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From the Editor…

Posted in Editor's introduction on 28th May 2013

mike-zandi-editor-shotIn this issue,as a link to the ABN meeting in Glasgow at the end of May,Mark Edwards,from the Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, reviews mechanisms in the pathophysiology of functional movement disorders. The evidence for dysfunctional attention, the influence of prior beliefs and expectations, and the role of agency are each examined in this clear and helpful account. Mark Edwards reminds us that the language used to describe this group of disorders can negatively affect outcome. ‘Psychological’ factors are discussed but are de-emphasised. A remarkable property of the diagnosis of functional neurological disorders is the stability of the diagnosis over time and the low rate of misdiagnosis by neurologists,in particular if done on the basis of positive physical signs. Mark Hallett will speak on this subject in the 19th Gordon Holmes lecture at the ABN meeting in Glasgow.This is followed by a teaching session on functional disorders by Mark Edwards,Jon Stone andAlan Carson. Hallett and colleagues’ book,Psychogenic Movement Disorders (AAN,2006),is recommended reading. Martin Rossor introduces the ABN meeting on page 11 of this issue and we also include the programme.

It is 40 years since Tim Bliss and Terje Lømo described LTP in the Journal of Physiology in 1973, and we were lucky enough to have an account of this discovery in ACNR last year by Terje Lømo (ACNR May/June 2012, p14-17). Olivia Shipton and Ole Paulsen from Cambridge, in the current issue provide a clear summary of recent advances in our knowledge of hippocampal plasticity and LTP, with a focus on recent work on NMDAR biology, structural changes in synapses and their measurement,and the evidence that any of this actually impacts on behaviour.It is clear that while the mechanisms behind memory are still not well defined, this work holds great potential in developing new treatments for a range of neurological diseases associated with dysfunction at the synapse.

Erica Chisanga from Cambridge writes in Mark Manford’s epilepsy series, a clear account of how to approach the many issues of epilepsy in the elderly,in particularly dealing with therapeutic options and social aspects. Marianne Novak and Rumana Chowdhury in this issue’s ABNT article provide helpful tips in securing a training number in neurology: an article to disseminate to your junior colleagues. Finally, Mark Baker from NICE provides a succinct one page summary of NICE’s recommendations for the treatment of headache. We have our usual book, conference and journal reviews and collections of news, and hope you enjoy this issue of ACNR.

Mike Zandi,Editor.