by Peter G. Fedor-Freybergh
behalf of myself, the Art and PR-DirectorMs Lili Maas,
the Associate Editors and the Editorial Board, I very cordially
invite all of you, old and new subscribers, colleagues and friends,
colleagues-editors from other journals related to the topic
of the Neurosciences, to this new volume of the Neuroendocrinology
Letters (NEL) with its new layout, new format, four-color print
and, most importantly, with its new aim and scope. This new
look of the NEL represents a real ENCOUNTER between sciences,
methodologies, approaches, different views, philosophies; encounters
between Science and Art; basic research, clinical research and
practice; encounters between the editors and readers, colleagues
from different fields on the basis of inter- and transdisciplinarity;
encounters between senior and junior researchers; encounters
between scientists as human beings.
this advanced inaugural of the NEL we continue in the legacy
of the founder and Editor-in-Chief of this Journal, the late
Professor Derek Gupta, while developing it further in the new
directions and visions for the next Millennium.
During the time I served as a member of the Editorial Board
of the NEL, I became familiar with Professor Guptas editorial
intentions and policies. In the last weeks of his life, he and
I discussed his wish that I would take over the editorship of
NEL. I humbly accepted this legacy which was both a great honor
and an enormous responsibility. Many of my distinguished colleagues
on the Editorial Board have strongly supported me and remained
on the Board. During the last two years while editing this Journal
(Vol. 18, 1997 and Vol. 19, 1998), I have enlarged the Editorial
Board by inviting more distinguished colleagues from different
fields around the world to join us. Without the most appreciated
help of the members of the Editorial Board and without the indispensable
role of Mr Kurt Mattes of Heidelberg, who published the last
two volumes, it would not have been possible to continue without
a break to edit and publish the NEL after Professor Guptas
death. I am very much obliged to our two Associate Editors,
Professor Russel Reiter and Professor Michal Karasek, for their
consistent support and advice.
In the Obituary for Derek Gupta (NEL, Vol. 18, Nos. 2/3, 1997),
I quoted some lines from his poetry:
we call the beginning is often the end.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.
today with the new NEL, we make the new beginning
of the great work which Derek Gupta devoted many years of his
life to. He was not only one of the most talented and beloved
members of the scientific community, but he was also a great
humanist, an artist of life, a man of literature and a poet.
He approached both science and poetry from his heart, probing
deeply into the processes of the human condition, with enthusiasm
for life and people. He understood that life is an indivisible
continuity from the very beginning. It was not by chance that
he came much closer to the neuroendocrinology of the fetus and
prenatal conditions in the last years of his life. He died in
office as the president-elect of the International Society of
Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine (ISPPM) and for
many years served as a co-editor of the International Journal
of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine (ISSN 09435417).
Both the Prenatal Journal and the NEL are in very close cooperation
with each other and some colleagues serve on the editorial boards
of both of them.
Professor Gupta was always helpful and supportive to young scientists.
He supervised and inspired 140 postgraduate candidates to the
completion of their Doctoral Theses. He promoted young, promising
researchers who later became leaders in their fields and who
were given their first publication opportunity in the NEL. In
this issue, we publish a work of two young researchers from
the Department of Histology and Embryology from the 3rd Medical
Faculty at the Charles University in Prague.
In this issue, I would like to introduce you to Ms Lili Maas
who joined the Journal as Art and PR-Director and subsequently
became the NELs co-publisher and co-owner. Thanks to her
we are able to start the new era of editing and publishing the
NEL with its new look, presenting it with this issue and also
to enliven the Journal with contributions from art, literature,
psychology, philosophy, etc., fulfilling our vision of the indivisibility
of science from the other aspects of human life.
invites the interdisciplinary discussions where the same
topic can be viewed from different aspects. It should serve
as a unique opportunity for the cross-fertilization between
the different sciences and practices, rather than the more multidisciplinary
Currently, there is an enormous development in biochemistry,
molecular biology, endocrinology, genetics, psychological sciences,
etc., with the interdisciplinary approaches, such as in psychoneuroendocrinology
and psychoneuroimmunology which are gaining momentum. We can
no longer limit the classical school medicine model to the established
theory of pathology with its disease-based creed.
order to understand the integrative approach to human life
and to life as a whole, there are no distinctions made between
the somatic and psychological dimensions. Semantics, a prerequisite
for a dialogue between researchers and practitioners from different
scientific and clinical divisions, is one of the most essential
issues in understanding the unifying process in the human being.
It was best expressed in a leading article of Lancet in 1985:
Psychiatrists and immunologists do not meet much and when
they do they tend to speak in different tongues. One could
even add that they often do not even realize that they do not
understand each other.
The true vision of the NEL is the interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary
and integrative aspects of sciences and their entree into the
twenty-first century. Integration means also amalgamation, blending,
assimilation, combining, incorporation, unification and harmony.
This last mentioned, harmony, should be stressed and underlined
specifically: a harmony between different views and approaches,
between different methods and methodologies, different theories
and practices. It also means that there is a great deal of space
for respect, tolerance and generosity without compromising on
strict scientific tasks.
The bridge between the neuroendocrinology, the immune
system and the rest of the central nervous system opens the
gateway to more common understanding and acceptance across disciplines.
The NEL is an umbrella for the endeavor that unites various
scientific fields in their attempt to elucidate the processes
of experience involved from the earliest stages of human life.
psychoimmuno-neuroendocrinology represents a unique opportunity
for the primary prevention of psychological, emotional and physical
Thus, the NEL is an international, peer-reviewed transdisciplinary
Journal, covering the fields of neuroendocrinology and related
areas, including immunological, psychological, oncological and
other aspects in the normal and pathological physiology.
It publishes work from different fields of basic research, such
as molecular and cellular biology, anatomy, histology, biology,
normal and pathological physiology, chronobiology, biophysics,
pharmacology, biochemistry, neurochemistry, enzymology, receptor
studies, embryology and teratology, endocrinology, immunology
and neuroimmunology, animal physiology, animal breeding, ethology,
human ethology, psychology and psychopathology, psychopharmacology
and others; and from different areas of clinical research, such
as neurology, psychiatry and child psychiatry, obstetrics and
gynecology, pediatrics, endocrinology, immunology, cardiovascular
studies, internal medicine, oncology and others. Original papers,
review articles, systematic reviews, state-of-the-art reviews,
meta-analyses, case reports, discussions, book reviews, congress
reports and other categories of articles are welcomed for consideration
for publication. In addition, articles on Art, Philosophy, Literature,
Life Sciences, Medical History and related topics will be considered.
the process of innovating and developing the NEL in its
current shape, the words of William Saroyan crossed my mind:
The beginning of a new work is always a decision about
what and how a writer shall write. The decision is a half book
for any writer, more than half for some, and for myself all
of it. The actual sitting and writing is no more than that,
and writers get good at it.
edit a journal, especially a scientific one, and on top
of it a scientific inter- and transdisciplinary journal, is
a real challenge. In order to undertake such a challenge, a
new scientific theory and a common language is required, the
language should be understood across disciplines and should
be able to assist in getting beyond semantic problems. I took
this challenge eleven years ago when I founded the International
Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Medicine, a true interdisciplinary
publication which crosses and integrates completely the different
sciences and fields.
Different approaches encompass both introspectively and experimentally
oriented methods where we tried to find a common language to
diminish semantic differences and enable the true scientific
dialogue to flourish. One of the problems of semantics is how
we define science. According to Websters New Twentieth
Century Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged, Second
Edition, Collins World (1978) science is: state of fact
of knowing, knowledge, often opposed to intuition, belief, etc.,
systematized knowledge, derived from observation, study, and
experimentation carried on in order to determine the nature
of principles of what is being studied; a branch of knowledge
or study especially one concerned with establishing and systematizing
facts, principles, and methods as by experiments and hypotheses...the
systematized knowledge of nature and the physical world...,
Science certainly should not be the only pure statistical evaluation
of observations collected but also the observation itself if
it is performed for scientific purposes with the scientific
methodology. As for myself, I would not exclude intuition from
science. Intuition can become one of the most essential sources
of scientific thinking, analyses and conclusions.
Here we approach another indivisible connection which exists
between science and art. As the recently deceased Sir Yehudi
Menuhin put it, the creative act is the common bond between
science and art as well as in every single sign and expression
of life. In this connection I would like to quote another artist
Marc Chagall: The visible is not the only truth, nor is
it the whole truth; the invisible must be penetrated with the
aid of the visible.
Embryo, the photograph and a bronze sculpture by Swedish
sculptor Axel Nordell on the cover page symbolizes the idea
of the continuity of life processes. It also expresses the indivisibility
of all developmental stages, a continuum, where the individual
represents an indivisible entity of all functions on both physiological
and psychological levels, where all developmental stages are
equally important, interdependent and inseparable from the whole
individuals life continuum which begins in utero.
In our integrative and holistic approaches in the NEL, we tried
to analyze and explain the disturbances and failures of discontinuum,
such as infertility and other disorders of the reproductive
system, deteriorations in the course of pregnancy, such as miscarriage,
prematurity, intrauterine growth retardation, deviations during
the sexual differentiation of the brain, issues of functional
In the early postnatal life impairment of the immune system,
allergies, weakness of the endocrine system, sudden infant death
syndrome, etc. occur.
Later in the individuals life we encounter syndromes and
illnesses, such as AIDS, cancer, mental disorders, chronic fatigue
syndrome, Alzheimers disease, general deterioration of
the brain, of the quality of life and the general vulnerability
towards the influences from the inner and outer environment.
would like to welcome the three new distinguished colleagues
who have joined the Editorial Board of the NEUROENDOCRINOLOGY
Professor Franz Halberg, MD, Director, Chronobiology Laboratories,
Dept. of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota,
the father of modern chronobiology;
Professor Richard Jelínek, MD, DrSc., Director, Dept.
of Histology and Embryology, 3rd Medical Faculty at the Charles
University in Prague, the pioneer in the fields of teratology
and functional teratology;
Professor Kazuyoshi Tsutsui, Professor of Brain Science at the
Faculty of Integrated Arts and Sciences at the Hiroshima University,
Hiroshima, Japan. Professor Tsutsui was proposed to join the
Editorial Board of the NEL by Professor Hidashi Kobayashi, who
resigned from his membership on the Editorial Board because
I would like to take this opportunity to graciously thank Professor
Hidashi Kobayashi from the Research Laboratory of Zenyaku Kogyo,
Toho University and the University of Tokyo for all the years
he served on the Editorial Board of the NEL and for all the
support he gave to the late Editor-in-Chief Professor Derek
Gupta and to me in editing this Journal. We wish him all the
best, and I am confident that Professor Kobayashi will cooperate
with us even in the future and continue to support the NEL.
requirements for publishing in the NEL are in accordance
with the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted
to Biomedical Journals (the Vancouver Group and the International
Committee of Medical Journal Editors).
In this issue you will find the revised Instructions to Authors,
valid for all the papers submitted to the NEL from Vol. 20,
the first time we introduce the new headings and the new
divisions which we plan to continue with on a regular basis:
Guest or Invited Editorials, Invited Reviews (NEL-Reviews),
The Story Behind, Philosophy Behind Science and the Seasons
Appreciations. We encourage and solicit young scientists to
submit synopses of their Doctoral Theses or Dissertations for
consideration for publication.
I would like to invite you to propose new ideas for us on the
above-mentioned topics and send us your contributions. Information
on the forthcoming scientific events, congress reports, book
reviews and Letters to the Editor would be most appreciated.
We look forward to your reactions concerning the new look
of the NEL. We also look forward to receiving your papers for
consideration for publication. We will try to shorten the time
from receiving to publishing your peer-reviewed and accepted
manuscripts in the shortest possible time. If you have a special
reason for accelerating the publication of your manuscript,
please let us know in your cover letter, and we will do our
best to consider your request.
Our correspondence column is open for your comments, criticisms,
questions, etc. We would appreciate Letters to the Editor, which
we will treat on a liberal basis. However, we reserve the right
to make a possible editorial restyle of them, mostly concerning
As we pointed out in our promotion flyer of this journal at
the end of the last year: NEUROENDOCRINOLOGY LETTERS is YOUR
JOURNAL. It is the readers journal and as Per Bergsjø,
the previous outstanding Chief Editor of the Acta Obstetricia
et Gynecologica Scandinavica pointed out, among the readers
are also the Journals authors.
We look forward to cooperating with you and creating the NEUROENDOCRINOLOGY
LETTERS together with you!