WCN Update, Election Results, and WFN News

Welcome to World Neurology, the WFN newsletter, which contains several important contributions and has become the main instrument of information on WFN activities as well as other neurological activities worldwide.

I want to thank our editors, Steven Lewis and Walter Struhal, for their work for World Neurology, John England for JNS, and Walter Struhal for eNS. These publications help to promote neurology worldwide.

Council of Delegates (COD)

The electronic voting for the new positions was used by 65% of member societies. The results are:

  • Prof. M. Wasay was elected as a new trustee and will follow Prof. M. Freedman.
  • Prof. Richard Stark as the treasurer will be replaced by Prof. M. Freedman.

We thank Prof. Freedman for his activity as a trustee, and also thank both coopted trustees, Prof. Riadh Gouider and Prof. Marco Medina for their incredible input over the last two years, in particular to the needs of their regions. Prof. Stark will be in office until Dec. 31, 2023. From Jan. 1, 2024, Prof. Freedman will be in office as the new treasurer.

I also want to thank all individuals who applied for the positions but were not successful. Please keep supporting the WFN.

We welcome Chad as the 124th member of the WFN, as recommended by the membership committee.

In the COD meeting, the ongoing activities of officers, trustees, and committees were reported. Our global activities with the WHO and UN ECOSOC are developing well.

At the closing ceremony, the formal handover for the new congress site from Montreal to Seoul was finalized. We are happy to announce that Cape Town will be the WCN site in 2027.

Thanks to all other venues for their efforts to apply to be the site of the WCN.

WCN 2023 Montreal

The congress was co-hosted by the Canadian Neurological Society under Congress President Guy Rouleau. The WCN 2023 was a success in combining science, education, and the need for international cooperation and advocacy. In many sessions, the spirit of cooperation, education, advocacy, and global engagement was felt.

There were 2,300 in-person attendees and 1,300 online participants from 132 countries. There were also 2,297 submitted abstracts.

The scientific program was developed by the program committee and included 260 speakers from all regions of the world. The 10 plenary speakers discussed several topics, including the importance of cooperation with the WHO. The joint sessions with the WSO, MDS, and ILAE, as well as the joint sessions with the World Psychiatric Association and the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies were introduced.

For the first time, the Young Neurologists were able to develop two sessions on their own. They also organized a patient day with a local committee and established a patient platform.

One highlight was the celebration of 10 years of WFN Training Centers in Africa and Mexico. Each training center received recognition. The chairs of the training centers reported on their important work.

In addition to the continuously successful and highly competitive and exciting Tournament of the Minds (won by Sri Lanka), several other congress initiatives were introduced, such as coffee talks, debates, meet the plenary lecturer, and interactive communications with social media.

Although the total number of attendees reached the goal, the low number of in-person attendees raises concern. The reasons will be subject to more analysis, including the attractiveness of the WCN concept, high costs of travel, visa issues, and decreasing industry support. As this was the first hybrid WCN, we are pleased with the participation from 132 countries.

It was also acknowledged that the WFN has its focus on global activities in advocacy and cooperation with the WHO and UN ECOSOC. Numerous meetings spread over the congress mirrored the spirit of cooperation and advocacy, and much effort was made to make the delegates and community aware of the WHO IGAP project.

The next WCN will be in Seoul Korea in 2025 jointly with the Korean Neurological Society. For 2027, Cape Town South Africa will be the congress site.

In 2024, the WFN will provide a virtual educational congress in the autumn called “WFN digital neurological Updates (WNU) 2024,” which will provide updates in the development of the most recent neurological conditions in association with teaching courses. The yearly COD in 2024 will be virtual and will provide a platform for informational meetings with the member societies in regard to international work, such as WHO and UN.

The trustees decided during the WCN to continue to provide WCN hybrid congresses and shorten the congress duration by one day to make the congress more compatible with the increasing time constraints.

The Specialty Group on Neuromuscular Diseases (ICNMD) will have an educational virtual meeting and a congress next year in Perth, Australia.

We are also glad on the series of educational days, jointly with the IHS/GPAC, the upcoming first joint educational AOAN WFN educational day on, and the AFAN WFN educational day on neuropathies and the ICNMD Digital.

We also shared the 14th EAN-AFAN Regional Teaching Course in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and were impressed by the program and the number of attendees, as well as the interactions between faculty and attendees.

Following the WCN congress, the WFN attended the 73rd regional WHO meeting in Astana, Kasakhstan, and also meetings with local high-ranking local officials were attended to promote the WHO IGAP locally.

We hope that this summary will give you an overview on the WFN activities, and we invite you to follow the website and social media. •

Click to see the sights from WCN 2023


We are pleased to announce a number of awards and recognitions

Named lectures:

Medal for Services to International Neurology | Awardee

Bhimsen Singhal (Bombay Hospital Institute, Mumbai, India)

Medal for Scientific Achievement in Neurology | Awardee

Avindra Nath (National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland)

Elsevier Awards

Best Research Paper

Long-Term Outcomes of Symptomatic Intracranial Atherosclerotic Stenosis Patients: A 3-Year Follow-Up
May Zin Myint

Best Research Paper

Topline Results of the Proof-Hd Pivotal Phase 3 Trial: Pridopidine’s Outcome on Function in Huntington Disease
Michael R. Hayden

Best Research Paper

Association Between Benzodiazepine and Alzheimer’s Disease Likely Driven by Prescription for Prodromal Phase Symptoms
Diego Legrand

Best Clinical Paper

Impact of Delirium Duration on Stroke Outcomes
Gabriel Suzart

Best Clinical Paper

Underemployment, Work Hour Reduction, and Income Loss: A Global, Multicentered, Cohort Study of Neuromyelitis Optica
Isabella Gomez Hjerthen

Best Clinical Paper

CADIIM Study: Cardiac and Autonomic Dysfunction in Idiopathic Inflammatory Myopathies
Samim Mondal

Angela Vincent Award

Clinical and Radiological Spectrum and Outcomes in Patients of Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis
Jerry A. George

WFN-AAN: Ted Munsat Award

Prof. William Howlett, Tanzania

Angela Vincent Award:

Clinical And Radiological Spectrum and Outcomes in Patients of Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis
Jerry A. George, India

Winner of the Tournament of the Minds WCN Montreal 2023 

Sri Lanka (Thashi Chang, A.T. Alibhoy, Senaka Bandusena, and Manjula Caldera)