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December 2016

JAMA Neurology at the Forefront, 1997-2016

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
  • 2Editor, JAMA Neurology
JAMA Neurol. 2016;73(12):1392-1394. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.3943

It has been an honor and privilege to be the Editor of JAMA Neurology (formerly Archives of Neurology) and to witness and document the progress in clinical neurology and neuroscience over the past 20 years. The journal, while maintaining diversity in content, emphasized the defining of the biological, biochemical, genetic, and genomic (neuromic) basis of neurological diseases. Neurotherapeutics and clinical trials have been dominant themes.

In 1997, Stanley B. Prusiner, MD, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the first neurologist to receive this high honor. The Nobel Assembly cited Prusiner for showing that “prions possess an innate capacity to convert their structures into highly stable conformations, that ultimately result in the formation of harmful particles, the causative agents of several deadly brain diseases of dementia type in humans and animals.”1 As proposed and predicted by Prusiner, prion mechanisms of seeding by misfolded proteins to propagate and spread β-amyloid in Alzheimer disease, α-synuclein in Parkinson disease, and tau in the frontotemporal dementias are now being described. I am so grateful to have had Prusiner as a member of our Editorial Board during the past 20 years. The past 20 years have been productive ones to define and explain the biology of major neurological diseases and JAMA Neurology has been there moving this field forward.

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