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"Advancing brain health research through interdisciplinary global collaboration"



This mission statement belongs to the Global Neuro Research Coalition, an International Consortium of Neurologists, Neuroscientists and allied professionals, inviting and welcoming all new members to join its interdisciplinary network to transform and advance the field of global brain health research, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.


It was in 2020, in the midst of the largely unknown neurological complications observed in patients with COVID-19 infection, as well as post-COVID, that 24 expert Neurologists and Neuroscientists originally founded the ‘Global COVID-19 Neuro Research Coalition’. They issued a call to the global neurology community, published in The Lancet Neurology, to create a coalition that could share research ideas, harmonise research methods, and establish open lines of communication between colleagues and institutions, in both high and low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), to address and master the upcoming challenges. In close collaboration with other stakeholders, such as the WHO Neurology and COVID-19 Global Forum, the Coalition’s work helped address some of the key questions related to COVID-19 neurology in the areas of clinical care, surveillance, adverse effects of vaccinations, and long-term follow-up. Key published works from the Coalition include the Consensus Clinical Guidance for Diagnosis and Management of Adult COVID-19 Encephalopathy Patients, as well as Neurological Events Reported after COVID-19 Vaccines’, andEvaluation and Treatment Approaches for Neurological post-acute Sequelae of COVID-19’. A systematic review on long-COVID neurological manifestations has also been published recently.

 

The ‘International inter-observer variability study’ undertaken in collaboration with the World Federation of Neurology, and published in the Journal of The Neurological Sciences, has also demonstrated the potential power of the Coalition for global brain health research in general, bringing together 146 clinicians and researchers from 45 countries, who looked at the diagnostic accuracy for the acute neurological complications of COVID-19.


In the meantime, the renamed ‘Global Neuro Research Coalition’ has broadened its focus and grown to encompass a community of over 100 members from 34 countries, striving to identify priorities in brain health, collaborate on translational research and develop clinical guidance to inform and strengthen healthcare systems in the future. The 5 pillars of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Intersectoral Global Action Plan (IGAP) on epilepsy and other neurological disorders lie at the heart of the mission of the Coalition. Therefore, the Coalition has also enabled the growth and success of the WHO-affiliated Global Brain Health Clinical Exchange Platform (see also recent blog article), who host free, monthly online sessions, which engage hundreds of participants from over 50 countries in a dialogue between policy makers, researchers, and clinicians on the current challenges and future directions in neurological patient care and research.


The Coalition actively seeks and welcomes all new members from across the spectrum of neurology and the world, especially from LMICs. Expanding and encouraging such an interdisciplinary platform aims to lead to collaborative research and policy, which furthers the global understanding and management of neurological diseases and their sequelae in a One Health approach. If you are interested in becoming part of the Coalition, please visit our website and/or send an email to covidcns@liverpool.ac.uk.

 

About the Author:



Dr Orla Hilton BSc/MBBS (Hons): is an Academic Foundation Doctor in Infectious Diseases and clinical researcher for the national COVID-19 Clinical Neuroscience Study based at Infection Neuroscience Lab in Liverpool, UK. She currently leads the WHO/University of Liverpool funded Global Brain Health Clinical Exchange. Her main research looks at the cerebrovascular complications of COVID-19 infection. Her research interests include neurological infections, paediatrics and health education in low- and middle-income

countries.



Dr. Tamara Welte, MD, Dr. me is a neurologist/epileptologist in training and a research associate in the Global Neurology working group at the Center for Global Health at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. As a clinician and researcher, she has a keen interest in the global aspects of neurology, with special focus on epilepsy- and stroke related projects in sub-Saharan Africa. Within the Global Neuro Research Coalition she is serving as the scientific

coordinator.


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