Sharif I. Magalov

1939 - 2020

Professor Sharif Islam Magalov passed away on December 18th, 2020. Professor Magalov was the head of the Department of Neurology at Azerbaijan Medical University. He was President of the Azerbaijan Association of Neurologists, President of the Azerbaijan League Against Epilepsy, and President of the Azerbaijan Chapter of the World Federation of Neurology. Professor Magalov was awarded as Honoured Doctor of Azerbaijan and Honoured Scientist of Azerbaijan.

Professor Magalov defended his doctoral thesis entitled “Phenotypical polymorphism and epidemiology of hereditary nervous and neuromuscular diseases” in 1987 at the second Moscow State Medical University. Professor Magalov was elected head of the Department of Neurology at Azerbaijan Medical University in 1991. His scientific activity focused on different aspects of neurogenetics, epilepsy and cerebrovascular disorders. Under his supervision a number of Ph.D. students carried studies on stroke, inherited degenerative diseases of the nervous system, neurotrauma, and neuroinfection.

Professor Magalov was the first to study clinical features, epidemiology, genetics, biochemistry and neurophysiology of hereditary neurological diseases in Azerbaijan. He described unique families suffering from Huntington’s disease, spinocerebellar ataxia and lateral amyotrophic sclerosis, as well as some rare forms and variants of other inherited diseases of the nervous system. He observed and collected materials from 578 individuals from 297 families with inherited neurological diseases. His research on hereditary diseases of the nervous system was unique in the former USSR. Professor Magalov showed negative correlation between the hyperkinetic movements and the level of dopamine in Huntington’s chorea. He put forward a well-founded hypothesis about the role of dopamine metabolism in the pathogenetic mechanism of Huntington’s disease. Professor Magalov also examined family members of patients with Huntington’s chorea and spinocerebellar ataxia, and showed that changes on EMG may precede the onset of clinical manifestations of the disease. Professor Magalov organized the structure of medical and genetic service in Azerbaijan. He provided practical guidelines aimed at reducing hereditary neurological diseases. These guidelines served as a basis for development of the recommendations used in the USSR.

Professor Magalov supervised several research projects on the prevalence of stroke in Azerbaijan, its main risk factors, aspects of clinical manifestation, biochemical changes, evaluation of the risk of hemorrhagic transformation of the stroke, disability caused by the stroke. He took active part in organizing the service for ischemic stroke management in Baku city.

Professor Magalov’s scientific activity has focused on epilepsy research for past twenty years. His Ph.D. students carried research projects aimed at the epidemiology of epilepsy and prevalence of its different clinical forms, the quality of life of epilepsy patients, and epilepsy in women. Based on this work the structure of care for epilepsy patients in Ganja-city was developed and implemented. Consequently, this model of epilepsy care was used in other Azerbaijan cities with population greater than 100,000.

Continuous training system of young neurologists is one of the main strategies of the Department of Neurology. Accordingly, several educational courses were organized and successfully carried out. Professor Magalov paid special attention to international cooperation and educational initiatives. He participated in the Caucasian Summer Schools on Clinical Epileptology organized by ILAE-Europe (CEA), and organized the Caucasian Summer School on Clinical Epileptology in Baku, Azerbaijan in 2011. He also organized several local conferences and training courses on epileptology in different regions of Azerbaijan.

Professor Magalov successfully mentored 16 Ph.D. students, and currently there are 6 more of his students enrolled in Ph.D. course. He published more than 250 scientific papers, and 2 books, including a monography on epilepsy.


Dr. Shahla Malikova, Azerbaijan Medical University, Baku, Secretary General of AzLAE and Azerbaijan Chapter of WFN
Dr. Kamran Ali Salayev Medina’ Medical, Baku, Azerbaijan

On behalf of Azerbaijan League against Epilepsy and Department of Neurology of Azerbaijan Medical University, Baku, Azerbaijan