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From the Editor…

Posted in Editor's introduction on 31st Oct 2013

mike-zandi-editor-shotIn this issue we have the first of an excellent series of articles on Stroke Medicine, organised by our guest editor David Werring, from the Stroke Research Group at Queen Square and Reader in Clinical Neurology at the UCL Institute of Neurology. Dr Werring introduces the series on page 21. We are lucky to have Dafydd Thomas, and three of the original members of the Queen Square cerebral blood flow (CBF) group, John Marshall, Ralph Ross Russell, and Lindsay Symon, write about the British contribution to Stroke Medicine in the 20th Century. It is inspiring to read about how old precepts, for instance the vasospasm or insufficiency theories of transient ischaemic attacks, were overcome and how these authors and others they mention changed clinical practice in several ways for the better. We hope you enjoy the rest of the articles in this series to come.

Hearing loss is highly prevalent, and congenital hearing loss and age related hearing loss are both big problems. Karen Steel from King’s College London and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, where she has established the Mouse Genetics Programme, reviews the genetics of hearing loss, including genetic risks for susceptibility to the damaging effects of drugs (e.g. mitochondrial A1555G and aminoglycosides), mutations affecting cochlea function and the advances made from studying mutant mice.

James Shine and Simon Lewis, from Sydney, review the neuroimaging evidence for the pathophysiology of visual hallucinations in Parkinson’s disease being centred on dysfunction in attention. Specifically, there may be a breakdown in communication between neuronal networks subserving attention. These mechanisms may underlie visual hallucinations in other disorders, and so the insights from this work may be considerable and help develop therapies.

Are virtual reality based therapies feasible in the real world of neurorehabilitation? Madeleine Grealy and Bilal Nasser from Strathclyde provide a compelling account of the evidence for the techniques and justifications for their use. Analgesic associated chronic headache was first described in the 1950s yet still represents a large proportion of the workload in general neurology clinics. Zaza Katsarava and Mark Obermann from the Essen Headache Centre, in Germany, write on this common problem and provide a helpful account of the specifics of the condition and approaches to treatment. In one cited study, basic patient education seemed to be as effective as a programmed detoxification programme. In our epilepsy article, Christine Bennett from Leeds and Helen Cross from UCL describe the particular challenges in guiding emergency rescue therapy for children with prolonged seizures in the community, emphasising the views of epilepsy specialist nurses and the need for stronger links with schools.

What do you consider the paper of the year in neurology in 2013? Gemma Cummins in our journal reviews section this issue has rounded up reviews of the ‘paper of the year’ from several notable authors in this issue, covering demyelination, genetic ataxia, Guillain Barré syndrome, rehabilitation, motor neurone disease, tic disorders, epilepsy and stroke. We are delighted to have Andrew Larner write for us again, in what have often been the most popular of ACNR’s articles since the beginning of this journal. In this issue he provides an account of echolalia and synaesthesia in the works of F Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) and Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007). We hope you enjoy this issue and please contact us if you would like to contribute to the journal.

Download the full issue PDF by clicking on the cover image at the top of the homepage screen, or here.

Mike Zandi, Editor.

ACNR 2013;13:6 Published online 31/10/13