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  1. Phil E M Smith1,
  2. Geraint N Fuller2
  1. 1 University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK
  2. 2 Gloucester Royal Hospital, Gloucester, UK

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Traditions are an important part of Christmas (and this is your Christmas edition). There is a tradition (of which we at Practical Neurology thoroughly approve) that all talks, and most articles, on dizziness and vertigo should start with a quotation from Bryan Matthew’s book, the original ‘Practical Neurology’. In his inimitable style, he captured the therapeutic nihilism and the consequent dejected mood of the neurologist in the early 1960s faced with the challenge of a patient presenting with giddiness. How times have changed. Read the essential quotation and how half a century of vestibular research has demystified dizziness (page 492) and enabled patients to be cured (frequently) or at least helped (usually).

Our clinical challenges have changed with developments in science and in society.

Neurologists recognise that the history is often the most important part of the diagnostic phase of the consultation, and explaining the diagnosis …

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