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29 January 2013 (online)
Modern neuroimaging has transformed the practice of neurology by allowing unprecedented visualization and monitoring of evolving pathophysiologic processes. Magnetic resonance imaging can show structural abnormalities with high resolution, and functional imaging techniques can assess in vivo metabolic states of neuronal and glial populations. Given the high density of data obtained from neuroimaging studies, it is critical for the clinician to take an active role in understanding the nature and significance of imaging abnormalities.
My goals for this issue of Seminars in Neurology are to provide a high-yield, up-to-date, and sophisticated yet practical approach to diagnostic neuroimaging. The articles in this issue are of three general types: (1) imaging approach to specific neuroanatomic and neurovascular structures (i.e., cranial nerves, intracranial vasculature), (2) imaging approach to specific categories of neurologic disease (i.e., dementia, epilepsy), and (3) clinical applications of specialized imaging protocols (i.e., perfusion imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy).
I was fortunate to recruit a superb team of authors who are not only clinical experts, but also outstanding and highly respected educators. I am extremely grateful for the authors' enthusiasm and generosity in contributing to this issue.
The issue begins with a detailed review of imaging of the optic pathways by Robert M. Mallery and Sashank Prasad. A practical approach to pituitary and parasellar imaging is provided by Joshua W. Lucas and Gabriel Zada. Ruchira M. Jha and I review imaging of the cranial nerves and skull base. Scott M. McGinnis covers cortical imaging as well as emerging large-scale network imaging in the context of neurodegenerative disease. Structural and functional imaging in epilepsy is reviewed by Naymee J. Velez-Ruiz and me. Brian L. Edlow and Ona Wu present cutting-edge applications of diffusion tensor imaging and tractography in traumatic brain injury. Isabel C. Arrillaga-Romany and Jorg Dietrich review imaging of cancer-related neurotoxicity.
Clinical applications of state-of-the-art vascular imaging techniques are presented by Ashutosh P. Jadhav and Tudor G. Jovin, and by Sushmita Purkayastha and Farzaneh Sorond. Positron emission tomography of the brain is reviewed by Tarun Singhal, magnetic resonance spectroscopy by Alexander P. Lin and colleagues, cerebral perfusion imaging by Aaron R. Hochberg and Geoffrey S. Young, and functional magnetic resonance imaging by Daniel A. Orringer, David R. Vago, and Alexandra J. Golby.
Together, the articles in this issue should help clinicians engage in image interpretation and facilitate a more structured approach toward recognizing imaging abnormalities and diagnosing neurologic disease. I would like to thank Karen L. Roos for the great opportunity to serve as Guest Editor for this issue. I also thank Martin A. Samuels, Allan H. Ropper, and Srinivasan Mukundan for their inspiration and outstanding mentoring.