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From the Co-Editor

Posted in Editor's introduction on 19th May 2020

Ann DonnellyUniversally, like many writers, I can only begin by expressing my deep  shock  at  the  worldwide  impact  of  COVID-19  and  also  by  offering deep gratitude to the healthcare responders.

Medical teams worldwide have met unprecedented challenges with bravery and flexibility, many lives have been lost, and there is no clear end in sight. Yet, there is a great focus on gathering and sharing information, and a powerful drive to find solutions.

This  issue  of  ACNR  is  a  reflection  of  what  this  type  of  thinking  can  achieve, with Gavin Giovannoni interrogating the relationship between COVID  and  immunosuppression,  and  Ruth  Dobson,  as  part  of  the  review of multiple sclerosis and Pregnancy, giving us a view on COVID in  multiple  sclerosis  and  pregnancy.  Using  the  clinical  frailty  scale  in  patient  escalation  plans  is  imperfect,  as  discussed  by  Stephen  Halpin  and Alice Jundi at the University of Leeds.

Rhys Davies looks back on the first 100 days of COVID and introduces CoroNerve,  (links  on  the  ABN  RaDAR  page)  an  initiative  to  gather  information  on  the  neurological  impact  of  coronavirus.  This  is  part  of  an  international  collaborative  movement  to  gather  data.  More  articles  will follow with a more specific neuro-rehabilitation view, online first.

Turning  our  gaze  away,  there  is  a  description  of  acute  ataxia  in  the  returning  traveller,  a  rare  cause,  and  JMS  Pearce  reviews  early  publications  on  diabetic  amyotrophy,  which  reveal  the  exquisite  skill  of  a  detailed  description  which  still  is  accurate  today.  It  highlights  how  little additional knowledge we still have, 70 years later, about this often disabling condition. What is the role of the B cell in multiple sclerosis? Felix  Marsh-Wakefield  et  al.  describe  how  mass  cytometry  helps  us  to  define the phenotype of B cell subsets in multiple sclerosis, which can help us understand their pathological or protective roles. Roula Ghaoui and  Merrilee  Needham  both  evaluate  the  role  of  next  generation  sequencing in the diagnosis of hereditary muscle disorders.

Claire  Farrington-Douglas  and  Alex  Leff  emphasise  the  principle  of  ‘more is more’ in aphasia rehabilitation as they delineate the components of their Intensive Comprehensive Aphasia Programme, with innovations such as communication partner training.

For this issue we have conference reports, and it will be interesting to see how virtual conferences can work. I give special thanks to Andrew Boardman who reviewed Spasticity: early and on-going management in an insightful and humorous way.

ACNR  was  established  almost  20  years  ago,  to  provide  succinct  articles,  which  aim  to  enrich  clinical  practice.  Now,  more  than  ever,  this  communication  and  propagation  of  good  ideas  is  vital.  We  will  be  publishing  further  articles  on  the  rehabilitation,  neurology  and  neuroscience response to COVID, and welcome submissions from our national and international audience regarding this.

I wish you all the best of health,

Stay safe,

Ann