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Introduction to the ACNR Stroke Series

Posted in Stroke Series on 7th Nov 2013


David Werring, Reader in Clinical Neurology, UCL Institute of Neurology,National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery,Queen Square, WC1N 3BG.

Stroke is the commonest neurological condition by some margin, and has been estimated to cause more than 50% of the burden of disease (in terms of quality adjusted life years) of all neurological conditions. It is the third commonest cause of death and leading cause of adult neurological disability. In the last 20 years, stroke has undergone perhaps the most dramatic increase in understanding and treatment (from hyperacute care through to prevention and rehabilitation) of any neurological disease, making it a very exciting time to work in the field.

The aim of this series for ACNR is to capture some of the excitement of recent advances (from endovascular therapy to stroke prevention and rehabilitation) with an eye to future developments including the increasingly important areas of stroke genetics, vascular cognitive impairment and cerebral haemorrhage. However, the series also touches on some of the historical foundations of modern stroke medicine. With the huge breadth of research related to stroke, this series can only hope to provide a highly selective glimpse into a few aspects. Nevertheless, we hope that it will be of interest to both experienced neuroscience clinicians but also to younger clinicians and researchers in the neurosciences: there has never been a more exciting time to start a career in stroke medicine or research.

In the first article in this series, Dafydd Thomas and colleagues provide a fascinating and inspiring account which reminds us of how many fundamental concepts (e.g. that of the ischaemic penumbra, which underpins thrombolysis and endovascular treatments) and technological developments (e.g. computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging) owe much to the pioneering work done by British researchers, mainly in the latter part of the 20th century.

ACNR2013:13:6. Published online 8/11/13
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