As we have done for the last five years, I am taking stock of my neurology blogging activities over last 12 months. A sort of reckoning, it enables me to list the blog posts that have attracted the most attention, and to quietly reflect on why some did not blaze a trail.
With almost 40,000 visitors, and more than 50,000 views, 2020 has been the busiest so far in the Lounge, outstripping every year since 2015 when I launched the blog. Whilst a lot of the footfall has been to blogs I posted in 2020, I must admit that the golden oldies are attracting more visits than the newbies, making up the top 7 most viewed posts this year. Talk about blossoming with age!
Enough reflection then, here are the 20 most popular Neurology Lounge blog posts of 2020
The Neurology Lounge launched in August 2015. And it is now well into its third year. 2017 has been a busy one for the blog.It has surely been a hard slog.But with >20,000 visitors.And >30,000 post views.It’s been well worth it.
Most posts have attracted encouraging attention. But some have done so more than others.
So which were the 20 most viewed blog posts in 2017? Here is the countdown.
The Neurology Lounge started in July 2015 and it is now well into its 2nd year. 2016 was the first complete 12-month calendar period, and during this time the blog received about 25,000 visits and just under 40,000 views.
There were visitors from >150 countries around the world with the United States recording the most visits at just under 15,000, followed closely by the United Kingdom with about 5,000. There were >1,000 visitors each from Canada, Australia, Spain and India. Engagement however remains disappointingly low with only 117 comments and 67 likes.
Some topics attracted more interest than others, sometimes surprisingly so. Below is the countdown of the 15 most viewed posts on The Neurology Lounge in 2016.
There was a recent, very concerning report about the reliability of functional MRI (fMRI) software. This raised doubts about the veracity of all fMRI research carried out over decades. Thankfully Neuroskeptic addressed this issue headlong in a post titled False positive functional MRI hits the mainstream. The blog pointed out that fMRi software concerns are not new, and importantly, they are not serious enough to invalidate 15 years of research. Phew! The post also discussed the retraction and anti-retraction story that somehow missed the headlines. And who is Neuroskeptic? You need to check out another blog on pseudnymous bloggers to find out.
2. From: Brainfacts.org
What could be more tantalising than a blog post titledThe neuroscience of violence? This post, by Douglas Fields, discusses the discovery of the neuronal rage circuit, and how neuroscientists can now manipulate this. The post says “…with the flip of a switch neuroscientists can launch an animal into a violent attack or arrest a violent battle underway by activating or quelling the firing of specific neurons in the brain’s rage circuits”. Add the hypothalamic attack region to the mix and you have a blog post worth reading.
I was intrigued by this blog post by Seana Coulson titled What a Speech Disorder Reveals About Brain Function. It looks at language and its relationship to the brain and takes readers on a historical excursion of the ‘discovery’ of aphasia by Paul Broca. It details how the field has progressed since then, and sprinkled a couple of demonstrative video clips to explain the symptom.The blog refreshingly admits to how little we know about the brain:“while cognitive neuroscientists have learned quite a bit in the last 150 years about which parts of the brain are involved in different aspects of speaking and understanding language, we still don’t have a really good explanation of exactly what the cells in the left frontal lobe code for…”. Will we ever?
5. From: Beyond the Ion Channel
Neurogenetics isn’t easy but this blog makes it, at least, readable. Take this post by Ingo Helbig titled RORB in generalized epilepsy with absences–going retinoic. This explores a hormone receptor called Retinoid-Related Orphan Receptor-Beta (RORB) which plays an important role in epilepsy and neuro-developmental disorders. Not the easiest read for a layperson, but a good read anyway.
Are you blogging neurology? Please drop a comment… and a link to your blog.
I have dipped my toes in the waters, and I am beginning to find my feet. The blogosphere is a huge universe and I wondered who else are ‘out there’ blogging on neurology?
I ‘googled’ neurology blogs and came across sites listing neurology-related blogs. One is titled ’50 fascinating brain science blogs’ and another lists ‘most popular neuroscience blogs’. I plough through the lists looking for blogs that will be helpful to a jobbing neurologist. I soon discover however that most of the blogs listed are not actually neurological. Many where neuroscience and psychology, and a lot were completely irrelevant to neurology.
So which are the relevant neurology blogs? Here are my choices:
Oliver Sachs is interesting but refers to ‘Dr. Sacks’ in the 3rd person! Hmm. I wasn’t convinced there was much there for a jobbing neurologist but nevertheless worth a look in view of the eminence associated with the name
Brain Watch is a neuroscience blog of Wired. Quite good
Brain HQ is a large blog with interests beyond neurology and neuroscience
There are several other neurology or neuroscience themed blogs with fascinating names like ‘mindhacks‘, ‘brain windows‘, ‘brain waves‘, and ‘neurodudes‘ but I didn’t think they were relevant to practice or of sufficient general interest to explore.