In the last two decades, neuroscience research has made a big leap forward. The emergence of sophisticated genetic and molecular tools, combined with imaging techniques of unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution, and their application to in vivo models of major brain diseases allowed spectacular progress in our understanding of the structure and function of the brain in health and disease.
Furthering our knowledge of the nervous system generates both opportunities and responsibilities for the neuroscience community: opportunities to shed more light on the pathogenic mechanisms of neurological and psychiatric diseases, and responsibilities to use this knowledge for new therapeutic strategies that will benefit patients and society at large. There is no way to escape from the fact that brain disorders are a major public health problem in Europe and the rest of the world. Data collected by the World Health Organisation in 2004 show that brain diseases are responsible for 35% of Europe’s total disease burden. Currently, the major disorders of central nervous system affect one in three people in the developed world, and brain diseases are among the most prevalent and debilitating diseases. Because most of these disorders are chronic, the individual’s quality of life and socio-economic prospect are dramatically impaired. In addition, an analysis of the health economic studies of brain diseases in Europe, published by EBC in 2011 led to an estimate of ?798 billion for the total cost of brain disease in Europe in 2010. What is needed to face, what is becoming a societal emergency, is to strengthen research and develop a strong European platform for both basic and clinical brain research. Epilepsy is listed among the most costly brain diseases for the European society, accounting for a annual cost of 13.8 billion euros. Epilepsy caused by tumors needs a particular attention since it merges two major disabilitating diseases, thus representing a major clinical, economical, societal and ethical challenge. Addressing the large costs for the European society for this particular disease, requires intensified inter-disciplinar and multisectoral research and the creation of novel solutions. Volumes like Epilepsy and Brain Tumors will fill a gap in the scientific literature and give the much needed visibility to this challenging pathology.
~ Prof. Monica DiLuca, FENS President, University of Milan
About the Author
Dr. Newton is currently Professor of Neurology, Neurosurgery, & Oncology at the Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University and the James Cancer Hospital, and holds the Esther Dardinger Endowed Chair in Neuro-Oncology. He trained in Neuro-Oncology with Drs. Jerome Posner and William Shapiro at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and since then has been in academic Neuro-Oncology for over 20 years. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and is the Chief Editor or Co-Editor of five textbooks in the field of Neurology and Neuro-Oncology. In addition, he has been listed as a Best Doctor (Neurology) and Top Doctor for Cancer (Neuro-Oncology) for the past 13 years.
Dr. Marta Maschio is Neurologist, Epileptologist, and Director of The Center for Brain Tumor-related Epilepsy, Regina Elena National Cancer Institute in Rome, Italy. Since 2005, she has been Director of this unique center, one of the few in Europe dedicated entirely to patients with Brain tumor-related Epilepsy. Known for her ability to think outside the box, Dr. Maschio is constantly searching for innovative approaches to improving patient care for this complex pathology, where epileptologists are rarely part of the patient’s primary care team. She is dedicated to changing that through educational initiatives, membership in the leading international organizations in the field of epilepsy, and by publishing her research in leading scientific journals.
In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Maschio is an active researcher and has published over 100 articles on BTRE and numerous book chapters. She also contributed to the development of BTRE Treatment Recommendations published in 2008, as member of the Italian Scientific Committee, designated by the Italian Association for Neuro-oncology. Since 2011, she has been Co-Director of the Neuro-oncological Section, International School of Neurological Science S. Servolo, Venice International University, and since 2012, is National Coordinator of the BTRE Study Group, Italian Society against Epilepsy.
In 2010, she created her Centers’ web portal, the first in the world exclusively for BTRE patients, of which she is very proud.
On a personal note, she has also won several national poetry awards.