover quick…


At one point in time, almost every single person has experienced a headache, and, as Arnold said, “It’s not a brain tumor.”

Most people, as a consequence of stress, diet, lack of rest, tobacco, alcohol, etc., will experience a headache or three. Simple solutions like rest, a good diet, and exercise, with careful use of headache medicines like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin can be very successful.

So, how do you know when a headache isn’t just a headache?

Some symptoms to look for that may intimate that a brain tumor could be to blame are a “no-brainer.”

Brain tumor symptoms…

Dr. Charles Rosen

Dr. Charles Rosen most recently served as Department Chair of Neurological Surgery at West Virginia University (WVU) School of Medicine from 2012 through 2017.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store