Current Opinion in Neurology was launched in 1988. It is one of a successful series of review journals whose unique format is designed to provide a systematic and critical assessment of the literature as presented in the many primary journals. The field of neurology is divided into 14 sections that are reviewed once a year. Each section is assigned a Section Editor, a leading authority in the area, who identifies the most important topics at that time. Here we are pleased to introduce the Journal's Section Editors for this issue.
Richard Frackowiak is Professor of neurology and head of the new Department of clinical neurosciences at the Universitéé, de Lausanne in the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV). His scientific interest is in human brain imaging with a focus is on plasticity and structure-function relationships, especially in relation to neurodegenerative disease and genetic associations of cognition.
He was previously Foundation Professor of Cognitive Neurology at University College London (UCL) where he set up the Functional imaging Laboratory (FIL) as a Wellcome Trust Principal Clinical Research Fellow. He has also directed the Institute of Neurology in Queen Square and the Department of Cognitive Studies at the Ecole Normale Supéé, rieure in Paris.
A Fellow of the Academies of Medical Sciences of the UK, France and Belgium, he is also a member of the Academia Europaea and of the Institute of Medicine of the American Academies. He advises the Director-General of INSERM and as honorary professor, the Provost & President of UCL. He is past president of the British Neuroscience Association and currently presides over the European Brain and Behaviour Society.
John Mazziotta has had a distinguished career of leadership, scientific achievement and service to the neuroscientific community. Scientifically, he has helped transform our understanding of diseases of the nervous system through the use of neuroimaging. These strategies and insights have greatly advanced our basic understanding of disease mechanisms, diagnostic criteria and the manner by which one can track conventional and experimental therapies.
His basic science understanding of neuroimaging methods resulted in his having a leadership role in the development of methods that are now used on a global basis for acquiring and analyzing imaging data of the brain. These accomplishments include the development of both probabilistic and statistical mapping methods to analyze functional brain images. He, and others, then used these strategies to advance our understanding of normal brain function and its alteration in disease states.
His contributions to the study of normal brain function include some of the first descriptions of the normal unstimulated brain's glucose metabolism in adults as well as the first, and currently only, study of glucose metabolism in the developing brain of children in the first decade of life. He and his UCLA colleagues described the functional systems associated with normal vision (primary visual cortices, human visual motion center and shape analysis sites), auditory function, motor systems as well as brain networks that are critical to human learning and imitative behaviors. These studies of the normal human brain have now culminated in his establishment, as principal investigator, of the International Consortium for Brain Mapping (ICBM) involving eight laboratories, in seven countries, on four continents. The goal is to develop the first probabilistic atlas of the human brain including behavioral, demographic, imaging and genetic data from 7,000 subjects. This global effort will define the structural and functional variance of the human brain and will serve as a massive resource for exploring structure-function-genetic relationships in the normal human brain across all ages. When combined with probabilistic atlases of disease states, this system will provide a previously unavailable means for comparing investigations of normal and abnormal brain function, automated diagnoses and a quantitative, objective means of developing imaging biomarkers that will improve the efficacy of experimental clinical trials.
Dr Mazziotta has had a leadership role in describing what has now become our understanding of the disruption of normal functional brain networks in a wide range of neurological disorders. These include the first papers describing the sites of altered metabolism or blood flow in the nervous system that occur even when brain structure remains intact. Publications by Dr Mazziotta and his UCLA colleagues describing these new observations have stood the test of time and include such disorders as epilepsy, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, aphasias, movement disorders (tardive dyskinesia, Wilson's and Huntington's disease), migraine and Alzheimer's disease. Of note is the fact that Dr Mazziotta was the first to develop strategies for using both genetic risk profiles (Huntington's disease) and later specific genotypes to demonstrate the pattern of abnormal brain function that preceded clinical disease onset. This has now set the stage and provided the means by which to track and monitor presymptomatic individuals with disorders such as Huntington's and Alzheimer's disease, both to describe the natural history of the disorders, as well as to provide objective, noninvasive and quantifiable estimates of the efficacy of experimental therapies.
Having had a strong leadership role in national societies and organizations as well as university governance, Dr Mazziotta established the first Brain Mapping Center at UCLA that included all of the methods available to study human brain structure and function. He is now the Chair of one of the largest neurology departments in the United States which last year achieved the distinguished position of being first in NIH research funding. As the chair of the Scientific Program Committee for the American Academy of Neurology, Dr Mazziotta transformed the program, invigorated its presentations and integrated basic and clinical neuroscience. This format and his innovations remain in place years after his influence began. As Editor-In-Chief of the journal NeuroImage, he and his co-editors took this fledgling publication to a position that dominates the field, with an impact factor that has been as high as nine in recent years. Adept at organizing and managing large national and international groups, he has been instrumental in organizing large symposia, consortia and task forces that have advanced both clinical and basic neuroscience.
Since beginning this work, Dr Mazziotta has published more than 243 research papers and eight texts. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Oldendorf Award from the American Society of Neuroimaging, the S. Weir Mitchell Award, the Wartenberg Prize of the American Academy of Neurology, the Von Hevesy Prize from the International Society of Nuclear Medicine, and the 1996 Medical Science Award from the UCLA Medical Alumni Association. Dr. Mazziotta has been president and a founding member of the Institute for Clinical PET (positron emission tomography), the past chair of the Scientific Issues and Program Committee of the American Academy of Neurology, the past president of the American Neuroimaging Society and the President of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping. Dr Mazziotta was elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal College of Physicians.
Patrik Michel has done undergraduate medical training in Fribourg and Basel, Switzerland, where he graduated with an MD thesis on small airways disease in 1991. After military training as a medical officer in the Swiss army, he did a rotating internship in the Groote Schuur and the Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, followed by 2 years of internal medicine at the Carney Hospital in Boston. He then completed the Neurology residency during 2 years at the Boston University - Boston City Hospital - Lahey Clinic program and became chief neurology resident at the Tufts University program at the New England Medical Center - St.Elizabeth Hospital. After US neurology board certification, he returned back to Switzerland in 1998 to the Neurology Service of the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV). There, he completed his Swiss neurology training and board examination with training in outpatient and diagnostic neurology, ENMG, and medico-legal neurology. In 2003, he became head of the neurology inpatient section, and in 2006 responsible of the stroke unit. In 2008, he has received the title of privat-docent (PD) at the Lausanne University.
His interests are general neurology, teaching, stroke syndromes and acute treatment, stroke syndromes, acute stroke imaging (perfusion-CT, CT-angiography) and prevention.
He has been and is participating as investigator and steering committee member in preventive, diagnostic and acute treatment trials, and runs local studies involving perfusion-CT. He has initiated and runs the Acute Stroke Registry of Lausanne (ASTRAL). He has given talks to national and international audiences on stroke causes and management, prevention, antiplatelet agents, pathogenesis, thrombolysis, acute stroke imaging, perfusion-CT and CT-angiography and intracranial haemorrhage, and is publishing articles and book chapters on the same topics.
He is married to an Austrian architect and has 3 children. He is fluent in several languages, likes to hike, ski, travel and play the cello.
James Acheson is a Consultant Ophthalmologist with a special interest in Neuro-Ophthalmology and in particular the rehabilitation of patients with chronic neurological deficits affecting vision, both in the afferent and ocular motility systems. He has co-authored over 50 papers and review articles on these topics. He was appointed Joint Consultant Neuro-Ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital and The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in 1999 after residency and fellowship training at St.Thomas' Hospital and six years as a consultant at The Western Eye Hospital in London. His interest in neuro-ophthalmology was awakened during early resident years by Mr.Michael Sanders, with whom he worked later as a Fellow. He has co-authored two speciality review texts; Acheson JF, Sanders MD. Common Problems in Neuro-Ophthalmology. Major Problems in Neurology Series (edited by C.Warlow and J.van Gijn). W.B.Saunders, London, 1997, and Acheson JF, Riordan-Eva P (Eds). Neuro-Ophthalmology. BMJ Ophthalmology Series (edited by SL Lightman), British Medical Journal Publications, London 1999. Most recently he has contributed to
Neurology: A Queen Square Textbook, edited by Clarke C, Howard R, Rossor M, Shorvon S. Wiley-Blackwell 2009 and also a paper on MR tractography in the visual pathway in Brain 2009 Jun;132(Pt 6):1656–––68.