Pediatric Neurology Research in the Twenty-First Century: Status, Challenges, and Future Directions Post-COVID-19.
Published on Dec 1, 2020in Pediatric Neurology2.89
· DOI :10.1016/J.PEDIATRNEUROL.2020.08.012
Abstract Background 2020 marked a fundamental shift in the pediatric neurology field. An impressive positive trajectory of advances in patient care and research faced sudden global disruptions by the COVID-19 pandemic and by an international movement protesting racial, socioeconomic, and health disparities. The disruptions revealed obstacles and fragility within the pediatric neurology research mission. However, renewed commitment offers unique opportunites for the pediatric neurology research community to enhance and prioritize research directions for the coming decades. Objective and Methods The Research Committee of the Child Neurology Society evaluated the challenges and opportunities facing the pediatric neurology research field, including reviewing published literature, synthesizing publically-available data, and conducting a survey of pediatric neurologists. Results We identified three priority domains for the research mission: funding levels, active guidance, and reducing disparities. Funding Levels: to increase funding to match the burden of pediatric neurological disease; to tailor funding mechanisms and strategies to support clinical trial efforts unique to pediatric neurology; and to support investigators across their career trajectory. Active Guidance: to optimize infrastructure and strategies; to leverage novel therapeutics, enhance data collection, and improve inclusion of children in clinical trials. Reducing Disparities: to reduce health disparities in children with neurological disease; to develop proactive measures to enhance workforce diversity and inclusion, and increase avenues to balance work-life obligations for investigators. Conclusions In this uniquely challenging epoch, the pediatric neurology research community has a timely and important mission to re-engage the public and government, advancing the health of children with neurological conditions.