A few more catchy neurology article titles to start the year

The Neurology Lounge is addicted to journal articles whose titles show that a lot of thought and attention went into constructing them. I have reviewed some of these in my previous blog posts titled The Art of Spinning Catchy Titles, and The Art of Spinning Catchy Neurology Headlines. To keep the tradition alive, here are a few more recent catchy titles.

Journal Entry. Joel Montes de Oca on Flikr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/joelmontes/4762384399

Stoop to conquer: preventing stroke and dementia together

This comes from an editorial in Lancet Neurology urging a joint approach to preventing stroke and dementia, a strategy the author calls ‘the lowest hanging fruit in the fight against these two greatest threats to the brain’. He argues that ‘at the moment, the fruit might be hanging too low for our gaze, and we are wrongly fixated on the distant future of Alzheimer’s disease treatment. We might have to stoop to conquer‘.

By Gavarni – Le voleur, n°95, 27 août 1858, page 265. Reproduction d’une gravure extraite des Toquades de Paul Gavarni, éditées par Gabriel de Gonet, Paris 1858., Public Domain, Link

Romberg’s test no longer stands up

This opinion piece in Practical Neurology takes a stab at the age-old neurological test of sensory impairment. Subject are asked to stand up and try to maintain their balance with their eyes shut. The author asserts that this, the Romberg’s test, ‘lacks essential specificity’, ‘risks physical injury’, and is ‘redundant’. He argues that there are much better, and safer, ways of testing for sensory ataxia. There goes an interesting test!

By Mikhail KonininFlickr: Meerkat / At the zoo / Novosibirsk / Siberia / 24.07.2012, CC BY 2.0, Link

Dacrystic seizures: a cry for help

This is from a case report of a 69-year old man in the journal Neurology. He presented with unusual crying spells which turned out to be dacrystic (crying) seizures. This case is eventually revealed to be a case of….sorry, no spoilers. Click on the link to find out.

HeartBroken-Tears are the Baptism of the Soul. Anil Kumar on Flikr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/87128018@N00/139136870

Game of TOR -the target of rapamycin rules four kingdoms

I am no fan of Game of Thrones, but it is an in-your-face television series which provides the setting for this catchy title. The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway is underlies the pathology of tuberous sclerosis. It is therefore the target of many therapeutic strategies in the form of mTOR inhibitors. And the 4 kingdoms? You have to read the piece from the New England Journal of Medicine…perhaps after you have watched the TV series!

Stack. Wendy on Flikr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/wenzday01/4332780839

Restless legs syndrome: losing sleep over the placebo response

This editorial, also from Neurology, addresses the disturbing report in the same journal warning of the high placebo response of interventions for restless legs syndrome (RLS). The title couldn’t be more apt. 

By Edvard Munch – The Athenaeum: pic, Public Domain, Link

 


…and some not very catchy titles

Unfortunately many neurology titles are not as catchy as the ones above. Many article titles appear to be half-baked and fall short. Here are a few:

And the prize for the silliest title in neurology must go to this paper in the Journal of Neural Transmission that is simply…unreadable!

The art of spinning catchy neurology headlines

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.

Parkinson’s disease: Oh my gut! 

By The original uploader was Arnavaz at French WikipediaThis image is an old version created by Medium69.Cette image est une ancienne version créée par Medium69.Please credit this : William Crochot – http://www.cancer.gov, Public Domain, Link

This title reflects the science suggesting that Parkinson’s disease originates from the gut. This editorial restates the proposition that α-synuclein starts accumulating in the intestines before migrating, up the vagus nerve, ‘in a prion-like fashion’, to the brain.

Patent foramen ovale and migraine: closing the debate

Medical Illustrations by Patrick Lynch, generated for multimedia teaching projects by the Yale University School of Medicine, Center for Advanced Instructional Media, 1987-2000.

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.

Migraine and inhibitory system – I can’t hold it!

Human brain on white background. _DJ_ on Flikr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/flamephoenix1991/8376271918

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.

On the nose: olfactory disturbances in patients with transient epileptic amnesia

Big Nose Strikes Again. Bazusa on Flikr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/bazusa/260401471

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.

Myelitis in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder: the long and the short of it

By JasonRobertYoungMDOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

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

AEDs after ICH: preventing the prophylaxis

By BobjgalindoOwn work, GFDL, Link

How do you prevent a harmful preventative practice?. By a paper with a title that is pure genius of course. The authors of this paper highlight the persisting, anti-guideline, practice of using prophylactic antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in people who have had intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH). The paper rhetorically asks if this has ‘become a habit too difficult to break?’ Not going by this catchy headline!

Paralysis lost: a new cause for a common parasomnia?

Sleepwalking. Gareth on Flikr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/trois-tetes/7240877

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.

Hereditary spastic paraplegia: the pace quickens

By Rawlings, Leo – http://media.iwm.org.uk/iwm/mediaLib//150/media-150073/large.jpgThis is photograph Art.IWM ART LD 6040 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums., Public Domain, Link

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.

Cut your losses: spastin mediates branch-specific axon loss

Synapse. Ben Cadet on Flikr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/47814009@N00/2943548161

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.

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Do you have any catchy titles-please drop a comment.

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The art of spinning catchy titles

How often is one turned off by a paper with a very convoluted or poorly worded title. One example I came across is The dangerousness of persons with the Othello syndrome. There are many other examples out there.

Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1629138
Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1629138

 

The focus here is however on articles with titles that not only reflect the topic, but play wonderfully with the words. This paper from Neurology is a classical example: Normal pressure hydrocephalus: how often does the diagnosis hold water?

 

By Vimont, Engelmann /Scan by NLM - National Library of Medicine (Call No. BF V765t 1835 OV2), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3750904
By Vimont, Engelmann /Scan by NLM – National Library of Medicine (Call No. BF V765t 1835 OV2), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3750904

 

What about this catchy title on absence epilepsy from Epilepsy Currents– The current state of absence epilepsy: can we have your attention?

 

What about this, alluding to the energy production role of mitochondria, from the Journal of Internal Medicine:  Batteries not included: diagnosis and management of mitochondrial disease. Surely alluding to the energy-generating function of mitochondria.

Vintage Arizona State University mitochondrial model. Gregory Han on Flikr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/typefiend/6819392279
Vintage Arizona State University mitochondrial model. Gregory Han on Flikr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/typefiend/6819392279

And this one is from Acta Neuropathologica Communications titled The prion hypothesis in Parkinson’s disease: Braak to the future. This is a reference to the Braak hypothesis which describes the spread of Parkinson’s disease pathology across the brain over time. Could prion diseases be responsible for Parkinson’s disease? For a clue, see my blog post, What are the links between prion diseases and parkinsonian disorders.

By Visanji, Naomi P., Patricia L. Brooks, Lili-Naz Hazrati, and Anthony E. Lang. - Visanji, Naomi P., Patricia L. Brooks, Lili-Naz Hazrati, and Anthony E. Lang. “The Prion Hypothesis in Parkinson’s Disease: Braak to the Future.” Acta Neuropathologica Communications 1, no. 1 (May 8, 2013): 2. doi:10.1186/2051-5960-1-2. http://www.actaneurocomms.org/content/1/1/2., CC BY 2.5, Link
By Visanji, Naomi P., Patricia L. Brooks, Lili-Naz Hazrati, and Anthony E. Lang. – Visanji, Naomi P., Patricia L. Brooks, Lili-Naz Hazrati, and Anthony E. Lang. “The Prion Hypothesis in Parkinson’s Disease: Braak to the Future.” Acta Neuropathologica Communications 1, no. 1 (May 8, 2013): 2. doi:10.1186/2051-5960-1-2. http://www.actaneurocomms.org/content/1/1/2., CC BY 2.5, Link
And from the journal Neurology again comes Blowing the whistle on sports concussions: will the risk of dementia change the game?  This, of course, is to do with the increasing recognition that repeated head injuries in athletes result in chronic traumatic encephalopathy. But is the sporting listening? You may wish to revisit my previous blog post on this, Will Smith and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
football-1501700_1280
And from Brain comes this commentary titled Seizure prediction: making mileage on the long and winding road. It is not yet open access, and the synopsis doesn’t let the cat out of the bag. It is difficult therefore to establish what links the catchy title to the text. But it is still a work of art.
landscape-690588_1920

And finally, from Muscle and Nerve, comes Small fiber neuropathy: getting bigger! This is a review article highlighting the growing problem of a disorder with a self-deprecating name. Time to take notice!

By Dan Bennett - Flickr: marmaduke, CC BY 2.0, Link
By Dan BennettFlickr: marmaduke, CC BY 2.0, Link

Perhaps you have a few examples of your own to share.

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