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Nusinersen for SMA

Elizabeth Highton (JNNP Podcast Editor) speaks with Dr. Michelle Farrar (University of New South Wales) discussing nusinersen, the first disease-modifying therapy for spinal muscular atrophy type 1 (SMA).


Expanding clinical spectrums in both Kennedy's disease and poststroke syndromes

Dr. Carlo Rinaldi (University of Oxford) discusses how the traditional view of Kennedy’s disease is evolving, to extend beyond pure motor symptoms. What non-motor features may be present in Kennedy's, and crucially how do they impact on patient's care and management? Read the full paper here: Helle Stangeland and Vaughan Bell join us to discuss a much overlooked clinical syndrome in stroke: poststroke psychosis. Just how often does it occur and how can...


The use of cannabis in epilepsy, and surgery for tremor

Around 20-30% of patients with epilepsy can demonstrate resistance to commonly used medications. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in cannabis, which can be used for the treatment of epilepsy, shown to actively modulate seizure activity. Dr Emily Stockings (University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia ) outlines how CBD can be helpful for patients with drug-resistant epilepsy. Read the full paper here: Dr Georg Kaji (Kantonsspital,...


Epilepsy an evidence update

Is the mesial temporal lobe the seat of psychosis in epilepsy? James Allebone (University of Melbourne, Australia) discusses what neuroimaging can tell us about psychosis in epilepsy. Read the paper here: Patients with epilepsy are often not permitted to drive, but can this change after surgery? Professor John Duncan (University College London, UK) provides a crucial update on measuring relative risk of seizures following epilepsy surgery, and how this...


The Use of Frankincense Extract In MS

Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) often show interest in complementary and alternative medicines, particularly when on long-term anti-inflammatory treatments. Is frankincense a safe and tolerable treatment? Dr Klarissa Stürner (Christian-Albrechts University, Kiel) discuss the pilot trial (conducted at the Institute of Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis, Hamburg). Read the paper here: Read the editorial here:...


A new questionnaire to measure quality of life in inflammatory neuropathies

Quality of life (QoL) is one of the most important outcomes for chronic diseases, although it remains remarkably difficult to quantify. Dr. Thomas Draak (Maastricht University, The Netherlands) discusses his new questionnaire, and how it aims to capture the patient’s perspective. Read the full paper here:


Marriage and a reduced risk of dementia

Recent research has indicated that being married is associated with a reduced risk of dementia. What is it about marriage? Dr Andrew Sommerlad (University College London) discusses this question and more. Read the full paper here:


Anti-inflammatory approaches to stroke prevention; monitoring disease progression in ALS

Atherosclerosis is a major contributor to increased risk of stroke. Our patient’s choice, Professor Peter Kelly (University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland) discusses the evidence base implicating inflammation as a key process in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, leading to thromboembolic events. Read the full paper here: How do you measure disease progression in a highly variable and heterogeneous clinical population, such as amyotrophic lateral...


Nodes and paranodes; alternative treatments in MS

People with multiple sclerosis (MS) use complementary and alternative treatments (CAM), but what does the evidence say? Patient’s Choice, Professor Bruce Taylor (University of Tasmania) discusses the modern evidence for CAM use. Read the paper here: What roles do nodes and paranodes play in complex neuropathies? Dr Simon Rinaldi (University of Oxford) summarises the involvement of these specialised domains as this month’s Editor’s Choice. Read the full...


Pathophysiology of functional neurological disorder

Despite the prevalence of the disease, neurologists and psychiatrists can be wary of treating patients with functional neurological disorder (FND). Assistant Professor David Perez (Massachusetts General Hospital, USA) discusses how FND sits between neurological and psychiatric disciplines, the relationship between poor health status and affective symptoms, and associations with grey matter volumetric profiles. Read more here:


Is methamphetamine use linked to stroke in young adults?

Is methamphetamine use linked to strokes in young adults? Important clinical implications discussed by Dr. Julia Lappin (University of New South Wales) in this month’s JNNP podcast.


Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy: New Insights For Clinical Practice

Cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) has been gaining attention over the past few years, thanks to increased research in the field. Professor David Werring (UCL Institute of Neurology, Queens Square, London) discusses the recent advances in biomarkers analysis, as well as providing an overview of the clinical spectrum of CAA. Read the full paper here:


Cortical Influences in ALS

Professor Emeritus Andrew Eisen (University of British Columbia, Canada) discusses the theory of corticofugal primary in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ALS can be viewed as a primarily human disorder mediated by corticomotorneuronal pathways, originating in the cerebral cortex. Read the full paper here:


Intravenous immunoglobulin in CIDP

Can IViG be used as a longer term maintenance therapy for CIDP patients? JNNP Associate Editor, Professor Satoshi Kuwabara (Chiba University Hospital, Japan) joins us for this podcast, discussing recent trial results and their implications for patient care. Read the full paper here:


Complex inherited neuropathies: a new approach to diagnosis?

Professor Mary Reilly (Institute of Neurology, Queens Square, London) discusses how complex inherited neuropathies can be a daunting diagnosis for clinicians. However, through exciting advances in next generation sequencing and knowledge of distinct syndromic categories, a new diagnostic approach emerges. Her review and her interview provide excellent over of this new approach, and how it may serve as a resource for clinicians. Link to paper here:


Cerebellum and neurodegeneration; autoantibodies and psychological development in children

The September 2017's JNNP podcast is a double episode. The first conversation is with Professor Michael Hornberger from the Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, UK. The cerebellum is often overlooked when looking at neurodegenerative diseases, a practice which Professor Hornberger and his team are challenging. Their recent JNNP paper looks at patterns of grey matter atrophy in the cerebellum across neurodegenerative diseases. What they found may surprise some listeners. Read...


Time Matters - part 2: how the real costs of multiple sclerosis are being concealed

“Take a comprehensive economic approach to evaluating treatment cost-effectiveness in MS”. Jacqueline Palace (Consultant Neurologist, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford) and Ruth Geraldes (Neurologist, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford) examine the economic burden of multiple sclerosis, which was debated at the international roundtable “Time Matters in MS”, organised by the BMJ and the JNNP on World MS Day 2017, in Lisbon. Read more,...


Survival and cause of death in Multiple Sclerosis

There has been an increase in life expectancies for the general population over the last few decades. A similar trend has also been identified in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). To investigate this trend further, Dr Lunde and colleagues, from the Norwegian Multiple Sclerosis Competence Centre, investigated survival and cause of death in an MS cohort. Dr Lunde discusses the findings with Elizabeth Highton in the August 2017's JNNP podcast. Download the paper here:...


Time Matters - part 1: delay is “expensive” in all aspects of multiple sclerosis

Professor Emeritus Alastair Compston (University of Cambridge) discusses with JNNP’s Publisher Janet O'Flaherty the issues raised by the discussion “Brain health matters in multiple sclerosis” (MS), which was part of the international roundtable “Time Matters in MS”, organised by the BMJ and the JNNP on World MS Day 2017, in Lisbon. Read more, watch the videos and access all the information about the event on the JNNP's website special page:


Seven tesla MRI In Neurodegenerative Dementias

MRI is an important clinical tool to study dementia symptoms in vivo. However, certain pathologies (microbleeds, plaques, tangles) can evade current imaging techniques. Seven tesla (7T) MRI provides a potentially exciting new opportunity to visualise these pathologies in vivo. Dr. Elizabeth McKiernan (University of Cambridge) discusses the literature around 7T MRI, and its scope in neurodegenerative dementias. Read the review in the JNNP website:...