Alexander M. Papanastassiou, M.D.
Alexander M. Papanastassiou, MD, is an associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. His areas of expertise are general neurosurgery and surgery for epilepsy, trigeminal neuralgia, and movement disorders including Parkinson’s disease. The primary focus of Dr. Papanastassiou’s clinical work is surgery for medically intractable epilepsy, movement disorders, and trigeminal neuralgia. He has expertise in resective surgery, radiosurgery, and neuromodulation, including deep brain stimulation and microvascular decompression. A multi-disciplinary approach is used, benefitting from advanced techniques in microneurosurgery, brain mapping, image-guided neurosurgery, and minimally invasive neurosurgery. Dr. Papanastassiou is also active in developing novel applicationas for neuromodulation.
His research is aimed at advancing our understanding of brain function using neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and functional neuroimaging to maximize neuropsychological outcomes in patients with neurological illnesses.
Dr. Papanastassiou is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and the American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. He is also an active member of the American Epilepsy Society and the Movement Disorders Society.
Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT
Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
Harvard Medical School, Brigham andWomen's Hospital & Children's Hospital, Boston, MA
- Issa EB, Papanastassiou AM, DiCarlo JJ. Large-scale, high-resolution neurophysiological maps underlying FMRI of macaque temporal lobe. 2013 Sep. p. 15207-15219. (J Neurosci; vol. 33, no. 38).
- Jetter GM, Birnbaum LA, Ntsoane E, Cavazos JE, Karkar K, Morgan L, Caron JL, Papanastassiou AM, Szabo CA. Fetal PCAs in Medically Refractory Partial Epilepsies 2011. p. 190-191. (Epilepsy Currents; vol. 12, no. S1).
- Epilepsy Surgery – My expertise involves the pre-surgical evaluation and operative treatment of patients with medically refractory epilepsy. This includes intracranial electrode implantations for seizure localization and functional mapping. Treatment procedures include resections, hemispherectomies and other disconnection procedures, cerebral stimulation, and vagal nerve stimulation. My research expertise involves clinical research on surgical evaluation, techniques, and outcomes.
- Functional Neurosurgery – My expertise involves the pre-surgical evaluation and operative treatment of patients with medically refractory movement disorders including Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, and dystonia. My research expertise involves clinical research on surgical evaluation, techniques, and outcomes.
- Neuro-oncology – My expertise involves functional mapping for brain tumors in functional cortex, and intracranial monitoring for seizure localization in patients with brain tumors.
- Spine surgery – My expertise includes minimally invasive spine surgery including laminectomies and microdiscectomies through tubular access, principally for degenerative spine disease, as well as complex spine surgery with instrumentation in the setting of traumatic spine injuries.
Awards & Accomplishments
San Antonio Doctors Best of 2014: San Antonio Doctors Best of 2014 – UT Medicine San Antonio
San Antonio Doctors Best of 2013: San Antonio Doctors Best of 2013 – UT Medicine San Antonio
San Antonio Doctors Best of 2012: San Antonio Doctors Best of 2012 – UT Medicine San Antonio
UCSF, M.D. with Thesis
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Medical Student Research Fellowship: Howard Hughes Medical Institute Medical Student Research Training Fellowship
French Foundation for Medical Research, Research Award
B.A.S. with Distinction and Departmental Honors in Biological Sciences
Phi Beta Kappa
David Starr Jordan Scholar: Stanford University
Papanastassiou AM, Garvin RE, Hafeez S, Seifi A, Henry JM, Leary LD, Morgan LC, Szabo CA. Adult-onset EPC associated with Cortical Dysplasia and Peripheral ACH Receptor Antibodies Acutely Transforming into Rasmussen‘s Encephalitis 2017 Dec. (2017 American Epilepsy Society Meeting).
Hajjar, Joud, Restrepo, Alejandro, Javeri HA, Wiederhold, Nathan P., Papanastassiou AM, Patterson, Thomas F.. Successful treatment of multiple brain abscesses caused by trichosporin inkin in a patient with X-linked chronic granulomatous disease 2017 Mar. (Clinical Immunology Society Annual Meeting).
Eckmann MS, Papanastassiou AM, Awad, Mark. A Unique Case for Spinal Cord Stimulation: Successful Treatment of Small Fiber Neuropathy Pain Using Multiple Spinal Cord Stimulators Las Vegas, Nevada: 2017 Jan. (North American Neuromodulation Society).
Moise, AM, Leary LD, Morgan LC, Papanastassiou AM, Szabo CA. Case Report: Gelastic Seizures arising from the Parietal Lobe 2016 Apr. p. P6. 36-P6. 36. (Neurology; vol. 86, no. 16Sup).
Dengler B, Sayre NL, Bartanusz V, Jimenez DF, Papanastassiou AM. Bilateral Stimulation of the Amygdala Treats the Anxiety Component of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder by Upregulation of the Neuropeptide Y System 2015 Aug. p. 207-207. (Neurosurgery; vol. 62, no. CN_su).
Drumm JC, Rodriguez V, Singh V, Papanastassiou AM, Eckmann MS, Quinones MP. Effectiveness of Subanesthesic Doses of the Non-Competitive NMDA antagonist Ketamine in a Case of Severe Treatment-Refractory Anorexia Nervosa (TrAN): Concurrent Use with Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) 2014 May. p. 389S-389S. (Biological Psychiatry; vol. 75, no. 9).
Moise AM, Morgan LC, Leary LD, Karkar KM, Lie OV, Jordan, J, Cavazos JE, Caron J, Papanastassiou AM, Szabo CA. Surgical Outcome of Parietal Lobe Epilepsy 2014 AAN Meeting 2014 Apr. (2014 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting).
Issa EB, Papanastassiou AM, DiCarlo JJ. Large-scale, high-resolution neurophysiological maps underlying FMRI of macaque temporal lobe. 2013 Sep. p. 15207-15219. (J Neurosci; vol. 33, no. 38).
Jetter GM, Birnbaum LA, Ntsoane E, Cavazos JE, Karkar K, Morgan L, Caron JL, Papanastassiou AM, Szabo CA. Fetal PCAs in Medically Refractory Partial Epilepsies 2011 Dec. (Abstract No 2.162, 2011, American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting, www.aesnet.org).
Papanastassiou A.M., Issa F.,Op de Becck H.O., DiCarlo J.J.. A systematic exploration of the relationship of MRI signals and neuronal activity in the primate temporal lobe. 2008. (Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.,).
Papanastassiou AM., Vives K.P. and Spencer. D.D.. Temporal lobectomy for mesial temporal sclerosis In: Papanastassiou AM., Vives K.P. and Spencer. D.D.. The Evidence for Neurosurgery. 2012.
Papanastassiou AM; Vives K.P., and Spencer, D.D.. Anteromedial Temporal Lobe Resection In: Papanastassiou AM; Vives K.P., and Spencer, D.D.. Core Techniques in Operative Neurosurgery. 2011.
Papanastassiou A.M., and Madsen J.R.. Epilepsy surgery In: In Clinical Neuroscience for Primary Care. (Legido A. and Piatt J.H., Eds.); 2010.
Kothare, S.V., Khurana, D.S., Madsen, J. R. and Papanastassiou A.M.. Epilepsy Surgery In: Kothare, S.V., Khurana, D.S., Madsen, J. R. and Papanastassiou A.M.. Clinical Neurosciences for Primary Care. 2009.
Papanastassiou A.M., Friedlander R.M. Operative management of anterior fossa, superior sagittal sinus, and convexity dural arteriovenous malformations. In: Neurosurgical Operative Atlas, 2E Vascular Neurosurgery. New York: Thieme: (R.L. Macdonald ed.); 2008. p. 221 – 226.
Papanastassiou A.M., Nockels R.P.,Manley G.T.. Spinal Cord Injury In: McGraw-Hill/Appleton & Lange. In Current Surgical Diagnosis and Treatment. New York: (L.W. Way and G.M. Doherty, eds.); 2002. p. 908 – 913.
Papanastassiou AM, Eckmann MS, Awad, Mark. A Unique Case for Spinal Cord Stimulation: Successful Treatment of Small Fiber Neuropathy Pain Using Multiple Spinal Cord Stimulators Case Reports in Medicine 2017 Jul;2017
Papanastassiou AM, Hajjar, J, Restrepo, A, Javeri HA, Wiederhold NP, Patterson TF. Multiple Brain Abscesses Caused by Trichosporon inkin in a Patient with X-Linked Chronic Granulomatous Disease (CGD) Successfully Treated with Antifungal Therapy Journal of Clinical Immunology 2017 Jul
Moise AM, Leary L, Morgan LC, Papanastassiou AM, Szabo C.. Ictal laughter and crying: Should they be classified as automatisms? Epilepsy Behav Case Rep. 2016 Dec;8(7):31-33.
McGinity M, Andrade N, Karkar K, Caron JL, Szabó C, Papanastassiou A. Functional hemispherectomy for refractory status epilepticus in two adults. World Neurosurgery 2016 Sep;93:e11-e16.
Lie OV, Papanastassiou AM, Cavazos JE, Szabo CA. Influence of intracranial electrode density and spatial configuration on interictal spike localization: a case study J Clin Neurophysiol 2015 Oct;32(5):e30-e40.
Mehta A, Papanastassiou AM, Dunn IF, Aliabadi HR, Smith ER. Redefining the seat belt syndrome–neurological injuries resulting from flexion-distraction injury of the spine: case illustration and review of the literature J Surg Radiol 2015 Apr;2(4):1-5.
Mukundan L,Lie OV, Leary LD, Papanastassiou AM, Morgan LC, Szabo CA. Subdural Electrode Recording of Generalized Photoepileptic Responses Epilepsy Behav Case Rep. 2014 Dec;3:4-7.
Joshi A, Papanastassiou A, Vives KP, Spencer DD, Staib LH, Papademetris X, Papanastassiou AM. Light-Sensitive Visualization of Multimodal Data for Neurosurgical Applications. Proc IEEE Int Symp Biomed Imaging 2010 Jun;2010(14-17):884-887.
Agam Y, Liu H, Papanastassiou A, Buia C, Golby AJ, Madsen JR, Kreiman G, Papanastassiou AM. Robust selectivity to two-object images in human visual cortex. Curr Biol 2010 May;20(9):872-879.
Papanastassiou A.M., Cox D.D., Oreper D., Andken B.B., DiCarlo J.J.. High-resolution three-dimensional microelectrode brain mapping using stereo microfocal X-ray imaging. J Neurophysiol 2008 Nov;100(5):2966-76.
Op de Beeck H.O.,DiCarlo J.J., Goense J.B.M., Grill-Spector K.,Papanastassiou A.M.,Tanifuji M.,Tsao D.Y.. Fine-Scale Spatial Organization of Face and Object Selectivity in the Temporal Lobe: Do Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Optical Imaging, and Electrophysiology Agree? J. Neurosci. 2008 Nov;28:11796-11801.
Papanastassiou A.M., Schwartz R.B., Friedlander R.F.. Chiari I Malformation as a cause of trigeminal neuralgia Neurosurgery 2008 Sep;63(3):E614-5-E615.
Dunn I.F., Agarwalla P.K.,Papanastassiou A.M., Butler W.E.,Smith E.R.. Multiple pilocytic astrocytomas of the cerebellum in a 17-year-old patient with Neurofibromatosis type I. Child Nerv Syst. 2007 Oct;23(10):1191-4
Josephson S.A.,Papanastassiou A.M.,Berger M.S., Miller B.L.,Geschwind M.D.. The clinical spectrum and diagnostic utility of brain biopsy in patients with rapidly progressive neurologic conditions or dementia. J Neurosurg 2007 Jan;106(1):72-5
Papanastassiou A.M.,Fields H.L., Meng L.D.. Local application of the cannabinoid receptor agonist,WIN 55,212-2, to spinal trigeminal nucleus caudalis differentially affects nociceptive and non-nociceptive neurons. Pain 2004 Feb;107(3):267-75