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April 23/30, 2014

Neurology at a CrossroadsOpportunities and Challenges

Author Affiliations
  • 1Neurological Institute of New York, Department of Neurology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York
JAMA. 2014;311(16):1611-1612. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.4081

Neurology was once derided as a field known for the diagnostic skills of its practitioners but also for its inability to offer effective treatments for a majority of patients. Today, neurologists have an increasing number of available therapeutic options, many of which substantially improve physical well-being and quality of life. Rapid and transformative advances in understanding the underlying neurobiology of the diseases neurologists treat and in development of increasingly targeted and effective therapies are altering the course and outcome of many diseases. Several examples include recognition of autoantibody-mediated diseases1; availability of oral and parenteral new drugs to treat multiple sclerosis based on increased knowledge of the condition’s fundamental immunopathogenesis2; deep brain stimulation for Parkinson disease; intravenous thrombolysis and intra-arterial therapy for treatment of acute ischemic stroke; and the development of neurological intensive care units.

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