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Dr. McKhann’s Patient Rosanne Cash Tells her Story to ‘Neurology Now’

Rosanne Cash

Rosanne Cash, Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter and daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, is featured in a cover story in Neurology Now, the American Academy of Neurology’s magazine. Ms. Cash is a patient of Dr. Guy McKhann, neurosurgeon and Columbia University Florence Irving Associate Professor of Neurological Surgery, and he was also interviewed for the piece.

The story, entitled 10-Year Ache: Singer Rosanne Cash on living with Chiari I malformation and syringomyelia, details her struggle with headaches and her ultimate diagnosis and treatment.

Chiari I Malformation (CM) is a bony malformation at the opening of the base of the skull that can cause increased pressure on the lower part of the brain and the upper spine/spinal cord.  Syringomyelia, also called a ‘syrinx’, is a pocket of fluid-build-up within the spinal cord that is often seen in patients with CM. In patients with a symptomatic syrnx or with debilitating pain and local pressure due to their Chiari I malformation, the treatment is surgical. The surgery aims to lessen pressure on the brain and spinal cord by removing bone from the back of the skull and upper spine, creating more room for the base of the brain and spinal fluid. Dr. McKhann treated Ms. Cash in 2007 and told Neurology Now, “When I performed Rosanne’s surgery, I could see very clearly how much compression there had been.”

Dr. Guy McKhann

Ms. Cash told the magazine how well she is doing now and said, “I have nothing but the utmost respect for the people who fix brains.”

Read the full story in the 2012 June-July issue of Neurology Now or read Rosanne Cash’s full story online here: 10-Year Ache: Singer Rosanne Cash on living with Chiari I malformation and syringomyelia.

patient journey

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