Mark R. McLaughlin, MD's portrait
Mark R. McLaughlin, MD
Princeton Brain, Spine & Sports Medicine
Princeton, NJ
Dr. McLaughlin is a member of the SpineUniverse Editorial Board.

About Mark R. McLaughlin, MD

Dr. Mark McLaughlin is a board-certified neurosurgeon and founder of Princeton Brain, Spine and Sports Medicine in Princeton, NJ and specializes in trigeminal neuralgia and cervical spine surgery. He was named a Castle Connolly Top Doctor for the last 10 consecutive years and is a NJ Monthly Top Doc. Dr. McLaughlin is also a thought leader in performance enhancement and physician hospital relations.

He received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. He went on to receive his medical degree at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond with Alpha Omega Alpha honors–the equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa—and pursued his residency at the University of Pittsburgh under the tutelage of world-renowned neurosurgeon Peter Jannetta, considered the father of modern neurosurgery. Dr. McLaughlin also completed a fellowship in complex spine surgery at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.

Dr. McLaughlin has published over 100 articles on neurosurgery in peer reviewed journals, a textbook on cervical spine surgery, edited a textbook on lumbar spine surgery, and is an internationally known speaker in his field. He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS).

His interests extend beyond medicine and speaking engagements. A former National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I wrestler, Dr. McLaughlin was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2016. He remains active in the wrestling world and is in his 17th year coaching with the Princeton Wrestling Club. He coaches youth wrestling and co-founded and funded Trenton Youth Wrestling, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing inner-city boys and girls with skills gained through wrestling and working with mentors.

He also has a special interest in educating and assisting in the training of United States Military Academy cadets. In his father’s honor, he endowed the Annual Albert C. Wedemeyer Strategic Leadership lecture series designed in collaboration with the Modern War Institute to foster the interests of America’s future military leadership. Dr. McLaughlin delivers annual lectures on elite performance at the United States Military Academy and recently spoke to the leadership of the 10th Special Forces Unit at Fort Carson, CO. He has been a visiting speaker at University of Notre Dame, Virginia Commonwealth University, and University of Buffalo.

Dr. McLaughlin’s commentary regularly appears in Business Insider where he is a contributing author. His performance enhancement, medical interviews, and original pieces have appeared in magazines and on websites including Entrepreneur, Reader’s Digest, MSN, Costco, Thrive Global, KevinMD, Becker’s Spine Review, and the NCAA. He has been chosen to give keynote addresses that focus on coaching, traumatic brain injury, antidotes to aging, personal development, and youth coaching.

He has organized an international consultative link with Russian neurosurgeons with collaboration from the World Federation of Neurological Surgeons. He initiated the first-ever Russian-American Spine Symposium in May 2000, in St. Petersburg, Russia.


Peer Reviewed Publications

1. Grady S, McLaughlin MR, Christman C, Valadka A, Flinger C, Povlishock T: The Use of Antibodies Targeted Against the Neurofilament Subunits for the Detection of Diffuse Axonal Injury in Humans. J of Neuropath and Exp Neurol 52(2):143-152, 1995.

2. Kondziolka D, McLaughlin MR, Kestle JRW: Simple Risk Predictions for Arteriovenous Malformation Hemorrhage. Neurosurgery 37:5, 851-855, 1995.

3. McLaughlin MR, Jho HD, Kwon Y. Acute Subdural Hematoma Caused by a Ruptured Giant Intracavernous Aneurysm. Neurosurgery 38:2: 388-392, 1995.

4. McLaughlin MR, Pizzi FJ. Sympathy Pains in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. ACTA Neurochirurgica 138: 1094-1098, 1996.

5. McLaughlin MR, Marion DM. Cerebral blood flow and vasoresponsivity within and around contusions. J Neurosurg 85:871-876, 1996.

6. Jho HD, Carrau RL, McLaughlin MR, Somaza S. Endoscopic Transsphenoidal resection of a large chordoma in posterior fossa: Case Study. Neurosurgical Focus 1 (1) Art 3, 1996.

7. McLaughlin MR, Marion DW. The Use of Xenon Cerebral Blood Flow Computed Tomography to Evaluate Perfusion and Vasoresponsivity of Cerebral Contusions. Acta Neurol Scand,165:117, 1993.

8. Resnick DK, McLaughlin MR, Albright AL. Primary endodermal sinus tumor presenting with spinal cord compression. J Neurosurg 86:151-153, 1997.

9. McLaughlin MR, Wahlig JB, Pollack IF. The incidence of postlaminectomy kyphosis after Chiari decompression. Spine 22(6); 613-617, 1997.

10. McLaughlin MR, Purighalla V, Pizzi FJ. Cost advantages of rigid internal fixation for the treatment of cervical radiculopathy. Surg Neurol 48:560-565, 1997.

11. Comey CH, McLaughlin MR, Moossy JJ. Anterior thoracic corpectomy without sternotomy: A strategy for malignant disease of the upper thoracic spine. Acta Neurochir 139:712-718, 1997.

12. McLaughlin MR, Gollin SM, Albright AL. Medulloblastoma and Glioblastoma Multiforme in a Patient with Turcot Syndrome. Surg Neurol 49:295-301, 1998.

13. Jho HD, Carrau RL, McLaughlin MR, Somaza SC. Endoscopic assisted transsphenoidal resection of a large chordoma in posterior fossa. Acta Neurochir 139:343-348, 1997.

14. McLaughlin MR, Wahlig JB, Kaufmann AM, Albright AL. Traumatic basilar aneurysm after endoscopic third venticulostomy: Case Report. Neurosurg 41:1400-1404, 1997.

15. McLaughlin MR, Subach BR, Lunsford LD, Jannetta PJ. The Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh: Past, Present, and Future. Neurosurgery 42:893-898, 1998.

16. Levy EL, Clyde BL, McLaughlin MR, Jannetta PJ: Microvascular decompression of the lateral medulla oblongata for severe refractory neurogenic hypertension. Neurosurgery 43:1-9, 1998.

17. McLaughlin MR, Kondziolka D, Lunsford LD: The prospective natural history of venous malformations. Neurosurgery 43:195-201, 1998.

18. Subach BR, McLaughlin MR, Albright AL, Pollack IP: Current management of pediatric atlanto-axial rotatory subluxation. Spine 23(20) pp, 1998.

19. Comey CH, McLaughlin MR, Jho HD, Lunsford LD, Martinez AJ: Death from a malignant cerebellopontine angle triton tumor despite stereotactic radiosurgery: Case report. J Neurosurg 89:653-658, 1998.

20. McLaughlin MR, Haid R, Comey CH, Rodts G, Erwood S, Smith CD: Laparoscopic Anterior Lumbar interbody fusion: Technique and Preliminary Results. Contemporary Neurosurgery Vol 20 (19) 1998.

21. Wahlig JB, McLaughlin MR, Burke JP, Marion DW: The role of xenon-enhanced computed tomographic in the management of a traumatic cartoid-cavernous fistula: A case report. J Trauma Vol 46 (1) 1998.

22. McLaughlin MR, Clyde BL, Subach BR, Jannetta PJ, Microvascular decompression of cranial nerves: Lessons learned after four thousand four hundred operations: Technical Note. J Neurosurg 90:1-8, 1999.

23. Kondziolka D, Lunsford LD, Flinkenger J, Rutigliano MR, McLaughlin MR: Radiosurgery for acoustic neuromas: Long term outcomes after radiosurgery for acoustic tumors. NEJM 239(20) 1426-1433, 1998.

24. Kondziolka D, Mori Y, Martinez AJ, McLaughlin MR, Flinkinger JC, Lunsford LD: Beneficial effects of the radioprotectant 21-Aminosteroid U-74389G in a radiosurgery rat malignant glioma Model. Int. J. Radiation Oncology Biol. Phys., Vol. 44, 1:179-184, 1999.

Nonscientific Literature Publications:

1. McLaughlin MR, “Russian American Neurosurgery Initiative”, Featured in Parade Magazine.

2. McLaughlin MR, “The Laser Manifesto”. MD News, March 2009.

3. McLaughlin MR, “Voices: Demons in the OR and on the Mat”. Amateur Wrestling News, October 2009.

4. McLaughlin MR, “The Addiction to Managed Care”. (In Press).

Published Abstracts:

1. McLaughlin MR, Grady S, Christman C, Valadka A, Fligner C, Povlishock T. Reactive Axonal Change in Traumatically Brain Injured Man: Pathogenesis and Anatomical Distribution. Congress of Neurological Surgeons. October 1992.

2. McLaughlin MR, Pizzi FJ. Sympathy Pains in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Congress of Neurological Surgeons, October 1994.

3. McLaughlin MR, Marion DW. The Adequacy of Blood Flow within and around Cerebral Contusions. Eight Scientific Assembly of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma. January, 1995.

Invited Chapters:

1. Marion D, Firlik A, McLaughlin MR: Hyperventilation therapy for traumatic brain injury. New Horizons: The Science and Practice of Acute Medicine Vol 3 (4), 1995.

2. Jannetta PJ, McLaughlin MR, Barker FG II, Kalia KK: Microvascular Decompression for Hemifacial Spasm. In May (ed) The Facial Nerve, Thieme Publications, 1996.

3. Jannetta PJ, McLaughlin MR, Microvascular Decompression for Hemifacial Spasm. In Surgical Treatment of Movement Disorders, AANS, Minneapolis, 1997.

4. McLaughlin MR, Jannetta PJ: Microvascular Decompression and Rhizotomy for Trigeminal Neuralgia. In Batjer (ed) Text book of Neurological Surgery 2002.

5. Jannetta PJ, McLaughlin MR: Microvascular Decompression for hemifacial spasm: History, Technique, Results. In Surgery of the Cranial Nerves. Jannetta (ed) Thieme Publications, NY,1998.

6. Haid RW, McLaughlin MR: Neurosurgery of the spine in the Year 2001: A four year review. Clinical Neurosurgery 45, 1998.

7. McLaughlin MR, Jannetta PJ: Microvascular Decompression for treatment of Hemifacial Spasm. In Movement Disorders Surgery. Krauss JK, Jankovic J, Grossman RG, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins Philadelphia, PA 1999.

8. McLaughlin MR, Jho HD, Anterior Cervical Discectomy with and without Fusion. In Textbook of Neuroloigcal Surgery. Batjer HH, Loftus CM, Lippincott-Raven Publishers, Philadelphia, PA 1999.

9. McLaughlin MR, Haid R, Birch B: Threaded Bone Dowels. In lumbar Interbody Fusion Techniques: Cages, Dowels and Grafts. Haid RW, McLaughlin MR, Fessler R, Quality Medical Publishing, St. Louis, MO, 2003.

10. McLaughlin MR, Tang G, Modic M, Rauchning W: Pathophysiology of Degenerative Disc Disease. In Haid RW, McLaughlin MR, Fessler R, Quality Medical Publishing, St. Louis, MO, 2003.

11. McLaughlin MR, Haid RW, Rodts GE, Subach BR: Overview of Frameless Stereotactic Techniques for Lumbar Spine Surgery. In: Seminars in Neurological Surgery, Paramore (ed) 11(2):165-176, 2000.

12. McLaughlin MR, Haid RW, Rodts GE, Miller JS: The Current Role of Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion in Lumbar Spine Disorders. In: Seminars in Neurological Surgery, Paramore (ed).11(2):221-229, 2000.

13. McLaughlin MR, Haid RW, Rodts GE, Subach BR: Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion: Indications, Technique, and Results. In (Howard, ed.) Clinical Neurosurgery. Vol. 47, Baltimore, Williams and Wilkins, 2000, pp 514-527.

14. Rodts GE, McLaughlin MR, Haid RW: Laparoscopic Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion. Clinical Neurosurgery 2000.

15. Barnes B, McLaughlin MR, Rodts G, Haid RW: PLIF and Impacted PLIF. In (Resnick, Haid, ed) Surgical Management of Low Back Pain, AANS, Rolling Meadows, IL, 2001.

16. McLaughlin, MR, Bartolomei J: Overview of Spinal Navigation in Progress of Neurological Surgery, eds. Haid, Subach, Rodts, Basel, Karger, 16(1-13), 2003.

Video Productions:

1. McLaughlin MR, Haid RW: Long segment posterior cervical fusion. CNS, San Antonio, 2000.

2. McLaughlin MR, Haid RW: Occipital Cervical Fusion. CNS, San Antonio, 2000.

3. McLaughlin MR, Haid RW, Comey CH: C1-C2 transarticular screw fixation, SpineUniverse, 2000.

4. McLaughlin MR: Keeping the Competitive Edge, Northwestern Mutual Life, March 12, 2011.


1. McLaughlin MR, Haid RW, Rodts GE: Atlas of Cervical Spine Surgery, Elsevier, Philadelphia, 2005.

2. Haid RW, McLaughlin MR, Fessler(eds.): Lumbar Interbody Fusion, Quality Medical Publishing, St Louis, 2003.

3. McLaughlin MR, Outthinking Fear: A Neurosurgeon’s Secrets for Making Life’s Hard Decisions, Scribner, Manuscript.

4. McLaughlin M, Coyne S. Cognitive Dominance, A Brain Surgeon's Quest to Out-Think Fear. Black Irish Entertainment, LLC. November 2019.


1. McLaughlin MR, What Would Grandpa Think?, May 18, 2011.

2. McLaughlin MR, Russian-American Neurosurgery Collaboration, May 20, 2011.

3. McLaughlin MR, Welcome to Princeton Brain & Spine Care, June 7, 2011.

4. McLaughlin MR, Why I Coach, June 10, 2011.

5. McLaughlin MR, Laser Spine Surgery, Update, June 24, 2011.

6. McLaughlin MR, Love Me, and Let Me Fail, August 15, 2011.

7. McLaughlin MR, Introducing Bruce Landau, March 26, 2012.

8. McLaughlin MR, George Will on Football, August 14, 2012.

9. McLaughlin MR, Proton Beam Therapy, September 27, 2012.

10. McLaughlin MR, McLaughlin’s Top Tips for Smart, Safe Snow Sports, January 14, 2013.

11. McLaughlin MR, Millionaire Coaches: Remember the Main Reason Your Players Are in College, January 20, 2013.

12. McLaughlin MR, Having Surgery? Then Do Your Homework, February 26, 2013.

13. McLaughlin MR, The Keys to Gardening with a Bad Back, April 20, 2013.

14. McLaughlin MR, West Point Wake-Up Call, May 3, 2013.

15. McLaughlin MR, Five Steps to Prevent Lower Back Pain, July 1, 2013.

16. McLaughlin MR, West Point in Words and Video, November 17, 2013.

17. McLaughlin MR, My West Point Talks in the News, December 30, 2013.

18. McLaughlin MR, Creating a Spine-Friendly Workplace, January 13, 2014.

19. McLaughlin MR, Notre Dame Conference Confirmed, January 20, 2014.

20. McLaughlin MR, West Point Wrestling Team March 2014, March 13, 2014.

21. McLaughlin MR, NCAA Head Injury Settlement, August 1, 2014.

22. McLaughlin MR, Jannetta Society, October 2, 2014.

23. McLaughlin MR, With Peter Jannetta, October 10, 2014.

24. McLaughlin MR, Concentration – What a Neurosurgeon Knows, December 9, 2014.

25. McLaughlin MR,WGN TV Video About Trigeminal Neuralgia, January 20, 2015.

26. McLaughlin MR, Current Facial Pain Research, January 30, 2015.

27. McLaughlin MR, WGN Chicago News Anchor’s Wife Suffers From Trigeminal Neuralgia, January 30, 2015.

28. McLaughlin MR, Trigeminal Neuralgia and Community Neurosurgery, March 2, 2015.

29. McLaughlin MR, The World Needs More Wrestlers, March 19, 2015.

30. McLaughlin MR, Walking and Brain Surgery, June 11, 2015.

31. McLaughlin MR, New Study Compares Neurosurgeons and Orthopaedic Surgeons, August 12, 2015.

32. McLaughlin MR, Plebe Summer, August 20, 2015.

33. McLaughlin MR, Proof of Heaven, August 31, 2015.

34. McLaughlin MR, Do No Harm, September 17, 2015.

35. McLaughlin MR, Wrestlers In Business, October 21, 2015.

36. McLaughlin MR, RIP Dr. John Jane, November 9, 2015.

37. McLaughlin MR, Skin Infections, A Tough Opponent for Wrestlers, December 2, 2015.

38. McLaughlin MR, Concussion – A Movie About Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in the NFL, December 24, 2015.

39. McLaughlin MR, Electricians VS. Carpenters – Who’s Better Trained to do Your Spine Surgery?, May 16, 2016.

40. McLaughlin MR, The Passing of Doctor Peter Jannetta, April 28, 2016.

41. McLaughlin MR, Memorial Service and Reception Peter J. Jannetta, MD, June 2, 2016.

42. McLaughlin MR, Residents Work Hours Restrictions, June 7, 2016.

43. McLaughlin MR, Living Legend Dan Gable, June 16, 2016.

44. McLaughlin MR, Pat Summitt, June 29, 2016.

45. McLaughlin MR, Level V Leadership in Coaching, August 2016.

Articles and Documentaries

1. Mark McLaughlin: From the Wrestling Mat to the Operating Room, by Kayci Woodley, NCAA After the Game March 1, 2016.

2. Old Warrior Brings Wisdom to New Fight, by Mark DiIonna, Star Ledger, April 29, 2016.

3. Breakthrough with Barry Farber Episode 3- Dr. Mark McLaughlin, Youtube April 19, 2016.

4. Cognitive Dominance: 3 Secrets of Neurosurgery Applied to Life, HMC James Norfleet lecture 2015.

5. Forever Young: Strategies for Brain and Spine Health, HMC James Norfleet lecture 2016

Articles Written by Mark R. McLaughlin, MD

The 3 Most Dangerous Pitfalls of Winter Sports and How to Avoid Them

The temperature’s dropping and Christmas is around the corner. It’s winter, and that means winter sports. Keep your spine safe on the slopes with our expert’s tips.

5 Keys to Gardening with a Bad Back

Don’t give up gardening because of back pain. Cultivate these cultivation habits to spare your back while you’re getting your green thumb on.

5 Quick Tips to Help Prevent Lower Back Pain

Prevent lower back pain (or reduce your pain) with these 5 quick tips from a spine surgeon.

Are You Ready for Surgery?

You need to prepare for surgery just as much as your surgeon does. You are about to enter one of the most important athletic contests of your life. Dr. McLaughlin explores how you can prepare for your spinal surgery.

5 Tips to a Spine-Friendly Work Space

Work might be a pain, but it doesn't have to cause pain. Here are 5 things you should know.

Is Your Work Space Spine-Friendly?

Learn 5 easy things you can do to make your work space more spine-friendly.

5 Things You Want to Know about Artificial Discs

What makes the artificial disc so exciting is that once it's implanted, the spine is still able to retain mobility and flexibility.

Golf After Spinal Surgery: Part 2 of 2

Recovering from spine surgery takes some time. Your doctor will let you know when you're able to do your normal activities, such as playing golf. Find out tips on how to stay safe and keep a healthy spine when you're ready to return to golf.

Golf After Spine Surgery: Part 1 of 2

Returning to your normal activities after spine surgery will take some time. This article shows you how quickly you can return to playing golf as well as some useful tips to take with you the next time you tee off.

Image-Guided Spinal Surgery

IGS illustrates how advancements in instrumentation, computer technology, and imaging have been developed to help surgeons perform complex spinal reconstructions safer and faster.

Laparoscopic Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion: Technical Note

A case study from Emory University on the use of anterior lumbar interbody fusion.

Preliminary Results Using A New Anterior Hybrid Cervical Plate System

The authors present a retrospective series of 51 cases of cervical myelopathy and/or radiculopathy...

Articles Reviewed by Mark R. McLaughlin, MD

Laser Spine Surgery: Help or Hype?

Laser spine surgery: Help or hype? Get our experts' assessments.

Do’s and Don’ts for a Successful Back Surgery Recovery

Are you ready for back surgery? Look to the postop future and follow these tips for a successful recovery.

Home Workouts May Speed Your Recovery From ACDF Surgery

New research suggests that patients starting an exercise program right after surgery may have less pain and be less reliant on opioids.

Achieving Cognitive Dominance in Spine Surgery

Neurosurgeon Mark McLaughlin, MD, spoke with SpineUniverse about how 28 years of experience led to his book detailing strategies to master fear, stress, anxiety, and dominate burnout.

Cervical Herniated Disc or Ruptured Disc

A cervical herniated disc is a common cause of neck pain that may radiate into the shoulders and arms often resulting from spinal nerve compression. Sensations of numbness and tingling are typical symptoms, and some patients experience muscle spasms. Movement can aggravate and intensify neck pain.

Ergonomics: The Human Body and Injury Prevention

Ergonomics is concerned with how our environment interacts with our work. It also looks for ways to decrease the risks of injury and illness.

Hernia de Disco Cervical

Una causa común del dolor de cuello, hombro y brazo es una hernia o ruptura de un disco.

What is Syringomyelia?

Syringomyelia occurs when a fluid-filled cyst or syrinx forms within the spinal cord. As the cyst progressively grows larger, the spinal cord is compressed and be damaged.

Ergonomic Chairs and Seat Adjustment

How to choose an ergonomic chair and prevent back and neck pain. While most people believe sitting is relaxing, sitting is actually hard on the back because it transfers the full weight of the upper body onto the buttocks and thighs.

Ergonomic Standards

It doesn't matter whether you work in a factory, office or at home; how you treat your body during work affects your spine.

Cervical Radiculopathy Treated Surgically on an Outpatient Basis

Cervical radiculopathies can now be treated surgically on an outpatient basis. A surgeon explains his preference for treating cervical radiculopathy(a type of neck pain) by the posterior approach (from the back of the neck) rather than by an anterior discectomy and fusion. Read about this minimally invasive spine surgery technique.

Extending to a Healthier Spine

Extension exercises are especially effective when combined with other treatment and exercise methods. Though not appropriate for all causes of back pain, this is a successful back pain treatment and prevention method for many people.

The Spinal Muscles

Usually working in groups, muscles contract and relax in response to nerve impulses that originate in the brain.

CranioSacral Therapy

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a light-touch manual approach that enhances the body's natural healing capabilities. For nearly 30 years is has been shown to be effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and loss of function.

Spinal Muscles

The spinal muscles, along with the supporting system of ligaments, control the spine's ability to maintain balance and stability when a person stands or moves.

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Author's Statement

I, or an immediate family member, have a financial interest(s) or affiliation(s) with the following commercial companies whose products and / or services may be mentioned in the materials I have authored, edited or reviewed for presentation on Remedy Health Media, LLC’s websites.

Disclosed Relationships

Stock Options/Shareholder
Stockholder: Spine Wave, Inc.