The Neurology Lounge is always on the lookout for catchy neurology article titles to adorn its shelves. My previous blog post in this quest was The art of spinning catchy titles.
Since then, there have been quite a few brilliant article titles that have caught my fancy. We must acknowledge the wordsmiths who craftily and meticulously think up these magical headlines; they put in a lot of thought to conjure up the right words to use. The look into their crystal balls to predict the best way to play around with the meanings. With a bit of lexical alchemy, they miraculously come up with the titles that make us do a double-take, but do so with a smile. Below are 9 such catchy titles.
The title of this editorial, published in the journal Movement Disorders in 2017, is a reflection of the gathering evidence pointing to the nefarious activity of gut bacteria as the cause of Parkinson’s disease. The author was commenting on an article published in the journal Cell which studied how the gut microbiome influences the development of PD in mice. By all sorts of manipulation of the guts of mice, the researchers could practically switch the brain pathology of the mice, either up or down. The editorialist summed it up thus: “gut microbes could promote α-synuclein-mediated motor deficits and brain pathology in a PD model”. Whilst this is all in the mouse, the editorial highlighted the possibilities that this and other studies are raising; from using gut-mechanisms as biomarkers of PD, to manipulating the gut microbiome to prevent and treat PD. Tame the gut and heal the brain; oh my gut, the prospects are exciting.
Patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a hole in the heart which connects the upper two heart chambers, or atria. It normally closes after birth, but in some people it persists to cause some grief to cardiologists and neurologists. Whether a PFO causes migraine or not is a long standing contentious issue in Neurology. The authors of this study found no link between migraine and (PFO). The title is brilliant, but the tone of finality is probably premature; I guess this debate is far from over.
And still on migraine is this headline grabber. A bit on the basic science spectrum, I quote from the abstract to give you a flavour: ‘This review focuses on recent structural and functional neuroimaging studies that investigated the role of subcortical and cortical structures in modulating nociceptive input in migraine, which outlined the presence of an imbalance between inhibitory and excitatory modulation of pain processing in the disease‘. I would rather stick with the punchy headline myself.
This research paper establishes a link between transient epileptic amnesia (TEA) and impairment of the sense of smell. TEA continues to surprise, and there is indeed quite a lot to chew in the paper.
This is a clear play on the defining feature of neuromyelitis optica (NMO), a long segment of inflammation in the spinal cord. This is what neurologists call longitudinally extensive transverse myelitis (LETM). This is an excellent editorial, worthy of the headline. It emphasises the point that NMO really has no defining features, not even the presence of the ‘defining’ antibody, anti-aquaporin 4- just ask anti-MOG NMO about this
What can you do when a harmful preventative practice has taken roots and has resisted all efforts to uproot it? By writing an editorial with a title that is pure genius of course. The paper which was published in the journal Neurology, full title “AEDs after ICH: preventing the prophylaxis”, was concerned about the enduring, anti-guideline, practice of using prophylactic antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in people who have had intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH). And the author’s anxiety was heightened by the research reported in the same journal which reported a four-fold increase in the prophylactic use of Levetiracetam following ICH…and that was after guidelines were released to break the practice. It is therefore not surprising that the author’s frustration filtered through when he rhetorically asked if this has “become a habit too difficult to break?” No, not going by this catchy headline!
Parasomnias are diseases that occur during or related to sleep. This headline is for an editorial on a new parasomnia called anti IgLON5 antibody disorder. This is the subject of my previous blog post titled IgLON5: a new antibody disorder for neurologists. The headline writer here is clearly a fan of John Milton. I however struggled to make the connection between the excellent headline and the subject of the paper. I however presume it relates to the ‘loss of sleep paralysis‘ that accompanies many sleep disorders, including the quintessential parasomnia- REM sleep behaviour disorder (RBD). Excellent title anyway.
With a slightly wicked wit, this headline focuses on the slow walking speed of people with hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), contrasting this with the increasing research output on the disease. A bit dated I admit, but the paper refers to work which identified the genetic basis of SPG3, one of the commoner HSPs. A lesson in headline writing from the archives you may say.
The headline is brilliant, but the content goes way over my head. It is an editorial on a basic science paper. For the curious and the nerdy, I quote an extract: ‘during synapse elimination in the developing neuromuscular junction, branch-specific microtubule destabilization results in arrested axonal transport and induces axon branch loss. This process is mediated in part by the neurodegeneration-associated, microtubule-severing protein spastin‘. Enough I hear you say. OK, just stick with the headline.
Do you have any catchy titles-please drop a comment.