My vote of thanks to Professor Andrea Malaspina after his UCL inaugural lecture, which he delivered on the 27th of April 2021.

On behalf of UCL and all the online attendees, I extend a hearty vote of thanks to Andrea Malaspina for enlightening us about Pavia, his journey from Italy to UCL and his insights into MND.

Andrea, one of my favourite books as a teenager was John Le Carre’s “The Spy Who Came In from the Cold‘’ about a British Cold War spy who takes on a dangerous assignment before retiring. Andrea, to me he is an example of…


’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse ……’

The 1st of December marks, at least in my head, the beginning of the festive season and about the time the big Hollywood studios start to launch their Christmas fare. When my daughters’ were growing-up their favourites and possibly mine, were ‘Home Alone’, followed closely by ‘Nativity’, ‘Love Actually’ and ‘The Grinch’. Although I love ‘A Christmas Carol’, it doesn’t quite nail the feel-good factor that comes with Tinseltown movies.

It only hit home to me watching Gogglebox last Friday…


My accident, which has forced me to rest, has also given me time to reflect and think. I now realise that we are potentially at a crossroads that could allow us to reconfigure healthcare. The reasons for doing this are obvious. The current antiquated Victorian model of healthcare, which is fixed in time (synchronous) and place (geography), is too inflexible; in particular for the emerging era of preventive medicine. The NHS is simply not ready nor configured for the efficient implementation of preventive medicine and for aiding people to self-manage their own chronic diseases.

We clearly can’t get rid of…


Some commentators’ predictions were correct; when you are not well and are on the receiving end of the NHS as a patient you see things that you don’t necessarily see as an HCP and NHS employee. As a result of being ill with polytrauma and spending 14 days in the hospital, I have acquired some insights that I would like to share with you. It will be an interesting exercise to see if any of these insights can be adopted from the acute setting and applied to chronic conditions such as the management of MS.

Protocols and Checklists

Despite just…


The torpor of morphine and gabapentin, which is keeping the gnawing hyaena and white lightning at bay, make just typing this piece a marathon in itself.

Last Saturday whilst running I was hit from the right by a largish motorcycle and sustained a mild head injury, a fractured pelvis, a fractured cervical spine and multiple soft tissue contusions and abrasions.

My pelvis has been fixated and my C-spine decompressed and stabilised. My contusions and abrasions are recovering slowly. I have cervical radiculopathy from damage to the nerve roots leaving the spine. The pain associated with the nerve damage is quite…


Professor Claudio Bassetti
EAN President

Dear Professor Bassetti

Professor Andrew Lees — nomination for Moritz Romberg Lecture for Clinical Neurology

I would like to nominate Professor Andrew Lees, my mentor, to deliver the 2022 Moritz Romberg Lecture for Clinical Neurology. Andrew Lees is a truly remarkable neurologist and movement disorder expert. He has been a pioneer in clinical neurology. In my opinion, his three most significant contributions to the clinical study of Parkinson’s disease are:

  1. The formulation and validation of the Queen Square Brain Bank Diagnostic Criteria for Parkinson’s disease
  2. Pioneering the use of apomorphine as a treatment for Parkinson’s…

Image: John Towner, Unsplash

To my students

As you start your new University year I want you to reflect on how privileged you are to be a medical student in a top tier university, with dedicated and committed teachers, responsive support staff and access to NHS hospitals and patients. This is something you should not take for granted. Please don’t waste the opportunity you have been given to learn and to become a good doctor.

I am aware that many medical students are fixated with covering the curriculum and passing the examinations. I want to remind you that you are not at medical school…


Image from the National Cancer Institute (Unsplash)

Some people don’t like the concept of preventive neurology. Why? They think it raises false expectations about what can realistically be achieved in a disease area without precedent. I strongly disagree.

When I was a medical student I met Stephanie a very brave and inspiring patient on the medical wards at the Johannesburg, General Hospital. Stephanie had cystic fibrosis and would be admitted every 4–6 weeks with recurrent chest infections. All the house officers, medical and nursing staff knew her and we went out of our way to make her frequent stays in hospital pleasant and enjoyable. On our ward…


For most people the term “zoomed out” is to decrease the magnification of the image of a distant object by means of a zoom lens. For me, ZOOMED-OUT has taken on a different meaning. Since lockdown, I spend the majority of my day in a chair in front of a computer screen on virtual meetings be they with patients, colleagues or webinars. Because of its technological superiority ZOOM has become the dominant virtual online meeting platform. Zoom has become so dominant that the term has become an adjective to describe online meetings regardless of what platform you use. …


Monmouth Beach in Dorset

Just back from a staycation in the Southwest of England. This summer’s break was different from other summer vacations in that the energy and motivation required to think about work and the setting of next year’s academic priorities were simply non-existent. Instead, I focused on my family and my mental and physical health. I stayed away from the news and social media and I only had to boot-up my notebook computer once to deal with an urgent query around approving a publication. I read lots (not work-related) and slept like a baby. I feel great but I now have a…

Gavin Giovannoni

Neurologist, researcher, avid reader, ms & preventive neurology thinker, blogger, runner, gardener, husband, father, dog-owner, cook and wine & food lover.

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