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From the Editor…

Posted in Editor's introduction on 8th Jan 2018


Published online: 8/1/18

At the year-end, one might be tempted to shift into a slower gear, to ease through a life involving dark icy journeys to hospital or laboratory, in a sort of hibernation of the mind, but here is ACNR. This issue provides you with a good overview of what has been happening in UK and European neurology, and examining best practice in clinical neurology with a clear eye on the future.

The Autumn Lecture by Dr Gordon
Plant at the ABN meeting in October (summarised by Dr Michael Foster) quoted Keats ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,” describing how a lifetime of hard work can bear fruits in the ‘Autumn’ with a fascinating description of ‘Smartphone blindness.’

Claude Bernard, of Claude Bernard-Horner’s syndrome (History of neurology article, Emeritus Professor JMS Pearce) seems also to prove this rule, publishing his work ‘Introduction à la médecine expérimentale’ in 1865 at the age of 52, in which he set out a philosophy of science which is still relevant today.

A review by Dr Thomas A Pollak et al provides us with an overview of the perplexing world of psychosis, encephalitis and neuronal surface antibodies.

Clearly these syndromes are at the forefront of our collective minds in 2017, with discussion from Dr M Zandi at the ABN and posters at the Royal College of Psychiatrists Faculty of Neuropsychiatry Annual Conference (George El-Nimr). Many questions remain unanswered and diagnostic dilemmas remain in these borderlands of autoimmune encephalitis and psychiatry.

More clarity was provided in the area of recent updates to the NICE guidelines for Parkinson’s Disease, with a succinct overview by Dr Krista Farrell.

Dr Angelika Zarkali reported back from ECTRIMS 2017. It has been a landmark year, with the revision of the McDonald Criteria, evidence of benefit of disease modifying treatment in reducing both progression to secondary progressive MS and overall mortality rates. Clearly we are breaking through in many small ways, although trial data is modest.

For our junior trainees, Dr Pete Jenkins shares the benefit of his experience and valuable lessons learned. His article on how to prepare for a PhD would help you choose wisely and discussion about opti- mising your time in research is inspiring.

Dr Orlando Swayne’s article provides an illuminating overview of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). His article encompasses both advances in clinical neuroscience and rehabilitation (ACNR!) reflecting our scope.

Neurology in literature is also scrutinised by Dr A Larner, who looks at a Conrad character, and hypothesises about what the underlying diagnosis might have been based on unusual perseverative behaviour.

But what of Winter? 
This icy morning brings to mind another poet, Robert Frost,
‘The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep And miles to go before I sleep,
 And miles to go before I sleep’.

What better companion to carry you through this dark winter, to light the fires of inspiration and ignite debate than this November – January issue of ACNR?

Anne Donnelly, Co-Editor.