Monday, March 26, 2012

Best Post of September 2011: The Five Hottest Topics in Neuropathology Today

The next in our "Best of the Month" series is from September 13, 2011:

By consensus, I present to you the five hottest topics in neuropathology today:

1. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy - There is an emerging recognition of CTE among those who have played contact sports. The elucidation of CTE will continue to have major public health policy implications.

2. Molecular Subtyping of Brain Tumors - For example, determination of the presence of O(6)-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) activity as a prognosticator of response to alkylating chemotherapy in gliomas is becoming increasingly important to our clinical neuro-oncology colleagues. Other molecular tests that are gaining popularity include IDH1 and EGFR. Molecular profile panels will become the standard of practice in the coming decades.

3. Brain Tumor Stem Cells - Questions about their existence and potential as targets for therapy have energized neuro-oncologic research.

4. Role of Microvascular Disease in Expression and Pathogenesis of Alzheimer Disease - The concept that Alzheimer disease may have a vascular pathogenesis may radically change the way the disease is prevented and treated.

5. Molecular Developments in Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration -  As UCSF neurologist Bruce Miller, MD said: "Classification of FTLD is moving from a syndromic approach toward one based upon neuropathology and genetics." In particular, the description of the TDP-43 proteinopathies has had a major impact on our understanding of a previously unrecognized form of dementing disease.

There you have it. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this list. I think that it will help raise our collective eyes to the horizon.

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