Neuroepidemiology

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Neuroepidemiology is a branch of epidemiology involving the study of neurological disease distribution and determinants of frequency in human populations. The term was first introduced by Dr. Len Kurland, Dr. Milton Alter and Dr. John Kurtzke in 1967.[1] Traditionally, neuroepidemiology has been perceived for a long time as a science of incidence, prevalence, risk factors, natural history and prognosis of neurological disorders. However, this is only one part of neuroepidemiology, called non-experimental neuroepidemiology. The other integral, but commonly forgotten, part of neuroepidemiology is experimental neuroepidemiology, which is research based on clinical trials of effectiveness or efficacy of various interventions in neurological disorders.

Publications[edit]

In 1982, Karger set up a new journal entitled "Neuroepidemiology".[2] This periodical is the only international journal devoted to the study of neurological disease distribution and determinants of frequency in human populations.

Since the time of its inception in 1982, the scope of "Neuroepidemiology" journal has evolved considerably. At present, the journal publishes manuscripts on all aspects of epidemiology of neurological disorders, including clinical trials and systematic reviews.[3] Its primary focus is on chronic and acute neurological disorders of major importance to clinical medicine, public health, and health care delivery. The journal also welcomes manuscripts dealing with methodological issues in neuroepidemiological studies.

Congresses[edit]

To reflect modern achievements in our knowledge in non-experimental and experimental (clinical trials) epidemiology of neurological disorders, the First International Congress of Clinical Neuroepidemiology is planned to be held in 2009. This International Congress, for the first time, will bring together scientists and experts in all major fields of experimental and non-experimental neuroepidemiology. Combining scientific sessions in these two interrelated fields of neuroepidemiology with two corresponding half-day teaching courses and a one year-free on-line subscription to the journal of "Neuroepidemiology" for all registered participants are additional unique features of the Congress.

The main topics of the Congress that will be addressed during plenary, platform and poster sessions include stroke, TIA, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, migraine, traumatic brain injury, peripheral neuropathy, neuromuscular disorders, central nervous system infections and tumours, neurological aspects of aging, neuropsychology and neuropsychiatric disorders. The Congress will feature internationally recognized invited speakers, platform lectures, short oral presentations and poster sessions, and will provide an ideal platform for continuing education in all fields of experimental and non-experimental clinical neuroepidemiology.

To reflect modern achievements in our knowledge in non-experimental and experimental (clinical trials) epidemiology of neurological disorders, the First International Congress of Clinical Neuroepidemiology will be held in Munich, Germany on August 27–30, 2009 (www.neuro2009.com). This International Congress, for the first time, will bring together scientists and experts in all major fields of experimental and non-experimental neuroepidemiology. Combining scientific sessions in these two interrelated fields of neuroepidemiology with two corresponding half-day teaching courses and a one year-free on-line subscription to the journal of "Neuroepidemiology" for all registered participants are additional unique features of the Congress.

The main topics of the Congress that will be addressed during plenary, platform and poster sessions include stroke, TIA, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, migraine, traumatic brain injury, peripheral neuropathy, neuromuscular disorders, central nervous system infections and tumours, neurological aspects of aging, neuropsychology and neuropsychiatric disorders. The Congress will feature internationally recognized invited speakers, platform lectures, short oral presentations and poster sessions, and will provide an ideal platform for continuing education in all fields of experimental and non-experimental clinical neuroepidemiology.

Programs and Training in Neuroepidemiology[edit]

Several institutions in the United States offer formal training and research experience in neuroepidemiology, including:

In addition, the Center for Stroke Research in the Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation at the University of Illinois College of Medicine offers a fellowship in neuroepidemiology.[7] Michigan State University also offers a neuroepidemiology fellowship as part of the International Neurologic & Psychiatric Epidemiology Program.[8]

As the field of neuroepidemiology continues to expand, research groups have developed at some of the leading medical research institutes across the United States. Currently active research groups can be found at:

Other prominent organizations such as the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and Kaiser Permanente have established research programs in neuroepiemiology.[13][14]

The American Academy of Neurology provides additional information on career paths in neuroepidemiology.[15]

References[edit]