Neuropathology SAC

Neuropathology is the branch of cellular pathology concerned with the diagnosis of diseases of the brain, spinal cord, skeletal muscle and nerves.

Diagnostic neuropathology, until recently a subspecialty of histopathology, involves the reporting of neurosurgical specimens (tumour, central nervous system [CNS], peripheral nerve and muscle), the undertaking of autopsies in patients who have diseases of their nervous systems, and detailed reporting of post-mortem brains. Neuropathologists are specialist doctors who work with multidisciplinary teams to ensure the best, tailored treatment is available for their patients.

There are approximately 65 consultants the UK, around 40 whole-time equivalents. Many consultants have formalised academic responsibilities, including those at forefront of research fields that were set as national priority by the Government, such as neurodegeneration. 

With our sister organisation, the British Neuropathological Society (www.bns.org.uk), in the last year we have developed a proposed NHS England service specification involving a network of neuropathology services across England (and beyond), to ensure the sustainable and equitable delivery of diagnostic neuropathology. Our quality assurance programme is used across the world to confirm diagnostic ability of CNS tumours and further programmes are being developed. We have also supported telepathology for remote intra-operative diagnostics in centres where appointment of full-time diagnostic neuropathology is not viable, ensuring equitable access to specialist services to areas of lower population density. 

Chair: Professor Tim Dawson

Committee Members