Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders 1 (2012) 153

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Editors’ welcome

Welcome to the fourth and last issue of the inaugural volume of MSARD. It has been an exciting and rewarding first year and the editors are extremely pleased with the response we have received and the quality of the manuscripts submitted for publication. In this issue we pay special attention to the ‘related diseases’ portion of our mandate. Three articles concern neuromyelitis optica (NMO) and its spectrum. Jones et al., provide a comprehensive review of the current animal models of NMO, along with a discussion of the human pathology. Similar to MS, there is no single animal model that fully matches the illness, but the various models described provide important insights into the role of NMO IgG, aquaporin4 and T cells in its pathogenesis The second NMO review by Kimbrough et al., is a consensus document detailing the rationale and suggested use of a variety of therapies for NMO. Unfortunately, there are no well controlled clinical trials available to guide clinicians in how to treat this disorder safely and effectively. Rather, there are observational studies of various chemotherapeutic agents, with all the attendant deficiencies of such accounts. In the absence of better data, and with the growing number of NMO and NMO spectrum disorders, this report provides detailed guidance on how to utilize the currently available agents for treating the acute flares of NMO and how to attempt to control the disease. Until there are controlled trials, we believe that this category of report integrates well the available information. Lastly, we have a case report from Hernandez et al., of NMO spectrum disorder developing in the setting of systemic sclerosis. A second theme for this issue is cognition in MS. We include a report by Cruce and colleagues detailing cognitive changes in MS patients who undergo treatment with anticholinergic medications for bladder dysfunction. Such cognitive impairment is a hitherto unrecognized potential complication of anticholinergic medication for MS bladder dysfunction. Lapshin and colleagues review various computerized cognitive 2211-0348/$ - see front matter & 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

testing batteries. Mattioli et al., report on longer term benefits of intensive computer-assisted neuropsychological treatment. Mattioli and colleagues report on the successful long term use of intensive neuropsychological rehabilitation in patients with MS. Kira evaluates the changing phenotype of MS in Japan and the potential for environmental factors to cause a shift to a more ‘Western’ pattern of disease and less of the more traditionally recognized opticospinal variety of MS. Marrie and colleagues reports an increased incidence of fibromyalgia in MS patients and discusses the role of that disorder in pain management. We also include an intriguing commentary by Gay on the theoretical role for the nasal cavity as gateway for environmental agents into the brain—sometimes known as the olfactory vector hypothesis. We would like to thank our editorial board members and all of the reviewers who have generously provided us with their wisdom in a timely and fair minded way. They are listed on page I. Finishing our first year of publication is a happy and satisfying milestone. We have a clear path forward in our editorial philosophy: to continue to provide high quality papers covering all aspects of MS and related diseases—basic research, animal models, clinical trials, case reports and timely reviews. The field continues to be a source of excellent basic science research and the therapeutic pipeline is quite full, with new molecules in all phases of testing. We look forward to a very exciting and intellectually stimulating second year. Finally, with the completion of our first volume for 2012 we are now seeking approval from several wellknown abstract and indexing services (which will include PubMed) to improve further the journal’s citations. More on this will follow in early 2013.

Brenda Banwell, Gavin Giovannoni, Christopher Hawkes, Fred Lublin

Editors' welcome.

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