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Volume 10 Issue 3, March 2014

Cover image supplied by Carlos Barcia at the Institute of Neuroscience and School of Medicine, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. Glial network in the human cortex. Astrocytes with their long processes are immunostained with GFAP antibodies, and microglia with their shorter processes are visualized with IBA1 antibodies. Glial cells form an extensive and uniform network along the brain parenchyma that is crucial for the correct functioning of the CNS. Research on glial cells provides important insights into the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative diseases and neurological disorders.

Research Highlight

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In Brief

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In Brief

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Research Highlight

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News & Views

  • Assessing the burden of stroke is essential to improve stroke care. Two recent systematic reviews provide a picture of the worldwide stroke burden. However, poor-quality data sources in low-income and middle-income countries make this a blurred photograph, and set a challenge to expand stroke registries.

    • Blanca Fuentes
    • Exuperio Díez Tejedor
    News & Views
  • The first randomized, placebo-controlled trial of intrajejunal levodopa provides support for the benefits of continuous dopaminergic drug delivery. Motor fluctuations in patients with advanced Parkinson disease were markedly improved. In clinical practice, the symptomatic benefits of this treatment need to be weighed carefully against its adverse effect profile.

    • Regina Katzenschlager
    • Werner Poewe
    News & Views
  • Mild cognitive impairment is widely viewed as an early stage of dementia but, as a new study highlights, some people never progress, and might even revert to normal cognition. Poor predictive validity of prodromal conditions has clear implications for the principle of 'do no harm', as overtreatment becomes a possibility.

    • Edo Richard
    • Carol Brayne
    News & Views
  • Early trials that supported short-term opioid treatment in the management of chronic non-cancer pain excluded patients at high risk of drug abuse, and might have overestimated the efficacy of this approach. The recent IMMPACT recommendations suggest inclusion of high-risk groups in future clinical trials of potentially addictive drugs. Is the risk worth taking?

    • Eija A. Kalso
    • Kaarlo Simojoki
    News & Views
  • Therapeutic management of patients with epilepsy is often challenging, particularly in those who are pharmacoresistant. In these patients, the only option to control seizures is elective surgery. Optimization of MRI acquisition sequences might mean early identification of patients, thereby speeding up surgical intervention.

    • Neda Bernasconi
    • Andrea Bernasconi
    News & Views
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Review Article

  • South Asia is thought to be the highest contributor to stroke mortality in the world, probably accounting for more than 40% of global stroke deaths. Wasay et al. review stroke epidemiology and management issues in four South Asian countries: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The authors highlight the prevalence of traditional and nontraditional stroke risk factors in this region, and consider the barriers to effective implementation of stroke prevention and treatment strategies.

    • Mohammad Wasay
    • Ismail A. Khatri
    • Subhash Kaul
    Review Article
  • Migraine is the most common neurological disorder in the general population. In this article, de Tommaso et al. review the EEG findings that indicate altered sensory processing and dysfunctional recruitment of networks in the migrainous brain. The authors propose that thalamocortical dysrhythmia may underlie the altered synchronicity and sensory processing in migraine.

    • Marina de Tommaso
    • Anna Ambrosini
    • Jean Schoenen
    Review Article
  • The clinical effects of focal brain damage have been researched extensively, but the consequences of diffuse axonal injuries are less well described. Advanced neuroimaging techniques have produced connectivity maps of the brain, and computational modelling has elucidated the role of these networks in cognitive function. In this article, Sharp and colleagues review the effects of traumatic injury on the brain connectivity, and discuss how axonal damage affects the default mode network and saliency network to produce clinical symptoms.

    • David J. Sharp
    • Gregory Scott
    • Robert Leech
    Review Article
  • Chronic pain is a common problem that incurs substantial costs to the individual and society as a whole. The efficacy of currently available medications is limited, prompting the exploration of alternative therapeutic approaches. Here, Jensen et al. summarize the state of knowledge regarding the efficacy and mechanisms of four different neuromodulatory interventions—hypnosis, meditation training, noninvasive brain stimulation, and neurofeedback—for the treatment of chronic pain.

    • Mark P. Jensen
    • Melissa A. Day
    • Jordi Miró

    Nature Outlook:

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