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I am grateful to Mathilde Leonardi of the World Health Organisation for suggesting that neurologists in the United Kingdom consider their contribution to public health. Professors Jim Heron, past President of the Association of British Neurologists and Nigel Leigh helped plan the programme for the Working Group. I thank those who contributed background papers which formed the basis of our discussions, and which appear in this supplement. I am also grateful to them, and to the other participants, who gave up a day in their busy clinical and academic lives to discuss the papers and help with this project.
Contributions to the financial costs of the workshop were received from Glaxo Wellcome, Teva Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Roche Products Ltd, and from the Association of British Neurologists. This financial help is warmly acknowledged.
I am grateful to the authors and publishers of the three appendices for allowing them to be reprinted here.