Our Cherished Goal: Sky is Our Limit

AUTHORS

Zahid Hussain Khan 1 , *

AUTHORS INFORMATION

1 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Imam Khomeini Medical Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences , Tehran, Iran

ARTICLE INFORMATION

Archives of Neuroscience: 1 (1); 1-3
Published Online: April 1, 2014
Article Type: Editorial
Received: March 11, 2013
Accepted: March 12, 2013
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Keywords

Goal Spinal Cord Regeneration Trends

Copyright © 2014, Tehran University of Medical Sciences. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.

If we cast an eye on editorials in newspapers, magazines, journals etc., we find that most of the news media tend to publish them on a regular schedule as per requirements that prevail. Customarily, the ones who have a special expertise in a particular field are extended an invitation to write an editorial or else the chief editor himself volunteers to accomplish the task. The topic usually revolves round a current event or else the chief editor invites one of the reviewers to do the write up on a leading manuscript that he thinks would attract the readership. One of the elements that makes an editorial outstanding, worth reading and citation is persuasive language. Apart from that, an editorial has its own laws which need to be adhered to. To streamline the process, some journals embolden and highlight a column in the list destined for reviewers titled, ‘’ Does this manuscript need an editorial and if yes, would you be ready to write an editorial? ’’ This helps and works as an incentive for the reviewers because few get a chance to write an editorial in their academic career. Nevertheless, writing an editorial is a hard task and entails lot of reading to accomplish. Those who accept it are in fact doing a great task to the journal.

While writing this maiden editorial for the first issue of our journal, ‘’ Archives of Neuroscience ‘’, I did not have much choice to make as the influx of manuscripts had been scanty and most of them were awaiting the reviewers’ comments. Thus it struck my mind to dwell on the events that led us to launch this journal.

After a skull session of the faculty staff and members of the editorial board, “Archives of Neuroscience” was unanimously approved as the name for the journal. As the name depicts, it is destined to dwell on issues pertaining to all allied branches of neuroscience and clinical science involving all branches of medicine. Neuroscience is an unfathomable field and its tentacles can be vividly witnessed in almost every reputed journal under any name and having any inclinations. Thus it had been hard for us in writing the scope and aims because of the diversity of the subject. The scope is as wide as the universe and the aims are directed in finding a panacea for the suffering humanity in conducting innovative research and clinical trials in branches that are still beyond our reach at present.

Iran ranks at the top for road accidents and these accidents account for scores of spinal cord injury (SCI) patients leaving a psychological trauma for the family and an exorbitant cost for the exchequer in treating and rehabitating these patients. Moreover, the imposed Iran-Iraq war left in its wake hundreds of SCI patients whom we still see in the hospitals as a replica of the devastating war. Once the Brain and Spinal Injury Repair Research Center was launched a few years back, SCI patients flocked in from different parts of the country and even from neighboring countries to find a cure for their seemingly incurable disease. In treating these patients, we have made giant leaps and significant strides which were in fact an overwhelming force and motivation for us to launch a journal that would be able to bring to limelight the advances made in neuroscience as a whole and in traumatic SCI in particular. Saberi et al. (1) concluded in their follow up of 33 cases with spine cord injuries that schwann cell transplantation was promising as far as the safety of the method was concerned. This study as far as I can recall was the first of its kind as an attempt to restore spinal cord regeneration from this center and this part of the planet. “One having a dislocation in a vertebra of his neck, while he is unconscious of his two legs and his two arms, and his urine dribbles. An ailment not to be treated”. This is what is being quoted from Hippocrate and which refers to Edwin Smith’s Surgical Papyrus dating back from the seventeenth century B.C. and which appeared in the journal of Neurosurgery (2). Although commonly and rightly regarded as no man’s land or a difficult terrain ,because neuroprotective strategies have not been fruitful so far, the current mellineum would perhaps bring us closer in finding a solution to the care of SCI patients that had been the focus of attention during the last century, and the ongoing trend of research continues with the same momentum even at present.

Fehlings and Vawda (3) are of the opinion that the field of regenerative science should not be stalled at the animal model stage but ethical clinical based trials on excellent preclinical research are needed to strike balances. In the same vein, in a systematic review, Harrop et al. (4) stressed on the necessity of thorough preclinical studies and prospective randomized trials as a multitude of variables are involved and definitive conclusions cannot be drawn from existing studies.

Qwing to the prevailing pessimism of a rewarding treatment in rats and animals, clinical studies on humans have not earned a universal approval so far and are regarded with some degree of skepticism for obvious reasons. We have trudged at a snail’s pace in this particular field like the rest of the world, although there is no paucity of raw material. We cannot express in words the cumulative distress that SCI patients experience when they look inquisitively at your eyes if you have any solution for their seemingly hopeless and intractable disease.

A recent study by Huang et al. (5) show that olfactory ensheathing cell transplantation is safe and has the capability of improving neurological functions for complete spinal cord injury patients. Are we nearing a solution or are we trespassing a domain where the eagles dare to fly?

Despite growing pressure from the publisher and colleagues, I had been wary of bringing out an issue of the journal before our New Year Nauroz holidays on the valid assumption and feeling that we had paucity of manuscripts and lack of expert opinion, Fortunately some scintillating studies poured in which boosted our morale. The first issue thus is reaching your hands a bit late which of course was inevitable. To bag a prestigious position for the journal in the realms of contemporary journals, the efforts of all the authors, reviewers and the editorial board should be welded together. Scholars in any field in medicine can find this journal a homely arena to vent their scholastic and innovative thoughts and research work.

This new fledgling journal needs your support. It is your baby. By your, I literally mean everyone, and we all have to foster it and bring it to the height that is worthy of our edieval Islamic physicians (6) who made colossal and everlasting contributions to the unfathomable field of medicine with paramount professionalism and fluent logic that still holds its value in the annals of medicine..

My irrefutable belief is that the journal would attain its coveted place and once that cherished goal is achieved, every one of us would proudly claim to be the winner.

Acknowledgements
Footnotes
References
  • 1. Saberi H, Firouzi M, Habibi Z, Moshayedi P, Aghayan HR, Arjmand B, et al. Safety of intramedullary Schwann cell transplantation for postrehabilitation spinal cord injuries: 2-year follow-up of 33 cases. J Neurosurg Spine. 2011; 15(5) : 515 -25 [DOI][PubMed]
  • 2. Wilkins RH. Neurosurgical Classic. Xvii. J Neurosurg. 1964; 21 : 240 -4 [DOI][PubMed]
  • 3. Fehlings MG, Vawda R. Cellular treatments for spinal cord injury: the time is right for clinical trials. Neurotherapeutics. 2011; 8(4) : 704 -20 [DOI][PubMed]
  • 4. Harrop JS, Hashimoto R, Norvell D, Raich A, Aarabi B, Grossman RG, et al. Evaluation of clinical experience using cell-based therapies in patients with spinal cord injury: a systematic review. J Neurosurg Spine. 2012; 17(1 Suppl) : 230 -46 [DOI][PubMed]
  • 5. Huang H, Xi H, Chen L, Zhang F, Liu Y. Long-term outcome of olfactory ensheathing cell therapy for patients with complete chronic spinal cord injury. Cell Transplant 2012; 21 -31 [PubMed]
  • 6. Golzari SE, Khan ZH, Ghabili K, Hosseinzadeh H, Soleimanpour H, et al. Contributions of medieval Islamic physicians to the history of tracheostomy Anesth Analg. 2013; 116(5) : 1123 -32 [DOI][PubMed]
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