Reviews worth a read

Earlier this year, The Lancet published a truly excellent review of Chagas disease which includes good coverage of the neurologic phenomena associated with the disease.1 Sometimes a valuable review is as remarkable for what it cannot tell you as for what it can. In this regard, another paper well worth adding to your library is a systematic review of neurosyphilis in Africa published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Disease. Despite slogging through Pubmed, Medline, EMBASE and the grey literature, Marks et al. identified only 40 published papers addressing this incredibly relevant topic and 21 of these were case reports!

  1. Perez-Molina JA, Molina I. Chagas disease. Lancet 2018; 391 (10115):82-94.
Gretchen L. Birbeck, MD, MPH

Gretchen L. Birbeck, MD, MPH

Gretchen Birbeck is a neurologist who divides her time between the US and Africa. Her US academic home is the University of Rochester where she is the Rykenboer Professor of Neurology and Research Director for the Strong Epilepsy Center with adjunct appointments in the Center for Human Experimental Therapeutics and the Department of Public Health. Her additional skills in epidemiology, health services research, and tropical medicine are brought to bear during the 6-months annually she spends in Africa where she serves as Director for the Chikankata Epilepsy Care Team in rural Mazabuka, Zambia, an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Zambia and a consultant for the Paediatric Research Ward at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. Gretchen’s research programs are aimed at identifying opportunities to prevent or ameliorate the medical and social morbidities of common neurologic conditions in low-income, tropical settings with the ultimate goal of developing successful interventions feasible for scale up and broad implementation. She has been recognized as an Ambassador for Epilepsy by the International League against Epilepsy, a Global Health Research Ambassador by the US Paul Rogers Society, a National Outreach Scholar by the WK Kellogg Foundation and a Leader in Medicine by the American Medical Students Association.

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