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  1. Phil Smith,
  2. Geraint Fuller

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What's in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other name would smell as sweet

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, act 2 scene 1 line 85.

What is in a name? We hesitate to contradict the Bard but we think a name is very important, at least in neurological practice. In our last edition, Tom Hughes1 argued that using the term ‘stroke’ to describe a rapid onset neurological deficit leads to diagnostic error—as the term now implies a vascular aetiology for the deficit, and its use impedes too soon diagnostic consideration of alternatives. He suggested that transient or persistent change in (neurological) function should be the first descriptor, rather than stroke or …

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