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Volume 13 Issue 1, January 2017

Cover image supplied by David Fernandes-Cabral, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. The corticospinal tract of the human brain on high-definition fibre tracking. The corticospinal tract, the longest white matter tract in the CNS, originates from the primary motor cortex, and crosses the internal capsule, brainstem and, finally, the spinal cord. Lesions such as brain tumours, arteriovenous malformations and strokes can displace, disrupt or infiltrate this tract. Advanced fibre tracking methods allow precise reconstruction of the tract, which can help improve outcomes after neurosurgical procedures.


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Research Highlight

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News & Views

  • Guide RNA-mediated CRISPR–Cas nucleases are a powerful technology for the engineering of mammalian genomes. CRISPR–Cas9-dependent editing of mutated genes that cause Huntington disease and fragile X syndrome was recently achieved in cell-based models, heralding the first step towards developing this technology into viable therapeutics for neurological diseases.

    • Moira A. McMahon
    • Don W. Cleveland
    News & Views
  • A new systematic review detected strong evidence of unreliable results via use of statistical and logical analyses of 33 randomized clinical trials. Our outrage at these rare occurrences of potential fraud could be rooted in our disdain at our failures in peer review, given that this special effort was required to detect long-running potential fraud.

    • Gary R. Cutter
    News & Views
  • As yet, no clear strategy has been developed for discontinuation of disease-modifying therapy in multiple sclerosis. A recent observational study adds new information, but the most informative patient groups are still to be assessed comprehensively, and several questions need to be addressed in prospective studies.

    • Mark S. Freedman
    News & Views
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Review Article

  • Cryptococcal meningitis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromized individuals, and, even in apparently immunocompetent individuals, carries a high risk of mortality. Treatment in immunocompromized patients is challenging because these patients are at risk of immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS). This Review summarizes the diagnosis and treatment of cryptococcal disease in various disease.

    • Peter R. Williamson
    • Joseph N. Jarvis
    • Thomas S. Harrison
    Review Article
  • Lifestyle and environmental factors, some which are potentially modifiable, have important roles in the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS), and some of these risk factors, such as Epstein–Barr virus infection, smoking and obesity in adolescence, interact with genetic risk factors. Here, Olsson and colleagues summarize recent data on modifiable environmental and lifestyle factors in MS, with a focus on gene–environment interactions.

    • Tomas Olsson
    • Lisa F. Barcellos
    • Lars Alfredsson
    Review Article
  • Rett syndrome (RTT) is a rare, progressive neurodevelopmental disorder that almost exclusively affects girls, and is caused by a mutation in theMECP2gene. The authors highlight major milestones in RTT over the past 50 years, and acknowledge the international collaborations that are driving this research programme.

    • Helen Leonard
    • Stuart Cobb
    • Jenny Downs


    Review Article
  • The majority of patients who receive radiotherapy for brain tumours go on to develop disability, but the pathophysiological mechanisms of radiation-associated cognitive decline remains poorly understood. Here, Makale and colleagues review animal model and patient data on the mechanisms of radiotherapy-associated CNS damage and posit that early damage — occurring before 6 months after irradiation — contributes to long-term cognitive disability.

    • Milan T. Makale
    • Carrie R. McDonald
    • Santosh Kesari
    Review Article
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