Assoc Prof Amal Abou-Hamden, MBBS, B.Med.Sc.(Hons) FRACS  image

Assoc Prof Amal Abou-Hamden, MBBS, B.Med.Sc.(Hons) FRACS

Neurosurgeon, Royal Adelaide Hospital, University of Adelaide, Wakefield Hospital, NRF Chair of Neurosurgical Research 2003 Student

Current positions:

  • Principal Supervisor: Neurovascular Surgery Fellowship Program, Royal Adelaide Hospital
  • Clinical Senior Associate Professor, University of Adelaide
  • Senior Visiting Specialist, Wakefield Hospital
  • Senior Staff Specialist, Royal Adelaide Hospital; Women's and Children's Hospital
  • PhD scholar, Department of Surgery (Neurosurgery), University of Adelaide


  • Winner of the Tyco Health Care Award for best scientific presentation at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons- S.A & N.T. Annual Scientific Meeting 2003
  • The Surgeon-Scientist Scholarship by Royal Australasian College of Surgeons 2003
  • The De Puy and Spine Society Fellowship 2002
  • The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Medical Postgraduate Scholarship 2001-2003
  • Research in the Neurosurgery Department: 2001 - 2003
  • Developed model of post-traumatic syringomyelia in sheep
Why neurosurgery?
"Neurosurgery is a career that allows me to combine my passion for teaching, research and surgical and clinical skills in this most stupendous field of medicine."


"Syringomyelia is a condition which complicates more than a quarter of all cases of spinal cord injuries. Utilising this to study effects of scarring (spinal arachnoiditis) which occurs following spinal cord injury, on spinal fluid pressures, compliance and pathways of fluid flow through the spinal cord.

As current treatments for syringomyelia remain unsatisfactory in the long-term, the understanding of these changes in spinal fluid dynamics, which occur following spinal cord trauma, is an important step towards developing more effective and safer treatments for this disabling condition."

Current NRF-funded projects include:

Paediatric Research (2017)

Continue to collect clinical data on all children with neurosurgical conditions admitted to Department of Neurosurgery at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital over the past 6 years. We have conducted research to develop and validate simple and objective tools to assess children with neurosurgical disorders. This work will enhance our ability to care for these children by looking at treatment outcomes and will be able to assist with clinical trials in paediatric neurosurgery to advance knowledge, and to improve outcomes of neurosurgical treatment in children. Additionally, we will continue an observational study aimed to evaluate the natural history of TBI in children, as well as the association between patients’ helmet use and the risk of head injury using the data for the years 2012 to 2017, from our prospectively collected Neurosurgery Database. Children, aged 0 – 17 years, managed at the Department of Neurosurgery for head injuries represent a unique source of information on important directions for injury prevention efforts.

Paediatric Research (2012 - 2016)

The Paediatric Research is aimed at ensuring that the best possible outcomes are achieved for children with neurosurgical conditions in South Australia. Setting up a database of all children with surgical diseases of the brain and spinal cord, we are leading the nation in improving quality of care for children with these conditions. The outcomes of treatment are assessed objectively using clinically valid and reliable clinical outcome scores in a prospective manner and are analysed regularly.This allows early identification of patterns and trends of treatment outcomes and can be acted upon promptly should any change be required. By presenting our results at Australian meetings, we aim to encourage other units around the country to follow. This will allow further collaborations at national as well as international levels.


For a full list of Dr Abou-Hamden's publications, please visit her ResearchGate page.

Gragnaniello C, Abou-Hamden A, Mortini P, Colombo E, Bailo M, Seex K, Litvack Z. Caputy A, Gagliardi F (2016). Complex Spine Pathology Simulator: An Innovative Tool for Advanced Spine Surgery Training. Journal of Neurological Surgery, 77(6). 515-522

Tsimiklis C, Gragnaniello C, Abou-Hamden A (2014). Venous sinus thrombosis secondary to tuberculous meningitis: A novel cause of trigeminal neuralgia. BMJ Case Reports 2014.

Radovanovic I, Abou-Hamden A, Bacigaluppi S, Tymianski M (2014). A safety, length of stay, and cost analysis of minimally invasive microsurgery for anterior circulation aneurysms. Acta Neurochirurgica, 156(3).

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