Authors: Lauren Pulling, Editor
Below we’ve highlighted some of the key trending topics in neurology and neuroscience from 2016, as well as our top read articles of the year – take a look and let us know your thoughts.
Alzheimer’s disease: successes and failures
In the world of neurodegeneration, 2016 saw findings presented from two high-profile drug trials for Alzheimer’s disease: the much-awaited aducanumab and solanezumab trials.
Biogen (MA, USA) published the results of their Phase Ib clinical trial of the monoclonal antibody aducanumab, demonstrating a significant reduction in amyloid-beta plaques and a slowing in cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease patients treated with the drug, compared with a placebo control group. These positive results impressed researchers and led to vast media coverage – but what did you think? Is aducanumab really a silver bullet for the disease? Take a look at what our readers thought here, and read a review from our Journal Watch columnist David Howett (University of Cambridge), who explored the finer details of the paper.
Meanwhile, Eli Lilly and Company (IN, USA) announced that the monoclonal antibody solanezumab had not met the primary endpoint in the EXPEDITION3 clinical trial – a Phase III trial investigating the use of solanezumab in patients with mild dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease, which had held hope for many researchers, clinicians and patients alike. While some study results, including several secondary endpoints, directionally favored the drug, magnitudes in treatment differences were small and the primary endpoints were not met – results demonstrated that patients treated with solanezumab did not experience a significant slowing in cognitive decline compared with those treated with a placebo. The drug continues to be investigated in other areas.
Neurology is ready for personalized medicine
We’ve seen a vast increase in research aiming towards a precision approach across many medical fields in recent years, and while – until now – oncology has taken center stage, 2016 saw a leap in research that could take the approach from idea to reality for many neurological disorders. SfN’s Neuroscience 2016 in San Diego (CA, USA) showcased a number of researchers across the globe who are developing precision approaches for treating Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and beyond – you can read our full coverage of Neuroscience 2016 here.
Also in recent months, authors from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (NY, USA), along with James Langston, chief scientific officer and founder of The Parkinson’s Institute (CA, USA), outlined a strategy for the advancement of precision medicine in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. We spoke to one of the authors of the paper, Mark Frasier (Senior Vice President of Research Programs at the Michael J. Fox Foundation), as part of our NCTalks podcast series. In this interview, Mark discusses the strategy and also looks ahead to the future of precision medicine for Parkinson’s disease.
Concussion in sport: tackling the issue
We are honored to be partnered with The Drake Foundation, who, in collaboration with The Football Association and the Rugby Football Union, hosted the First Annual UK Sports Concussion Research Symposium in November 2016. The event saw experts from across the UK come together to share their research and strengthen research collaboration. The main themes drawn from the day were the need for larger cohorts and appropriate controls, and collaboration, collaboration, collaboration! We spoke to one of the presenters, Michael Turner (Medical Director of The International Concussion & Head Injury Research Foundation [London, UK]), earlier in the year about the newly launched Concussion in Sport study and his expectations for the field in the coming months and years – watch the interview here.
Further highlights from Neurology Central
In addition to the features above, we’ve also collated the top read news headlines and exclusive articles of the course of the year:
Top news headlines of 2016
Alzheimer’s antibody trial: is a new treatment in sight?
SfN2016: New, noninvasive stimulation technique for deep brain structures revealed, could treat Parkinson’s disease symptoms
Imaging agent could reveal chronic traumatic encephalopathy in living brain
Epilepsy drug ‘redesign’ could improve treatment outcomes
PD-1 blockers could promote immune response in Alzheimer’s disease
Alemtuzumab shows strong results in 10 year follow-up
Top articles of 2016
Advances in managing and treating Rett syndrome: interview with Alan Percy
Ask the Experts: Is Alzheimer’s disease transmissible? (Part 1: Introduction to transmissible neurological disorders)
Alzheimer’s disease: ‘The infection hypothesis’
The Four Mountains Test for Alzheimer’s disease – hopes for diagnosis
Personalized treatment for Parkinson’s disease on the horizon
Webinar: Manipulation of Abuse Deterrent Formulations at the Clinical Pharmacology Unit
Controversial neurosurgery: Interview with Charlie Teo
A new brush sweeps clean: the case for antiviral treatment of Alzheimer’s disease
A decade of optogenetics: what have we learnt?
Pain in adults with dementia: does it exist?
Concussion in sport: an interview with Michael Turner (ICHIRF)
A day in the life of… Cindy Sullivan (AANN President)
Finally, if you would like to share your work with our members in 2017, do get in touch – I’d be delighted to hear from you. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you enjoy the highlights of 2016 on Neurology Central, and I look forward to sharing many more exciting new features and focuses with you in 2017.
My very best wishes for the New Year,
Editor, Neurology Central
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