Never before has it been more exciting and important to be a neurologist

Neurological Research and Practice, the official journal of the German Neurological Society, launched its submission system about 1 year ago. We’d like to take this opportunity to talk about hot topics in neurology and the journal’s first year, with Professor Gereon Fink, Past President of the German Neurological Society.

What are the current trends and hot topics in neurology?

The increasing insights into the genetics and molecular bases of neurological disorders open new perspectives for specific and personalized treatments. This is evidenced most dramatically by the antisense therapy for spinal muscular atrophy. Promising neurological research currently targets neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Duchenne muscular atrophy, or Huntington’s disease. Likewise, brain-machine interfaces and neuroprosthetics offer huge potential. Never before has it been more important and more exciting to be a neurologist!

Neurological Research and Practice is celebrating its 1st anniversary of the submission system launch. As the Past President and one of the main drivers for the society’s own English-language open access journal, what has the journal achieved so far? Are you happy with the progress you are seeing now?

Within only one year, a new journal has been established with a regular publication schedule of already 3 -4 articles per month with the first articles being published in February 2019. The article accesses of research articles, e.g., “Safety and clinical impact of FEES – results of the FEES registry”, or review articles, e.g., “Navigating choice in multiple sclerosis management”, demonstrate that the topics covered in the journal meet the readers’ interests. In addition to review and research articles, standard operating procedures, guidelines, and clinical trial protocols provide a modern style that attracts clinically oriented neuroscientists and neurologists as the target group of Neurological Research and Practice. All this proves that the conceptualization of the journal has been successful. Given the wealth of journals and the competition in the field, we are delighted with the positive reception of Neurological Research and Practice. I would like to congratulate the Editor-in-Chief, Werner Hacke, and his team for the great job they have done.

Let’s take a step back – why did the DGN wanted to have an open access journal? What was the idea and mission behind the journal?

Without any doubt, neurology is the key discipline in medicine of the 21st century, given the sociodemographic changes of our societies. At the same time, never before in the history of neurology, have we seen such tremendous scientific breakthroughs in basic, clinically relevant neuroscience, translational neurology, and clinical practice. Just think about the significant advances in the treatment of stroke or multiple sclerosis. Thus, bringing together neurological research and practice has proven fruitful. Few journals, however, specifically aim at bridging basic, clinically relevant neuroscience and clinical practice. Neurological Research and Practice, the official journal of the German Neurological Society, exactly aims to do that with a broad scope reflecting all clinical, translational and basic research aspects of neurology and neuroscience. NRP provides a forum for clinicians and scientists with an interest in all areas of neurology including, but not limited to, genetics, vascular diseases and critical care, disorders of the spine, movement disorders, neuroimmunology, infections, oncology, epilepsy, neuroimaging and neuroradiology, neurodevelopment and degeneration.

What are you expecting for the journal’s future in the next year?

Although online only since February 2019, NRP is already well-perceived, and the first citations speak to the relevance and timeliness of the articles published. The next steps include indexing in the National Library of Medicine (NLM). This will allow access to PubMed and other databases, which will significantly enhance NRP’s visibility. Although NRP is the official journal of the German Neurological Society, the journal aims to bring together authors and readers from all countries worldwide. Besides, access to NLM will also be an important step for gaining an impact factor. Given NRP’s success over the first few months, we are confident that these important milestones can be achieved in the near future, and hope for this to be within the next 24 months.

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