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Cochrane textbook of Neurology

The Cochrane Neurosciences Field from the start has highlighted Cochrane Systematic Reviews of neurological interest published or updated in the Cochrane Library.
These “tagged” reviews were collected in a “browse list” of Neurological Cochrane Reviews posted on its website; we have moved on from there to this Cochrane textbook of neurology,  now published as an actual Textbook of Neurological Cochrane Reviews, with sections, titles and a direct link to the abstracts.
“Cochrane Reviews of neurological interest” have different meanings in different parts of the world. For this reason we tried to enhance this variability, developing a browse list or index to be as comprehensive as possible. The aim is to provide an easier and quicker way for the Cochrane Library to reach new audiences with diverse educational backgrounds, socio-economic resources, expertise and priorities for research.

We act as a bridge


The mission of the Cochrane Neurosciences Field is to act as a bridge between review producers, clinicians, consumers and policy makers by promoting accessibility to Cochrane reviews in the neurological area of health care, serving as a liaison and promoting the work of neurological Cochrane Review Groups, identifying potential reviewers and facilitating the production of systematic reviews in neurology and neurosurgery, promoting an evidence-based approach in clinical neurology and healthcare decision making, providing information for patients, their carers and families and providing strong scientific support for doctors, clinicians and decision makers.

The scope of the CNF covers neurological services and all aspects of the prevention, management treatment and rehabilitation of neurological diseases in all healthcare settings.

A 17 year story


The beginning
In 1998, Livia Candelise, Professor of Neurology at the University of Milan (Italy), felt a strong need to offer her students the tools to critically appraise scientific literature and make clinical choices using evidence based medicine, to this end she contacted the Cochrane Collaboration to start up a specifically dedicated neurological area.
The Cochrane Neurological Network was formally registered on 27 March 2000, Livia Candelise was the Director from 2000-2006. In March 2010 the name was changed to Cochrane Neurological Field (CNF).

From Lombards to Etruscans
At the beginning of 2007, the Cochrane Neurological Network moved from its historical, original location in Milan, at the University’s Department of Neurological Sciences, to Perugia.
Perugia, founded by the Etruscans 2500 years ago, is the largest city one of the smallest Italian regions: Umbria “the green heart of Italy”.
Green, because of the Tiber river that passes through following its course to Rome, designing the greenest valleys in Italy; heart because the region is geographically located in the centre of Italy.
From this heart, and with the same passion of its first director, Professor Livia Candelise, the Cochrane Neurosciences Field, hosted and supported by the Health Authority of the Region of Umbria, continues its mission to act as a bridge between
Cochrane neurological review producers, clinicians, consumers and policy-makers.

Neurological core database in the Cochrane Library: point of view from around the globe
(poster presentation at the  Cochrane Colloquium, in Auckland 2012)

A CNF project that lead to the present ebook of Cochrane Neurological reviews.

To see poster click here

We would like to thank the following neurologists for their help in reading and selecting neurological Cochrane reviews for our project:
Ming Liu, Department of Neurology West China Hospital Sichuan University, China;
Olalekan Uthman,Center for Evidence-Based Global Health, Kwara State, Nigeria;
Luis Gustavo Lima, Brazilian Cochrane Centre, São Paolo, Brazil;
Nora Weiduschat, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.

Cochrane Systematic Reviews


Cochrane is a global independent network of health practitioners, researchers, patient advocates and others, responding to the challenge of making the vast amounts of evidence generated through research useful for informing decisions about health.

We do this by identifying, appraising and synthesising individual research findings to produce the best available evidence on what can work, what might harm and where more research is needed. We are a not-for-profit organisation with collaborators from over 120 countries working together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest.

Neurological Reviews from the Cochrane Collaboration
The work of the Cochrane Neurological Field (CNF) spans the organization of neurological services and all aspects in the prevention, management and treatment of neurological diseases in all healthcare settings, with the principal aim of promoting evidence-based approaches to healthcare decision making in neurology, and in diseases related to neurology, through the dissemination of high quality evidence-based systematic reviews.

Cochrane Textbook of Neurology
Every three months since 2007 the CNF has highlighted Cochrane Systematic Reviews of neurological interest published or updated in the Cochrane Library.  The reviews are blindly selected by two neurologists with different neurological backgrounds. Each selected review title is filed under a specific topic within an “Index” of Neurological Cochrane Reviews, discrepancies are determined through discussion with other colleagues. These indexed review titles are collected and posted on the CNF website.

There are different meanings for ‘neurological interest’ in different parts of the world.  There may also be differences in identifying Cochrane Reviews of neurological interest. For this reason, and in light of an evidence based approach, we decided to codify neurological reviews published in the Cochrane Library with the aim of developing an Index of Neurological Cochrane Reviews to be as comprehensive as possible, the index is now published on-line as an actual Textbook of Neurological Cochrane Reviews,  with chapters, titles and a direct link to each single Cochrane systematic review abstract.

The idea of organizing the work into a Textbook of Neurological Cochrane Reviews came from the desire to provide an easy and quick way for the Cochrane Library to reach new audiences with diverse educational backgrounds, socio-economic resources, expertise and priorities for research. The various points of view from neurologists and professionals throughout the world may be simplified by the well-known Textbook format.

The aim of the Textbook is to disseminate the efficacy of interventions discovered in the literature in this field.

The Index of the Textbook is organized like an actual book, it is possible “turn the pages” of the categorised reviews; within each category there are different sub-categories that are more specialised; you will also find reviews that are of ‘shared interest’ between disciplines (i.e. neurology and urology, etc).

Comments and evaluations by readers are encouraged and very welcome, essential to maintain the vital involvement of everyone, clinicians, decision makers and consumers. This opens a unique opportunity for professionals, researchers and Cochranites to share expertise and work to increase the quality and content of health evidence available. Everyone, everywhere can participate in this process to reduce barriers and enhance  participation and encourage diversity.

There are Plain language summaries available for each systematic review title, these summaries present the research results in an easy to read way,  they are an appendix of the review abstracts published in the Cochrane Library, in-line with Cochrane’s expanding global reach, and aim of making  Cochrane evidence widely accessible in languages other than English (multilingual translations can be found, where available, on The Cochrane Library).

An index of the list of the neurological topics produced by the Field is set up as a Table of Contents.

The ‘shared interest’ reviews are important in bridging neurological interests with other areas. In clinical practice these are resolved with “specialist consultations in the particular field”.

Each title is complete with publication date, primary author with contact information, abstract, including the plain language summary, and the Cochrane review Group supporting the review title.

The Textbook will highlight the ten most read reviews and the ten most appreciated reviews.


  • The review abstracts published on this site are the property of John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., and of the Cochrane Review Groups that have produced the reviews.