Neurology is emerging rapidly as a clinical discipline with new and effective therapies for major neurological disorders. This theme issue of JAMA, devoted to neurology, includes 5 original research investigations that provide new data on neurotherapeutic advances and 3 Viewpoints that discuss how therapeutic momentum in neurology must be focused and implemented in the future to ensure progress and effectiveness and to improve health outcomes.
In the first Viewpoint, Birbeck and colleagues1 provide a global perspective of the immense challenge clinical neurology faces in providing basic neurological care to millions of persons worldwide with neurodegenerative, neurovascular, and infectious diseases. The authors project that by 2050, there will be 115 million people with dementia and note that stroke causes more deaths annually than AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. Their perspective is compelling, highlighting advances in medicine that are now producing a worldwide “epidemiologic transition from infections to chronic diseases.” Addressing health needs will require the conduct of research in low and middle resource countries and global training in neurology.
Rosenberg RN, Saver JL. Advancing Neurotherapeutics in the 21st Century. JAMA. 2014;311(16):1620-1621. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.4084