Annals of Neurology

Cover image for Vol. 77 Issue 4

Edited By: Clifford B. Saper, MD, PhD

Impact Factor: 11.91

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 4/194 (Clinical Neurology); 9/252 (Neurosciences)

Online ISSN: 1531-8249

Author Guidelines

Author Guidelines


The Annals of Neurology publishes articles of broad interest with potential for high impact in understanding the mechanisms and treatment of diseases of the human nervous system.  All areas of clinical and basic neuroscience, including new technologies, cellular and molecular neurobiology, population sciences, and studies of behavior, addiction, and psychiatric diseases are of interest to the journal. The Annals is particularly interested in clinical trials and other large-scale studies that inform the practice of medicine. Trials reporting negative data will be considered.

Editorial Office and Reviewing Editor Information

As of January 1, 2014, the Annals of Neurology editorial offices have moved to Harvard Medical School, with Dr. Clifford Saper as the Editor-in-Chief. All manuscripts, including ones that were submitted prior to the move, will now be handled by Dr. Saper and his Associate Editors. For all new manuscripts, authors should indicate their preferences among the new Associate Editors, whose names and specialties are listed below.

Reviewing Editors for Annals of Neurology and Their Specialties, Effective October 1, 2013

Igor J. Koralnik, MD

Specialty: Neuro-immunology and infectious disease

Alvaro Pascual-Leone, MD, PhD

Specialties: Cognitive neurology, neuroimaging, neurorehabilitation, brain stimulation/plasticity

Scott L. Pomeroy, MD, PhD

Specialties: Pediatric neurology, neuro-oncology

Seward Rutkove, MD

Specialty: Neuromuscular neurology, bioengineering

Martin A. Samuels, MD

Specialty: Evidence-based neurological practice, interactions of general medicine and neurology

Clifford B. Saper, MD, PhD

Specialties: Sleep, neural systems (autonomic, pain, auditory, vestibular, taste, smell, etc.)

Gottfried Schlaug, MD, PhD

Specialties: Stroke, neuroimaging, rehabilitation/stroke recovery, brain plasticity, communication disorders

Donald L. Schomer, MD

Specialties: Epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology

Christopher A. Walsh, MD, PhD

Specialties: Neurogenetics, cortical development, epilepsy

Anne B. Young, MD, PhD

Specialties: Neurodegenerative disorders, movement disorders, neurogenetics

Statistical Editor

Rebecca A. Betensky, PhD

Managing Editor

Adam A. Gordon

Editorial Policies 

1. Submission and Review Process:

- Authors are required to submit manuscripts through our online submission website. If for any reason you are unable to do so, please contact the Managing Editor to discuss the possibility of alternate arrangements.

- Submissions must not be under consideration by any other journal or published previously (apart from abstracts).

- All submissions are thoroughly vetted by Editors prior to peer review. Because Annals can only publish a small percentage of the papers we receive, our Editors only send out for review those papers that they feel have sufficient priority that they will have a reasonable chance of being published. However, fewer than half of papers sent for review can be published, so an invitation to revise your manuscript is not a guarantee of acceptance for publication.

- The Annals is committed to providing a timely decision for every submission we receive. To accomplish this, we strictly enforce time limits for peer review and for editorial consideration. If authors require a decision within a restricted time frame (because of a competing paper from another group or similar problem, but NOT to meet a grant or promotion deadline), please contact the Managing Editor, Adam Gordon at

- To ensure your communications are properly routed to the appropriate Editors, all correspondence regarding your submission must be directed to Adam Gordon, Managing Editor, at Do not contact the Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editors, or members of the Editorial Board.


2. Conflict of Interest Disclosure:

- An ICMJE conflict of interest form must be completed by each author. The Annals is in compliance with the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations regarding conflicts of interest. Relevant information and a copy of the necessary information and the ICMJE disclosure form can be obtained here:

- In addition, there must be a section of the text, after the body of the text but before the References, labeled “Potential Conflicts of Interest”. This should contain a succinct summary of all of the items disclosed on the ICMJE forms of the authors that may be considered to give the appearance of a conflict of interest (whether the authors feel there was any actual conflict or not). This should include all interactions, even of no financial value, between the authors and any commercial sponsor of any diagnostic or treatment method that is used in the manuscript. If there are no such potential conflicts, that should be stated.

- Failure to disclose information in the ICMJE forms or in the Potential Conflicts of Interest section of the text will be grounds for immediate rejection of a manuscript. Additional sanctions, at the discretion of the Editors, may be undertaken for repeat offenders.


3. Experimental Studies of Human Subjects:

- The Methods section of the manuscript must contain a statement verifying that the protocol for the study has received prior approval by the appropriate Institutional Review Board, and that informed consent was obtained from each subject. A copy of the IRB approval must be provided if it is requested.

- Clinical trial reports must be written in accordance with the CONSORT reporting guidelines. (Download PDF file - 110K).

- Although the Annals does not advocate one particular registry, clinical trials must be registered in a database that meets the requirements set forth by the ICMJE: (1) The registry must be publicly accessible. (2) It must be open to all registrants and managed by a not-for-profit group. (3) The registry must have a mechanism to guarantee accuracy and validity of the information submitted. (4) The registry must adhere to the ICMJE mandates described in the table found on their website: Additional information can be found here:


4. Animal Experiments. The Methods section must contain a statement verifying that the protocol for the study has received approval by the institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and that all studies were conducted in accordance with the United States Public Health Service's Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. A copy of the IACUC approval must be provided if it is requested.

5. Sharing of Data and Reagents. Authors will be required following publication to make available any new nucleic acid constructs, recombinant organisms, antibodies, or other unique reagents and to make their data available to other investigators for the purpose of verifying and replicating results. The Editors strongly encourage authors to make their data available to other investigators for other purposes, e.g. to deposit microarray data in a public repository, such as GEO or ArrayExpress.


Editorial Office Contact Information:


Adam A. Gordon, Managing Editor
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
tel: 617 667 1812



Manuscript Submission Information

Submission requirements for the Annals of Neurology are in accordance with the ICMJE Uniform Requirements. Please review the following document prior to submission of your manuscript:


Submit your manuscripts online at where you and your coauthors may view the status of your manuscript as it progresses through the review process.  Notification of the disposition of each manuscript will be sent by e-mail to the submitting author on the day of decision.  The timeframe from submission to first decision ranges from one day to six weeks. 


Cover letter
At minimum, please include all of the following elements in your cover letter to the editors:

(1) type of submission (Research Article, Brief Communication, etc.), the corresponding author complete with a mailing address, telephone and fax numbers, and an e-mail address; (2) a statement certifying that all coauthors have seen and agree with the contents of the manuscript, that the ICMJE requirements for authorship have been met (please see, and that each author believes that the manuscript represents honest work; (3) certify that the submission (aside from an abstract) is not under review at any other publication; (4) a full statement about all submissions and previous reports that might be regarded as redundant publication of the same or very similar work (any such work should be referred to specifically and referenced in the new paper; copies of such material should be emailed to the Managing Editor after the manuscript is submitted); (5) a statement of financial or other relationships that might lead to a perceived conflict of interest.

Important: If you have other articles in-press or under review with another journal, please e-mail these other manuscripts to the Managing Editor ( after your manuscript has been submitted.


Credits and Permissions

Upon acceptance, we will require (1) notice of informed consent; (2) releases to publish photographs of recognizable persons; (3) written permission to use non-original material (including quotations exceeding 100 words or any table / figure) from both author and publisher of the original material; (4) written permission to name any individual acknowledged in the manuscript but not credited as an author. No article will be published without all required permissions.


Conflict of interest

The Annals is compliant with the ICMJE recommendations regarding conflict of interest disclosures. All authors are required to report the following information with each submission: (1) Financial associations with commercial entities that provided financial support for the work reported in the submitted manuscript. The time frame for this disclosure covers the duration of the work itself, from conception and planning to the present. (2) Financial associations with commercial entities that could be viewed as having an interest in the general area of the submitted manuscript. All sources of revenue relevant to the submitted work that accrued either directly to you or to your institution on your behalf should be disclosed. The time frame for this disclosure covers the 36 months prior to submission of the manuscript. (3) Financial associations involving spouses or children under 18 years of age. (4) Non-financial associations that may be perceived as relevant to the submitted manuscript, including personal, professional, political, institutional, religious, or other associations that may be perceived as relevant. This information will be acknowledged at publication.  Rejection of a manuscript or retraction may occur if undisclosed financial interests are found after publication. The required form can be downloaded here:


Preparation of Manuscripts


Types of Manuscripts

Annals of Neurology publishes the following types of articles:


Research Articles: Research articles are papers reporting the results of original research. Articles are limited to 500 words for the Introduction, 1,500 words for the Discussion, and 5,000 words, 50 references, and eight figures overall. Note that Annals does not permit supplementary material, except for long, bulky tables or videos, hence all of the methods and results must be described in the body of the paper. We ask authors to be parsimonious in wording their Methods and Results sections, referring to other papers, when possible, for methodological details, and to not describe Results in detail that are clearly shown in a table or figure.

Brief Communications: Brief Communications should be limited to 1,500 words, with 20 references or fewer, and no more than a total of three tables or illustrations. Annals rarely publishes case reports, unless the definitively identify a new mechanism of disease or treatment.

Letters to the Editor and Replies: Letters should be limited to 400 words and may include one table or figure, if essential, and five or fewer references. Only letters addressing previously published articles will be considered. Letters are not an appropriate way to report new research unless it bears directly on the results of a previously published article.

Review articles: Review articles are broadly based and are meant to cover an important field of neurology in an authoritative way. Reviews are usually invited from individuals who are experts in a field. Prospective authors should contact the Editor-in-chief before submitting reviews. They should range between 1,500-4,000 words, with up to 80 references.

Neurology Grand Rounds: Neurology Grand Rounds are a new feature, meant to recreate the type of presentation that is generally presented by an invited speaker in a Grand Rounds series at a major academic medical center. Grand Rounds presentations can be Clinico-Pathology Conferences, or they may be presentations which present a point of view from a single author or group of authors. The material should focus on the thesis of the presenter, and need be not as broadly based and representative of the field as a typical Review article. Grand Round articles should otherwise follow the same guidelines as Reviews for the length of the article and number of references.

NeuroGenesis Articles: The NeuroGenesis series is meant to focus on issues concerning the development of the careers of academic neurologists, and recent contributions have ranged from the decision to enter neurology residency through social networks among previous presidents of the AAN and ANA. NeuroGenesis articles should be limited to 1,500 words and 20 references.

Editorials and Commentaries: Commentaries are invited discussions of new papers, and are usually published in the same issue as the target article. Editorials are short opinion pieces concerning issues facing modern academic neurology. Both types of articles are generally invited, and those who seek to write them are encouraged to contact the Editor-in-chief. Editorials and Commentaries should be less than 1,000 words.


Organization of the Manuscript:

Coversheet: The first page of every submission should contain all of the following information: (1) title and running head; (2) all authors’ names, degrees and affiliations; (3) corresponding author’s contact information; (4) number of characters in the title and running head; (5) number of words in the abstract, Introduction, Discussion and the body of the manuscript (not including abstract or references, figure legends, etc.); (6) number of figures, color figures, and tables. (Gathering this information ahead of submission will greatly facilitate the online submission process.)

Title: Titles should be short, specific, and clear. Do not use abbreviations in the title.

Running head: Please provide a running head title for your submission. Do not exceed 50 characters.

Authorship: Individuals should be listed individually as authors only if they have participated in both the conception or design of the study, and in the data analysis and editing. Individuals who have participated in large, multi-center studies and who have played an important role in the data collection and analysis of individual patients may be recognized on the Author line of the manuscript as part of a Group related to that study (e.g., Alzheimer Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, Parkinson Study Group, etc.). The composition of the Group should then be acknowledged in a table listing the participants, their affiliated institutions, and their roles in the study. All authors must explicitly approve the final draft of the paper before it is submitted. Purely technical contributions are not sufficient for authorship, but instead should be included in the acknowledgements.

All author names should include first name, middle initial (if provided), last name, and degrees. Author affiliations should be indicated by using superscript numbers. Affiliations are specific to the department level: two authors at one institution but in different departments have separate listings; two authors in the same department will have one affiliation. Statements of equal authorship contribution may be included. At least one person’s name must precede a Group-attributed authorship (e.g. “Tom Jones for the Meningitis Study Group”).

A paragraph should be included at the end of the manuscript, indicating the contribution of each author to the study.

Each named author must file a copy of the Conflicts of Interest form by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. A paragraph should be included at the end of the manuscript describing any relevant conflicts of interest for each author. Note that a relevant conflict is one that could bias that author in the conduct of the reported work. Corporate financial relationships that are not relevant to the work should not be listed here, although they should be included in the ICMJE form.

Abstracts: The second page should contain the Abstract. Abstracts should not contain abbreviations or references. Abstracts for Research Article must be limited to 250 words and must be structured into subsections for: Objective, Methods, Results, Interpretation. Abstracts for Reviews, Neurology Grand Rounds, Neurogenesis, or Brief Communications, Abstracts are limited to 100 words and should not include subsections.

Abbreviations: Always spell out abbreviations at first mention, and place the acronym or abbreviation in parentheses immediately after. Abbreviations should be limited to terms that are both long and frequently repeated in the text. Try to avoid using more than six abbreviations in a paper, least the text appear to be written in code.

Text for Research Articles and Brief Communications: Sections must appear in the following order: Abstract, Introduction, Methods (or “Patients and Methods” or “Subjects and Methods” or “Materials and Methods”), Results, Discussion, Acknowledgements, Author Contributions, Conflicts of Interest, and References. This should be followed by Figure Legends, and then any Tables.

Acknowledgements should include individuals who have contributed to the work (provided materials, technical assistance, etc.), but are not authors, but all such individuals should agree to being included in this way before the manuscript is submitted. The Acknowledgements should also include sources of financial support for the work.


The main body of all manuscripts, and all tables included with your submissions must be provided in Microsoft Word .DOC format.



Please place your acknowledgement at the end of your manuscript before the References. Information concerning sources of financial support and funding should be placed in the Acknowledgement section.



Type references double-spaced throughout.


List up to four authors; if more than four, list three and "et al". Arrange in order of citation, and cite all references by number in the text, superscript and without brackets. Please check all references for errors of citation or attribution.


Unpublished data, which include articles submitted, but not in press, and personal communications must be given in parentheses in the text, not as references.


Annals reference style is now in EndNote and Reference Manager, which can be used to format your bibliography. Otherwise, use Index Medicus reference style, giving complete publication data:

• Sample journal reference: Ahn S, Riccio A, Ginty DD. Spatial consideration for stimulus-dependent transcription in neurons. Annu Rev Physiol 2000;62:803-823.

• Sample book reference: Volpe JJ. Neurology of the newborn. 4th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2001.

• Sample reference to electronic content using DOI: Fisher E, Lee J-C, Nakamura K, et al. Gray matter atrophy in multiple sclerosis: a longitudinal study. Ann Neurol 2008;DOI:10.1002/ana.21436


Figure Legends:

Type double-spaced on pages separate from the text and figures. Provide one legend for each figure, and number legends in sequence. For photomicrographs, indicate the stain and use an internal scale marker.



Figures should be cited in order of appearance. Please do not repeat figure callouts more than twice in a paragraph. Place callouts in parentheses: (Fig 1), (Fig 1 and 2), (Fig 1-4), (Fig 1A to C).


All figures must be submitted in TIFF format at 300 dots per inch (dpi) resolution. Do not submit your figures embedded in a Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF document (i.e., as a .DOC or a .PDF file). JPG, GIF, PSD, CRD, PCT, PPT, PDF, XLS, BMP, 123 (or other Lotus formats) are all unacceptable.


Figure dimensions should be limited to either 8cm across (1 column width for graphs, MRI scans, etc.) or 17cm across (full page width for schematics or flow charts, and figures composed of multiple photomicrographs, etc.). Single-column width artwork is preferred; please stack figure panels vertically whenever possible.


Vector-based figures (e.g. figures created in Adobe Illustrator) may be submitted in EPS format.


Color figures should be submitted in an RGB colorspace. Do not submit color figures as CMYK.


To ensure consistency between figures and legends, and to preserve conformity and neatness in style, please be sure your figure panels are labeled in uppercase letters (A, B, C, etc.) using a sans serif font (e.g. Helvetica). The font size should measure 10 points after the figure is reduced to the appropriate dimensions (8cm or 17cm). Any text within a figure (e.g. the axes of a graph) should be 7 points after final reduction.

To create high resolution figures from Microsoft PowerPoint or Excel, you will have to (1) export the figure to a Post Script file (this is done through the print menu and requires Adobe Acrobat Professional); (2) using Adobe Photoshop, open the figure in 300, 600, or 1200 dpi resolution and RGB colorspace; (3) using the image size tool, adjust the dimensions of the figure to a maximum width of either 8cm or 17cm across; (4) save the file as a TIFF.


Please do not include extra text (including keys and headings) in the artwork; spell out keys and headings in the figure legend instead. Please reduce negative space as much as possible, removing all excess white space from figures with multiple panels.


Photographs of recognizable persons should be accompanied by a signed release from the patient or legal guardian authorizing publication. Masking eyes to hide identity is not sufficient.


Part of reproduction and printing costs will be paid by the Annals. The charge to authors is $650 for the first page of color and $400 for each additional page containing color illustrations. Color prints should contain any necessary internal labeling (e.g., arrows, bars).



Tables should be cited in order of appearance. Please do not repeat table callouts more than twice in a paragraph. Place callouts in parentheses: (Table 1), (Tables 1 and 2), (Tables 1-4). Type tables double-spaced on pages separate from the text, after any figure legends. Number pages consecutively with text and provide a table number and title for each. Please hold the length of all tables (unless they are submitted as supplementary material) to one standard-sized manuscript page. Tables should be numbered in order of citation in the text. Data in tables should not duplicate material in the text or illustrations.


Supplementary materials:

Annals strongly discourages placing non-essential materials as supplements. The main paper should include all essential content (including all text, tables and figures). Only especially bulky materials, such as very long tables, or audio/video files will be considered for supplementary materials. We encourage authors to replace copies of red-green figures with magenta-green copies in the supplementary material for readers who are red-green color blind (about 6% of male readers). To do this, in Photoshop, click on the Channels Palette, then the Red Channel. Select the entire image, then Copy. Then click on the Blue Channel, and Paste. When you now click on the RGB image, the red will be replaced by magenta, which red-green color blind individuals can distinguish from green.


Online Submission


Please review these instructions carefully and take note of further instruction provided at the top of each screen of the seven-stage submission process. Submit your manuscript and all figures, tables, and supplementary materials exactly as instructed to avoid a delay in processing your manuscript.

Log in to our submission site and access your Author Center. If you do not already have an account, please create an account for yourself by clicking on the "Create an Account" button. If you have forgotten your password, enter your email address in the field provided on the login screen and click “go” to have your account information emailed to you.


To submit a new manuscript, click the indicated link on the main screen.


To submit a revision, click “Manuscripts with Decisions” and click on the link located to the right of your manuscript title.  Prior to submitting your revision, please review the attachment provided with your most recent decision letter from the Managing Editor.


1.     Select a Manuscript Type, enter title, running head, and abstract. Enter “none” in the abstract field for letters and other manuscript types that do not require an abstract.  Be sure to respond to all fields marked with a purple “req,” which denotes a required field.  Manuscript submission will fail if any required field is left blank.  Click Next to proceed to step 2.

2.     Please select the most appropriate “domain” for your manuscript.  This is simply used by the Editorial staff to help identify the most appropriate Associate Editor, and has no further bearing on your manuscript.  Enter at least one “keyword” associated with the subject or methods of your submission.  Click Next to proceed to step 3.

3.     Enter all authors' names and contact information.  Click Next to proceed to step 4.

4.     Identify potential reviewers and preferred non-reviewers.  E-mail addresses are essential for this optional step.  You may opt out of recommending preferred or non-preferred reviewers, and there is no guarantee the Editors will follow your recommendation.  Click Next to proceed to step 5.

5.     Paste or attach a Microsoft Word copy of your cover letter.  Enter all manuscript metadata (number of pages, number of words in the body of the text, number of tables, etc.) making sure this information matches the information captured on your coversheet.  Enter any previously assigned Manuscript IDs, if applicable.  Click Next to proceed to step 6.

6.     Your main document, figures, and supplementary material files may be uploaded in batches of five files.  After the first five are uploaded, you will be able to upload five more, and so on.  Please be sure to enter any figure legends, and name your figures as they are named in the text when prompted after uploading your figure files. A separate conflict of interest form is required for each author. The form can be obtained here:   

Do not submit any signed copyright transfer forms to the editorial office during the submission process.  Please also remember that offline submissions will only be considered in exceptional circumstances, and must be agreed upon with the Managing Editor in advance of submission.  Click “Next” to proceed to the final step.

7.     The appearance of any red “X” indicates a required field was left blank in the submission process.  The manuscript cannot be submitted until all required information is provided.  Please carefully review your proofs in both HTML and PDF format.  If you notice any problems, please contact the Managing Editor: Do not be alarmed if your figures appear small in the HTML proof.  The “Image Spy” link below the figure may be used to zoom in to maximum figure dimensions.  Click the blue “Submit” button to submit your manuscript. At the end of a successful submission, a confirmation screen with your manuscript number will appear and you will receive an E-mail confirming that the manuscript has been received by the Journal.  If this does not happen, please check your submission in your Author Center and/or contact the Managing Editor.

Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology

Because Annals of Neurology does not have space to publish all of the high quality papers that we receive, the American Neurological Association has established a sister journal, Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology. This is an Open Access journal, specifically designed to enable rapid publication of high quality research that we cannot offer publication in Annals of Neurology. Authors of such papers will be offered the option of having the paper, along with any related peer reviews, automatically transferred for consideration by the Editor of Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology. Authors will not need to reformat or rewrite their manuscript at this stage, and publication decisions will be made a short time after the transfer takes place. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology is an Open Access journal and article publication fees apply. For more information please go to


Proofs and Reprints


Please return your proofs as quickly as possible. Proofs must be returned within three days of receipt. Late return may cause a delay in publication, or cause an article to publish without the author's review of the typeset copy. Please check text, tables, legends, and references carefully. To expedite publication, page proofs rather than galleys will be sent electronically to the author. An order form for reprints will be included with proofs. Email your e-annotated proofs and forms to:

ANA Production



For additional tools visit Author Resources - an enhanced suite of online tools for WIley InterScience journal authors, featuring Article Tracking, E-mail Publication Alerts and Customized Research Tools.


Copyright and Online Open


If your paper is accepted, the author identified as the formal corresponding author for the paper will receive an email prompting them to login into Author Services; where via the Wiley Author Licensing Service (WALS) they will be able to complete the license agreement on behalf of all authors on the paper.

For authors signing the copyright transfer agreement

If the OnlineOpen option is not selected the corresponding author will be presented with the copyright transfer agreement (CTA) to sign. The terms and conditions of the CTA can be previewed in the samples associated with the Copyright FAQs below:

CTA Terms and Conditions

For authors choosing OnlineOpen

If the OnlineOpen option is selected the corresponding author will have a choice of the following Creative Commons License Open Access Agreements (OAA):

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License OAA

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial -NoDerivs License OAA

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and visit

If you select the OnlineOpen option and your research is funded by The Wellcome Trust and members of the Research Councils UK (RCUK) you will be given the opportunity to publish your article under a CC-BY license supporting you in complying with Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK requirements. For more information on this policy and the Journal’s compliant self-archiving policy please visit:

For RCUK and Wellcome Trust authors click on the link below to preview the terms and conditions of this license:

Creative Commons Attribution License OAA

To preview the terms and conditions of these open access agreements please visit the Copyright FAQs hosted on Wiley Author Services and visit