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Why on-line neurological algorithms?


o provide the reader a quick, updated and reliable insight in the potential differential diagnosis of commonly (and less commonly) encountered neurological syndromes in adolescence and adulthood. Neurological disorders occurring in childhood are beyond the scope of this webpage.

he website is aimed for: medical students doing their rotations in neurology and/or preparing for their neurology exam, physicians doing their residency training in neurology and young neurologists. However I am convinced that many of my fellow colleagues will find some of the information also most useful.

he most frustrating thing for young clinicians is to learn about common and rare neurological diseases and to find out later that the presentation in adults is totally different than that in children. Hence I attempted to clearly delineate the clinical picture in adults.

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he information is based on experience as a clinical neurologist and academician and was supplemented by classical neurological textbooks. More importantly the information is regularly updated by core journals in Neurology (such as Neurology, Annals of Neurology, European Neurology, Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, Journal of Neurosciences, Current Opinion in Neurology) and Internal Medicine (New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet). No effort has been spared to include the most recent described disease entities and their criteria for diagnosis, giving neurology a dimension different from what is perceived from classical textbooks. Finally, no algorithm is perfect and is not intended to cover all circumstances. Hence there will still be situations where the exercise is doubtful. It is then up to the reader to critically revise the neurological syndrome and/or follow up the case until more evidence is available. Keep in mind that besides critical thinking, time often will lead you to the right diagnosis.

he content is organized as such that following the identification of a recognizable neurological syndrome, an algorithm of differential diagnoses is provided together with the appropriate diagnostic tests. To facilitate the understanding of the algorithms a short up-to-date description of the disease or syndrome is given by hyperlink. I have tried to focus as much as possible on the most common neurological signs and symptoms or syndromes (e.g. akinetic-rigid syndrome, headache in the elderly, myoclonus etc. ), which explains why the list is not exhaustive. As the reader might notice quite some emphasis has been put on adding genetic information wherever available. The reason for this is the fast evolution of this specialty as diagnostic tool in neurology.

he chapters are divided in common recognizable neurological signs, symptoms and syndrome chapters, which implicates that a basic knowledge and interpretation of neurological history and synthesis of neurological examination is desirable. This website will not be able to lead you to a neurological syndrome if you are not familiar with the basics of neurology. To a certain extent this webpage also focuses on therapy of neurological disorders.

hroughout the text mostly standard abbreviations are used to facilitate reading. A list of these conventional and less common abbreviations is added as hyperlink. The italic highlights in the text indicate important features. Finally, the non-possessive form of disease description (Alzheimer disease in stead of Alzheimer’s disease) is used throughout the sections.

o avoid information overload the references have been restricted to the minimum. New sections and regular updates will be provided.


                                                                                                                   Dirk Deleu

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