COMMENTARY

September 2002: Let Our Fingers Do the Walking

Priscilla Scherer

Disclosures

September 11, 2002

Introduction

Among the comments we receive about Medscape, perhaps the most frequent regards the huge volume of information available on the site. Indeed, the quantity and variety (and, of course, quality) of articles and news posted on Medscape has always been a proud accomplishment for us. It can also be daunting and overwhelming -- to readers and editors alike! A search on "multiple sclerosis," for example, yielded 1638 items from the archive of articles posted on Medscape Neurology & Neurosurgery in just the past 12 months.

Articles on the site come from a variety of sources. We have publishing partners, such as Neurosurgical Focus, Spine, and Seminars in Neurology, which make some or all of their content available on our site. And we also post regular original features that are developed by us in conjunction with scientists, clinicians, and academic institutions from around the world -- CME-accredited clinical updates, conference reports, Johns Hopkins Neurology residents' cases, neuroimaging case challenges, and other interactive cases.

In some instances, the title will tell you the relationship between the search term and the article, but often this can be a tenuous connection. For example, owing to the painstaking thoroughness of the search engine, one article that came up in that search on multiple sclerosis was a case report of a man with trigeminal neuralgia in which the discussion included a brief mention of multiple sclerosis as part of the etiologic differential. With that many articles and news reports, finding what you're really looking for rapidly becomes irritating, at best.

Enter the Resource Center. A year or so ago, we began sifting through the articles, news reports, and conference coverage related to a number of specific topics so you wouldn't have to, and put them into a logical, easy-to-navigate format that clearly delineates news from articles and conference reports, highlights questions and responses from our expert panel, and also provides links to condition-specific practice guidelines and to national associations and other sites of interest.

The Neurology & Neurosurgery site includes 7 condition-specific Resource Centers covering Alzheimer's Disease, Epilepsy, Headache, Movement Disorders, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Spine Disorders, and Stroke. On the lower righthand column of the Neurology home page are links to 4 of these, but you can also access the full list in the pull-down menu on the upper right hand of the home page. Additional Resource Centers that may be of interest to neurologists and neurosurgeons include Pain Management, Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, CJD, Addiction, Schizophrenia, Genomics, and Depression.

We've revamped these collections at least once since we first put them together, but I'm embarking on another revamp, and the Multiple Sclerosis Resource Center will be the first in this new format. In addition to the wealth of articles and news are links to practice guidelines, a list of clinical trials open for enrollment, patient information -- including drug information -- that can be printed and handed out to patients as needed (or accessed via URL), and a neuroimaging section featuring a composite figure demonstrating serial MRI changes in the brain of a patient with MS.

Within the next few weeks, we will add several new features including a clinical update on advances in MS treatment and a report from the joint meeting of the Americas and European Committees for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS-ECTRIMS), being held this week in Baltimore, Maryland. Please take a look and let me know what you think of this site-within-a-site. I also encourage you to send your suggestions for improving on and adding to this resource.

As always, I welcome all of your suggestions and criticisms. What would you like to see on the Medscape Neurology & Neurosurgery site? Please email your ideas to me at neuroeditor@webmd.net. (If you concern is technical, please contact our customer support staff at mpmailings@webmd.net.)

Comments

3090D553-9492-4563-8681-AD288FA52ACE
Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.

processing....