From the directors
Date: November 1, 2010
Looking at the broad spectrum of yet incurable diseases that affect the brain and the rest of the nervous system, it’s clear how far we still need to go—but it’s also an amazing sight to witness how far we’ve come. That forward progress is at the heart of academic medicine, and it’s one of our core values here at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
It’s also one of the themes evident in this issue of NeuroNow. Take the example of pediatric hydrocephalus on the cover. In the past, this condition used to be universally fatal or, at the least, severely disabling. Today, as George Jallo and Edward Ahn make evident, the invention of shunts and the recent ability to use antibiotic-impregnated and programmable varieties have turned this condition into a manageable one for many who have it.
The way we see patients is also quickly advancing for movement disorders such as Parkinson disease. As shown by neurologist Ray Dorsey, who is also the new director of the Johns Hopkins Movement Disorders Center, Parkinson and other movement disorders are prime candidates for telemedicine (page 2). New ways to treat patients, developed in collaboration between basic scientists such as Gregory Riggins and Jon Weingart, could be on the horizon for the devastating brain cancer known as glioblastoma, which killed Ted Kennedy (page 3). And a new clinical trial for neurofibromatosis type 2, in which patients will be treated with the cancer drug Avastin, offers hope to treat this disease without surgery for the first time (page 4).
We hope you enjoy reading about these stunning examples of the real progress we are making. Each of these stories is a testament to the commitment we have to our patients and to the promise of moving medical science forward.
Harvey Cushing Professor and Director of Neurosurgery
Director of Neurology