Cameron Smith, M.D., Teams Up with Neurology on New NIH Grant

Cameron Smith

A multidisciplinary team of experts from anesthesiology and acute pain and perioperative medicine, neurology, neurocritical care and neurosurgery at the University of Florida has been awarded a $12.9 million National Institutes of Health grant to test a novel way to relieve pain from headaches stemming from a burst brain aneurysm.

The UF Health team will lead a 12-site national clinical trial this fall to test a nerve block procedure as an alternative to opioid medications to treat severe headaches caused by subarachnoid hemorrhage, a type of bleeding that irritates the lining of the brain after an aneurysm ruptures. 

Cameron R. Smith, M.D., Ph.D., an acute pain medicine anesthesiologist who first started performing the pterygopalatine fossa block procedure in 2016 in infants, for painful cleft palate repair surgeries, has teamed up with Katharina M. Busl, M.D., M.S., a UF Health neurointensivist, chief of the division of neurocritical care and the trial’s lead principal investigator; Carolina B. Maciel, M.D., MSCR, a neurointensivist; and Brian Hoh, M.D., M.B.A., chair of neurosurgery.

Since 2016, Smith has begun performing the procedure for other conditions, including sinus surgeries, tonsillectomies and headache disorders, including migraines.

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