Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders (2013) 2, 1

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Editors’ welcome A whole year has elapsed since our launch of MSARD at ECTRIMS in Amsterdam 2011. The concept of a new journal originally conceived by two of us (C.H.H. and G.G.) in late 2010, took just 12 months from the first meeting with our Publisher from Elsevier, Peter Bakker to launch in 2011. You may have noticed that our journal is unusual in having four chief editors and initially there was some apprehension whether this apparent overstaffing might not work! On the contrary, we have all blended well; C.H.H. and G.G. share editorial roles for Europe, the Asian countries and Australasia whereas F.L. and B.B. look after the Americas and Canada. In case you had wondered who writes the editorials, this is also a joint affair; one of us in rotation writes an initial draft but the content is approved by all four of us. Two people deserve special congratulations this year. First, Brenda Banwell was first promoted to Full Professor at the University of Toronto, and then appointed as Full Professor Chief of Neurology, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Second, Dr. Hadi Maghzi who has been extremely active in M.S. in Iran (his home country) and now training in neurology in USA, has been made a member of our editorial board—at the age of 27 years. Our most junior board member and probably one of the youngest ever! Other new Board members are Professor Bill Pryse-Phillips (St Johns, Newfoundland, Canada) who is our book editor and Dr. Doug Brown (London, UK) who will be responsible for lay summaries. To all these, we extend our warmest congratulations and indeed wish to thank every Board member for their loyalty and support over the past 12 months. MSARD over the past year has seen many articles of outstanding quality, several of which would be acceptable for high profile journals. Our aim is to continue publication of high quality papers and gradually increase the frequency of issues to monthly over the next 2–3 years. One stumbling block which applies to all new journals has been the lack of an Impact Factor and citation by PubMed/Medline, etc. Both these issues will hopefully be resolved in 2013 and we expect to have retrospective citation for all articles back to volume 1. As many readers will be aware, the first year’s issues were available without charge as long as you register. Due to the continuing success of MSARD we are delighted to announce that this facility will be extended for a further year! This first issue of volume two of MSARD has once more, an excellent mixture of papers. Dr. Scott in his Editorial, asks whether we are studying relapses in the right way. Which parameter, relapse

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severity, frequency, annualized relapse rate predicts best the chances of conversion to the progressive phase? The first original article of this issue by Dr. Marrie and colleagues draws on the strengths of North American Research Committee on MS (NARCOMS) to highlight the near-universal prevalence of MS related dizziness as defined by questionnaire criteria. Dr. Schuurman and co-workers use information from the University of British Columbia MS Genetic Database to derive a new method of evaluating lifetime exposure to ultraviolet light. Dr. Schwartz and associates, describe how cognitive reserve impacts on disability; those with high cognitive reserve coped better with their disease and had a more realistic outlook. It was suggested that appraisal of cognitive reserve could be used to design the most appropriate rehabilitation program. Dr. Bandari and co-authors report on the RebiQol Study Group findings, a trial sponsored by EMD-Serono Inc. and Pfizer Inc. This suggested that there was improvement in quality of life (fewer adverse events and use of analgesics) with the new serum-free formulation of interferon beta 1a. In the Review section, Dr. Feinstein and colleagues describe cognitive and neuropsychiatric aspects of MS and review the associated immune basis and brain imaging data. They emphasize the high prevalence of cognitive and psychiatric problems, and the need for patients to have access to psychiatrists, neuropsychologists and allied mental health workers on a routine basis. Drs. Gnanapavan and Giovannoni review the complex area of neural cell adhesion molecules (NCAMs). It is emphasized that apart from acting as biologic glue, NCAMs interact with many other matrix components and that they are involved in neuronal development, synaptogenesis, and myelination. Apart from MS, their widespread effects have implications for therapy in Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia. Finally, we have two case reports that highlight rare but significant side effects of MS immunotherapy: autoimmune hepatitis and primary biliary cirrhosis unmasked by beta interferon therapy and anti-glomerular basement membrane disease related to Alemtuzumab.

Chief Editors Brenda Banwell, MD Gavin Giovannoni, MD Christopher Hawkes, MD Fred Lublin, MD

Editors' welcome.

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