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Clinical trials provide the best evidence for medical decision-making. The methods for clinical trials are rapidly evolving in response to the needs of every field, and clinical trials involving neurological disorders face unique challenges. Trials are generally launched after many years of painstaking preclinical research and meticulous trial planning, and then require enormous efforts for successful execution. Despite increasing subspecialization of neurology, and especially of neurological research, there are undoubtedly issues that are common to all and represent opportunities for sharing strategies and resources. Frontiers in Clinical Trials in Neurology (FCTN) is a new peer-reviewed, open-access journal launched to provide a broad-based forum to address these critical elements: ethical considerations, study design, measurement of functional status, and methods of analysis across the full spectrum of neurological disorders.
We challenge our colleagues to ask these and many other questions as they apply specifically to clinical trials in neurology:
The results of large randomized clinical trials with prominent positive results will typically be quickly published in the most prominent journals. Neutral and negative trials are frequently published elsewhere and often with substantially longer times until publication. Further, these large trials are usually preceded by decades of smaller pilot, proof-of-concept, surrogate endpoint, and early phase trials, many of which can be hard to find in searchable journal databases if published at all. Detailed protocols of upcoming and ongoing trials also warrant timely publication. FCTN aims to provide a home for trial protocols and results of all types and sizes, with rapid publication and worldwide open access for researchers and clinicians.
We therefore further challenge our colleagues to:
FCTN aims to enrich the development and enhance the dissemination of clinical trials in neurological disorders, and to thereby amplify the best evidence for the treatment of our patients.