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 Stephen Wharton
- Prof Sebastian Brandner - Professional Standards and Training representative (co-opted)
- Dr Rob Goldspring - Trainee representative
- Dr Estelle Healy - British Neuropathological Society (BNS)
- Dr Robin Highley - British Neuropathological Society (BNS)
- Dr Monika Hofer - (Lead for training)
- Dr Zane Jaunmuktane - Deputy Training Lead
- Dr Rachael Liebmann - Vice-President
- Dr Michael Osborn - Chair of SAC on Cellular Pathology
- Dr Nitika Rathi - Deputy Training Lead
- Prof Colin Smith - Specialty Advisor
Careers in Neuropathology
Looking to find out more about a career in neuropathology? The links below will give you more information about this specialty, including interviews with pathologists in this field.
Neuropathology covers the study of diseases in the central (brain and spinal cord) and peripheral nervous systems, and skeletal muscle.
Career case studies
The brain and its diseases are still a long way from being completely understood, so there is a lot of scope for research into the many different aspects of this science.
Allyson Taylor was desperate to find answers when she began experiencing muscle weakness that left her struggling to swallow. The answers came from two consultant neuropathologists.