Call for Nominations

On behalf of the World Federation of Neurology, the Nominating Committee invites nominations for the position of Elected Trustee for a three-year period, and for Treasurer for a four-year period.

  • The Treasurer will take office Jan. 1, 2020 (the position vacated by Dr. Richard Stark who is eligible for re-election).
  • One Elected Trustee will take office immediately following the election (the position vacated by Dr. Steven Lewis, who is eligible for re-election).

A nominee should be a member of a financial WFN member society, have a national and international reputation, have made contributions to neurology, and contributed and is committed to the WFN.

Please submit the name(s) of the individual(s), together with a signed statement of confirmation of their willingness to stand for election, a brief Curriculum Vitae (a single typewritten page), and evidence of support from their national society.

Please address the nomination documents to the chair of the Nominating Committee. Documentation should reach the London Secretariat office as soon as possible, but no later than May 3, 2019.

Nominations made after this deadline of May 3 must be supported by a minimum of five national WFN member societies, be accompanied by the same statement, Curriculum Vitae, and support, and be received by the London office before Sept. 26, 2019.

Electronic format is preferred.

The address is listed below:

Chester House
Fulham Green
81-83 Fulham High St.
United Kingdom

Tel.: +44 (0)20 3542 1657 / 1658
Fax: +44 (0)20 3542 1301

Dutch Neuroscientists in Beijing with Rockefeller Foundation Support

by Peter J. Koehler

In this column on the history of international relationships in neuroscience (avant la lettre), the Rockefeller Foundation should have an important place, as it is associated with the foundation of so many neuroscientific institutions (for instance the Montreal Neurological Institute, 1934, and the Nieuw Leeuwenbergh, later named Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, in Utrecht, Netherlands, 1927) and research fellowships for so many international neuroscience students.

The Rockefeller Foundation was founded in 1913 and its mission has been (and still is) “to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world.” For this essay, I selected one aspect, notably the Dutch-Chinese relationship, and more in particular the work of neuroanatomist Cornelis Ubbo Ariëns Kappers (1877-1946) and neurologist Ernst de Vries (1883-1976) in Beijing.

Ariëns Kappers

C.U. Ariëns Kappers

C.U. Ariëns Kappers worked under anatomist Louis Bolk (1866-1930) and the father of Dutch neurology, Cornelis Winkler (1855-1941) in Amsterdam. By the connections of the latter, he was able to start building an international network by working at the Dutch desk of the Zoological Station at Napoli, Italy (that opened in 1874 following ideas of zoologist Anton Dorhn (1840-1909), its first director), where he met Hungarian neurohistologist Stefan von Apàthy and neurophysiologist Jakob von Uexküll. He also visited the anthropological criminologist Cesare Lombroso (1835-1909) in Torino, Italy. Following the publication of his PhD thesis, he was invited by the German comparative neuroanatomist Ludwig Edinger (1855-1918) to work at the Senckenbergisches Institut in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Here he worked on the concept of neurobiotaxis.

In 1909, Ariëns Kappers became director of the new Amsterdam Central Institute for Brain Research that was built following the call of the International Brain Commission to establish such institutes in various countries.1 Later, he published a three-volume book on comparative neuroanatomy, which was translated into various languages.2,3 At the Amsterdam Institute, he received approximately 70 colleagues from all over the world to do research. He received doctorates honoris causa from several universities (including Yale, Glasgow, and Chicago).

Next to the subject of neurobiotaxis, Ariëns Kappers’ two other research interests were the folding of cerebellar and cerebral cortex and craniometry. For the latter subject, he collected hundreds of skulls during his many voyages abroad.4 One of these voyages was to Beijing (1923-1924).

Beijing Union Medical College and the Rockefeller Foundation

Ariëns Kappers in front of the Beijing Union Medical College.

The college had been founded in Lockhart Hall, Beijing, in 1906 by several cooperating missionary organizations (a union of three British and three American societies) and was supported by the Empress Dowager. The Beijing Union Medical College included a men’s (60 beds) hospital, a women’s (30 beds) hospital, and an outpatient department. Following the establishment of the Rockefeller Foundation in 1913 and its China Medical Board to implement a program of medicine in China, Beijing Union Medical College received important financial support. At the time, there were 24 medical schools in China and 244 missionary hospitals with 446 foreign staff physicians.

John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937), a Baptist, already made modest gifts to religious and missionary programs in the 19th century. In fact, it was the first major program of the Rockefeller Foundation. The Beijing Union Medical College was to be organized after the model of Johns Hopkins Medical School and advice was given by William Welch (1850-1934) and Simon Flexner (1863-1946), who already played a role in the Rockefeller Institute for the advancement of medical research that had opened in 1902. They visited Beijing in 1915.

The Preparatory Department, employing several Americans, opened in 1917 and had eight premedical students. Two years later, the first seven medical students entered Beijing Union Medical College. Among the faculty members was William G. Lennox (1884-1960), who later returned to Harvard, where he worked in the field of epilepsy.

In 1919, philosopher-educator John Dewey (1859-1952) noted that “the Rockefeller buildings are lovely samples of what money can do. In the midst of this weak and worn city, they stand out like illuminating monuments of the splendor of the past in proper combination with the modern idea.”

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), who visited Beijing in 1920, was more critical about the endeavor. “Although the educational work of the Americans in China is on the whole admirable, nothing directed by foreigners can adequately satisfy the needs of the country…” He later wrote that he had been saved by the “serum that killed the pneumococci” when he developed pneumonia during his visit to Beijing.

Beijing Union Medical College attracted the best medical students in China and several talented young American physicians taught here. The same is true with respect to visiting professors, including physiologists Walter B. Cannon (1871-1945) and Anton J. Carlson (1875-1956).5,6

At first, the neurology department was a part of the department of medicine, but in 1923, it became a separate department, headed by Professor Andrew H. Woods (1872-1956), who had been in China before and lectured neurology at the Pennsylvania Medical School in Philadelphia. He started working at the Beijing Union Medical College hospital in 1920.7

Ariëns Kappers in Bejing

Ariëns Kappers left the Netherlands in August 1923 after being invited by European representative of the Rockefeller Foundation Richard M. Pearce (1874-1930) to give a course of lectures in anatomy at the Beijing Union Medical College. With the intention of teaching brain anatomy, he shipped 50 “well-wrapped up brains” from the Amsterdam Wilhelmina Hospital to China. Moreover, he was expected to teach histology. For this purpose, he used the time sailing from Marseille to Shanghai to refresh his knowledge.

At the time, the Beijing Union Medical College had about 1,000 coworkers, including teachers, assistants, administrators, and servants. Ariëns Kappers’ name there was Kao (from his name) – Tai-Fu (great teacher/professor).8 In February 1924, he gave his last lecture in Beijing and made a voyage to several parts of China, including Changsha (Hunan), where he gave a series of 13 lectures (three on philosophical subjects).

Upon his return, he visited Manchuria (in particular its capital Shenyang formerly known as Mukden), Korea, Japan (visiting Okayama, Sendai, and Tokyo that had been stricken by an earthquake), collecting the brain of a whale and brains of Japanese for the Amsterdam Institute. He continued his voyage to the United States, where he lectured in several cities. In Chicago, he met his colleague, neuroanatomist Charles Judson Herrick (1868-1960). In New York, he gave a series of eight lectures at Columbia University and met John D. Rockefeller Jr. (1874-1960) as well as Simon Flexner, who at the time was working on poliomyelitis.

Ariëns Kappers served as visiting professor 1929-1930 at the American University in Beirut (that opened in 1866 following endeavors by the American missionaries at Lebanon and Syria since 1862). De Vries replaced him as director of the Institute in Amsterdam. Ariëns Kappers gave a series of lectures at the American University in Beirut, using the opportunity to collect craniometric anthropological data from Phoenician, Arab, and Jewish skulls in Syria, Turkey, and Palestine.

Only recently (November 2018) Ariëns Kappers posthumously received the Yad Vashem medal for the application of his anthropological work during the German occupation, saving at least 300 Jews from deportation.9

De Vries at the neurology department of the Beijing Union Medical College (1925-1932)

Whereas Ariëns Kappers stayed in Beijing only for about half a year, Dutch neurologist Ernst de Vries stayed there for several years (1925-1932). He was born the son of Dutch botanist Hugo de Vries (1848-1935), who independently rediscovered Gregor Mendel’s laws of heredity in the 1890s, introduced the term “mutation,” and published his two-volume Mutation Theory between 1900-1903. Following his MD, he worked with Constantin von Monakow (1853-1930) in Zurich and from 1910 at the Central Institute of Brain Research in Amsterdam as well as in the Amsterdam Clinic of Winkler. After working as physician in Leiden until 1925, he was called to become neuropsychiatrist at the Beijing Union Medical College, where he became associate professor in 1927. His work and that of his colleagues at the Beijing Union Medical College can be followed in the BUMC Annual Reports. As mentioned above, a separate neurology department was established in 1923, headed by Andrew H. Woods. German neuropsychiatrist Maximilian Otto Pfister (1874-?) was associate (professor) and acting head of the department. They had two residents. Apparently, Beijing was not spared from the encephalitis lethargica pandemica.10 In the 1925 report, for instance, it is written that “We have had an unusually large number of cases of extra-ocular and intra-ocular motor palsies which we concluded were caused by encephalitis epidemica.” Furthermore, psychiatric patients were sometimes seen at the asylum that was run by the local police. The 1925 report mentioned “the lack of accommodation for mental cases was keenly felt, for the treatment with malaria and relapsing fever in a few cases of general paralysis had encouraged further practice along this line.” Indeed, at the time, GPI (general paralysis of the insane) patients were treated with malaria to create a number of relapsing fever periods. The discoverer of the treatment, Julius Wagner von Jauregg (1857-1940), received the Nobel Prize in 1927.11 Other types of neurosyphilis were observed at the outpatient department. “As was the case last year, the number of cases of neurosyphilis was remarkably large, especially the cases of acute basal meningitis with involvement of the VIIth and VlIIth nerves.” Third-year medical students received “instruction in clinical neurology and neuropathology…. Ample opportunity was given to third-year students to practice the technique of lumbar puncture.”12 Apparently, De Vries replaced Pfister as associate under Woods. From the 1927 report we learn that “Dr. de Vries has supervised the laboratory work of the department, and has studied and made reports upon all of the brains, spinal cords, and other nervous tissues removed in autopsies by the Department of Pathology and in the various operating rooms.”

E. de Vries

To get an impression of the neurological diagnoses that were made, I mention the list from the report of that year: GPI, meningitis, myelitis, neuralgia, tuberculosis, tabes, beriberi (“usually in Chinese coming from the south and live here on a diet”),13  epilepsy, vascular disease, trauma, neuritis, psychoneurosis, and neurasthenia. An interesting sentence by De Vries in a Dutch publication on the Beijing Union Medical College is the following: “Patients are admitted only as long as they are of interest for educational or scientific purposes. Foreigners as well as a part of the Chinese population of Peking are aware of this, and many of them prefer to go to the German or French hospital, instead of being used as study material at the Beijing Union Medical College.” However, they added that if much laboratory work for diagnosis is necessary the Medical College is much better equipped resulting in choosing it by many. During the time of his appointment, there were 73 physicians, 33 professors or associates.13

When Woods left Beijing in 1928, the neurology department became a part of the Department of Medicine again. It consisted of four services, including General Medicine (51 beds), Pediatrics (16 beds), Dermatology and Syphilis (5 beds), and Neurology and Psychiatry (9 beds).14 De Vries became associate professor taking care of the neurological and psychiatric patients. Looking at the statistics of the 1930 report, it is remarkable that the highest number of admitted patients had psychiatric diagnoses, including hysteria, neurasthenia, and “neurosis of the stomach.” At the outpatient clinic, diagnoses made most often included idiopathic epilepsy, hysteria, neurasthenia, neuritis of the facial nerve, and tabes dorsalis. During De Vries’ absence on leave, he was replaced by Georg Schaltenbrand (1897-1979), who performed unethical experiments during the Nazi period.15 Upon his return in 1931 he was assisted by Yu Lin Wei, who became associate professor of neurology and psychiatry. Neurosurgery was done by S.T. Kwan, who “has spent the past two years at the clinic of Dr. Charles H. Frazier in Philadelphia. This is the first time the department has had a trained surgeon with full time to devote to this particular subject, and it is confidently expected that under Dr. Kwan’s direction there will be developed the first major neuro-surgical clinic in China.” Having worked with Frazier (1870-1936), it is of no surprise that he treated trigeminal neuralgia, but he also treated other afflictions of the nervous system. “In the past six months, there has already been a very satisfactory increase in the number of cases of trigeminal neuralgia, brain tumor … Peripheral nerve injuries, the result of gunshot wounds or other war injuries, are always abundant and will continue to be so until a less chaotic political condition prevails throughout the land.”16

During his stay at the Beijing Union Medical College, he published clinical cases (including a paper on post-vaccinial encephalitis in the China Medical Journal in 1928) but was mainly interested in circulation disorders of the brain (publishing in the Arch Neurol Psychiatry in 1931).17

In 1932, De Vries settled in Soerabaja (in the present Indonesia), where he practiced neurology until he was taken prisoner by the Japanese during World War II in 1943. Upon his return to the Netherlands in 1949, he worked as neuropathologist in Utrecht.

Rockefeller Foundation support in neuroscience projects

The Rockefeller Foundation interest in neurology increased in the 1930s when psychiatry “embracing neurology and psychology” became an important field of interest. Departments of psychiatry, but also of neurology and neurosurgery (including the Montreal Neurologic Institute mentioned above), were supported financially. Furthermore, “the Foundation maintained a steady stream of fellowships for advanced training in psychiatry, neurology, neurosurgery and related subjects… This type of support was by no means confined to the United States and Canada. The foundation aided significant research activities in Great Britain, France, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Switzerland.”, 18 p.130-1 This included the National Hospital for Diseases of the Nervous System at Queen Square (London), Otfrid Foerster’s Institute of Neurological Research in Breslau (1934), the Rudolf Magnus’ Physiological Institute in Utrecht (mentioned above, 1927). The stream of refugee neuroscientists from Germany was helped by the Rockefeller Foundation only in a limited degree between 1933 and 1940, but this improved after 1940.19



  1. Richter J. The brain commission of the international association of academies: the first international society of neurosciences. Brain Res Bull 2000; 52: 445–457.
  2. Ariëns Kappers CU, Droogleever Fortuyn AeB. Die Vergleichende Anatomie des Nervensystems. 3 Vols, Haarlem, De Erven F.Bohn (1920/1921).
  3. Ariëns Kappers CU, Crosby EC, Huber CG. The Comparative Anatomy of the Nervous System of Vertebrates including Man. 2 Vols. New York, MacMillan (1936). (3 Vols 2nd edit. New York, Hafner Publ. 1960; 3rd edit. 1967).
  4. Keyser A, Bruyn GW. C.U. Ariëns Kappers (1877-1946). In: Frederiks JAM, Bruyn GW, Eling P. History of Neurology in the Netherlands. Amsterdam, Boom, 2002, pp.269-81.
  5. Bowers JZ. The founding of Beijing Union Medical College: policies and personalities. Bull Hist Med 1971;45:305-21.
  6. Bowers JZ. The founding of Beijing Union Medical College: policies and personalities (concluded). Bull Hist Med 1971;45:409-29.
  7. Cheng Z. Andrew H. Woods in China and the United States: A medical history study at the Rockefeller Archives Center. Rockefeller Archives Center Research Reports, 2018.
  8. Ariëns Kappers CU. [Traveller in brains. Memories of a brain researcher] in Dutch; ed. Van Kolfschooten F. Amsterdam/Antwerpen, Veen, 2001.
  9. Zeidman LA, Cohen J. Walking a fine scientific line: the extraordinary deeds of Dutch neuroscientist C. U. Ariëns Kappers before and during World War II. J Hist Neurosci. 2014;23:252-75.
  10. Lutters B, Foley P, Koehler PJ. The centennial lesson of encephalitis lethargica. Neurology. 2018;90:563-67.
  11. Daey Ouwens IM, Lens CE, Fiolet ATL, Ott A, Koehler PJ, Kager PA, Verhoeven WMA Malaria Fever Therapy for General Paralysis of the Insane: A Historical Cohort Study. Eur Neurol. 2017;78:56-62.
  12. Annual Report of the Beijing Union Medical College, 1925, p. 61.
  13. De Vries E. [The hospital of the Peking Union Medical College] in Dutch. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd 1926;70:1904-10.
  14. Annual Report of the Beijing Union Medical College, 1930, p.31.
  15. Zeidman LA Neuroscience in Nazi Europe part I: eugenics, human experimentation, and mass murder. Can J Neurol Sci. 2011;38:696-703.
  16. Annual Report of the Beijing Union Medical College, 1931, p.33.
  17. Droogleever Fortuyn AB, Van Rossum A. Ernst de Vries. Folia Psychiatrica, Neurologica et Neurochirurgica Neerlandica 1958;61:526-31.
  18. Fosdick RB. The Story of Rockefeller Foundation. New York, Transaction Publishers (original 1952 Harper), 1989.
  19. Stahnisch FW, Russell GA. Forced Migration in the History of 20th Century Neuroscience and Psychiatry. New York, Routlegde, 2018.

Montreal Neurological Institute and Canadian Neurological Society

By Claudia M. Guío-Sánchez, MD
Photo by Juana Rubio

“The problem of neurology is to understand man himself.”  Wilder Penfield.


Caludia M. Guio-Sanchez, MD

This quote is the famous inscription I found the first time I entered the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (MNI), better known as “The Neuro”; four weeks later, I understood its meaning in a deeper way.

I am a young neurologist from Colombia who graduated three years ago. Since before my training in neurology, I have always had a genuine interest in patients with demyelinating diseases. Canada is a prevalent country with thousands of multiple sclerosis (MS) cases per year, in contrast to Colombia, which does not have a prevalent number of MS cases. I am currently working on the multiple sclerosis program at the Hospital Universitario Nacional in Bogota, with almost 400 patients to date. That is why I had the desire to see how MS clinics work in countries like Canada, with the firm purpose of improving my knowledge for patients with MS in my country.

When my professor, Dr. Gustavo Patino, told me about the opportunity to come to MNI through the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) and the Canadian Neurological Society department visit program, my first thought was about the possibility to meet and exchange experiences with McGill University and the MNI MS clinic.

I therefore applied to this wonderful program with a special request to enjoy my visit in the MS clinic, and I had a positive response from Dr. Anne-Louise Lafontaine and Dr. Guy Rouleau, who allowed me to spend the entire month improving my skills in the MS field under the tutoring of Dr. Paul Giacomini.

My activities in the MNI MS clinic were:

  • Attending the MS clinic with the different specialists, Dr. Yves Lapierre, Dr. Alexander Saveriano, and Dr. Paul Giacomini, discussing the different cases coming to the clinic every day and covering a wide range of clinical aspects and MS treatment strategies.
  • Learning about the Canadian health system and the different guidelines of diagnosis and treatment of MS.
  • Meeting and understanding the need to have a multidisciplinary structure in the MS clinic, sharing experiences in the special care of these patients with MS nurses Vanessa Spyropoulos and Kathleen Savoy.
  • Attending the grand rounds of the MNI every Wednesday with the opportunity to share experiences with other neurologists and residents of the MNI staff.

My experience in the MNI MS clinic was great and allowed me to improve my academic, clinical, and social skills. Another aspect I learned in my stay at the MNI is the importance of the interaction of health care and research, which are closely integrated and provide mutual benefits. I strongly believe this is a key learning point for a middle-income country like Colombia.

The advantage of having done my visit in Montreal was meeting a lot of interesting people with different cultural backgrounds and nationalities, from the patients to the doctors and the rest of the staff; the cultural exchange for me was exceptional.

The MNI is a great place to perceive in a deep way how neurology is a powerful tool to understand the human being in all its dimensions, and the MS clinic taught me about the need to create a multidisciplinary center to support these complex patients in my country and encourage more study collaborations to increase research.

I am grateful for the time I spent with McGill University and the MNI MS clinic team: Dr. Lapierre, Dr. Saveriano, Dr. Giacomini, Vanessa, Kathleen, Maria, and Rose; every member of the team was friendly and open to teach me all the time.

Dr. Paul Giacomini was a great mentor and inspirational figure for me. I want to thank him especially for helping me to confirm my desire of pursuing my career in MS. I understood that despite working in a country with low MS prevalence, I had to keep the firm conviction of providing a more comprehensive care with better quality to patients with this disease in Colombia.

Furthermore, I was delighted to see how the women were encouraged to develop their careers in fields like demyelinating disorders. I felt that in the MNI the support from their male colleagues was strong and empowering. I think this is another point to keep in mind to improve in my country with its huge gender inequality.

I would also like to thank Carmen, Andy, and Angela, the administration staff of the MNI, for all the arrangements during my visit. Thank you to the WFN and the Canadian Neurological Society for this scholarship; I hope more people from South America will be motivated to apply to this outstanding experience.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to my hospitals in Colombia, Hospital Universitario Mayor-Méderi and Universitario Nacional, with special thanks to Dr. Ernesto Ojeda and Simón Cardenas for supporting me during my absence. •

Montreal, Canada

By Natalia Herrera Marín

Natalia Herrera Marin

During my first week in Montreal, I was pleased to be at the Brenda Milner Centennial Symposium for cognitive neuroscience. It was amazing to see some of her students and listen to her. She has been teaching the core of mysteries of the brain and the exploration of senses, and every experience that I had there reminded me what she said all the time: “We are what we remember.”

I attended two specialized clinics by the movement disorders department and the epilepsy department. I also met nice doctors like Anne-Louise Lafontaine, Martin Veilleux, Eliane Kobayashi, and others from the movement disorder team, and fellows like Sophie Maltais, Sondos Al-Hindi, and Ali Naemi. I met the epilepsy staff and attended academic meetings with them.

Herrera Marin with colleagues at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital.

The meeting “Parkinson’s Disease: Our Common Fight” was held Sept. 18, 2018. They wanted to teach patients about motor and non-motor symptoms — how to face them, the necessary care, how to come back to the real world to work, sing, dance, etc. I was touched by a patient singing with a pianist; they showed that everything is possible with dreams and perseverance.

With this experience, I had the opportunity to interact with colleagues from different countries and see how they approach patients, no matter the culture, the religion, the language, or the technology that the country has. I learned that the most important thing is to listen to the patient, step by step. It is just to use the senses and to simplify the medicine that we explain to patients.

I would like to express my gratitude to Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital for welcoming me with their arms wide open. Every person was important for my learning.

Thanks to the World Federation of Neurology and the Canadian Neurological Society for choosing me and supporting me. •


Ege University, Izmir, Turkey

By Dr. Abiodun Hamzat Bello

I would like to start by thanking the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) and the Turkish Neurological Society (TNS) for selecting me to visit the neurology department at Ege University in Turkey. It is a highly specialized department where advanced neurology care is given to patients.

My experience started with the kind support received from Jade Levy of WFN and Burak Tokdemir of TNS. They were both wonderful in helping me navigate through the initial documentations and travel plans.

On arrival at the neurology department, I was warmly welcomed by my amiable supervisor, Dr. Nese Celebisoy, who introduced me to other members of staff and took me around the department. On a daily basis, I had the opportunity of going to the outpatient clinics and the neurophysiology and neurosensory labs. I was primarily with her in the neuro-ophthalmology and neuro-otology outpatient clinics and the neuro-ICU. I had eye-opening experiences in the management of patients with optic neuropathy, ocular myasthenia gravis, and patients with vertigo, just to mention a few. We had daily morning rounds in the 12-bed neuro-ICU, where I had the opportunity to see ischemic stroke patients who had thrombolysis and thrombectomy, which are currently unavailable in my home. However, I saw patients being fed by pre-packaged, nutritionally-balanced liquid feeds via nasogastric tubes, and I find this to be locally adaptable.

In addition, I rotated through the neurophysiology lab, where I observed electroencephalography, electromyography, and nerve conduction studies. I was able to acquire new experiences that I can put to practice locally in my center.

I also participated in the movement disorder clinic, where I experienced firsthand patients on levodopa infusion gel and deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Ahmet Acarer was very helpful in explaining the procedures and also demonstrated botulinum injection techniques to me.

A major part of the program was the 54th National Neurology Congress of TNS, which took place Nov. 30 to Dec. 6, 2018, in Antalya. During that period, I met with and listened to top erudite scholars from TNS as they delivered their research work and lectures. I was particularly fascinated by the highly advanced neurology practice and research in Turkey.

I have to say that the department visit was very helpful to me as I was able to learn and experience neurology subspecialty practice at the highest level, and I found some of the areas practicable for me here in my center in Nigeria. Since my return, I have started putting measures in place to improve patient care in the area of neuro-ophthalmology and movement disorders.

Before I conclude, I once again thank WFN and TNS for the golden opportunity, and I look forward to others in the future. Let me also appreciate Jade Levy, Burak Tokdermir, Prof. Dr. Nese Celebisoy, Dr. Ahmet Acarer, Dr. Ayse Guler, Prof. Dr. Figen Gokcay, Dr. Kamran Samadli, and all other members of the neurology department who are too numerous to mention.


Hacettepe University Hospitals, Ankara, Turkey

By Dr. Temitope Hannah Farombi

As a beneficiary of the joint initiative of the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) and the Turkish Neurological Society fellowship, I was hopeful and expectant of the many opportunities this fellowship would offer. I was open to learning new skills as well as to improving on previously learned ones.

Ankara is a calm and serene city in Turkey with a mixture of old and modern outlooks. The people are warm, kind, and hospitable with smiles on their faces. Hacettepe University Hospitals sit at the center of the city with state-of-the-art neurological facilities. My mentor, Prof. Topcuoglu, introduced me to different units of neurology in the hospital. I had my first observership for 10 days at the neurophysiology lab under the supervision of Dr. Temucin and Dr. Gockem. Here I witnessed for the first time the clinical application of nerve conduction study, needle electromyography, and visual evoked potential protocols in the management of neurological disorders. Of note is a diagnosis of Guillain-Barré syndrome that was hitherto diagnosed as Bell’s palsy by the ENT surgeon.

During the second week, I attended the 54th annual Congress of the Turkish Neurological Society Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2018, in Antalya. The conference provided opportunities to network with other neurologists in Turkey, and I was exposed to different cutting-edge research and new frontiers in neurological practice. I was fascinated by the deep and rich culture of practice in Turkey and the willingness to collaborate with other neurological societies in the region. This experience was most gratifying as it provided avenues for learning in a fun-filled environment.

During my last week, I observed acute stroke care in the intervention radiology unit and neurointensive care unit, where thrombolysis and thrombectomy were carried out on stroke patients. I also had a series of teaching sessions on nonepileptic psychogenic seizures and video electro-encephalography protocol with Prof. Serap.

Overall, my experience has made me realize the knowledge and technology gap we face as neurologists from sub-Saharan Africa and has stirred up the determination to know more by constantly improving myself through skill acquisition training and also increasing the advocacy for improved neuro care in our community.

I am really thankful for this great opportunity offered by the WFN, the Turkish Neurological Society, and the neurology department of Hacettepe University Hospitals. •

Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz Neurology Department

By Salaheddine Mourabit

Thanks to the support of the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) Education Committee and the German Society of Neurology, I was able to benefit from this program of visit during which I spent a month at the neurology department of Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. During this period, I was able to get an idea about the function of a neurology service in Germany, to see new techniques, and to participate in different activities of the service (patient visits, admissions staff roles, and multidisciplinary staff roles).

With Dr. Dresel, I attended specialized consultations for abnormal movement, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis (MS, which is still a rare and under-diagnosed pathology in Senegal). I also participated in a workshop on the use of botulinum toxin in the treatment of spasticity under the supervision of Prof. Gruppa and Dr. Dresel.

My visit to the neurophysiology department was informative, and I had the opportunity to work on devices of the last generation and to note a relative difference between the German and the French methodology that’s practiced here in Senegal.

The week I spent at the stroke unit was fruitful, because I was able to attend thrombolysis, the basis of stroke management in acute phase, which is common in Germany and not done in Senegal because of lack of funding. Thanks to Prof. Gruppa, I was fortunate to see for the first time in my life the practiced operation to implant a neurostimulator for deep brain stimulation, to understand the procedure, and also to see the device used for the calibration and regulation of stimulations.

In summary, I will say that my visit at the neurology department of Johannes Gutenberg University was rewarding, and I am satisfied with this experience that allowed me to see new techniques that I could put into practice here in Dakar.

Dear committee, I am thankful to you for giving me this great opportunity, and I would like to thank the German Society of Neurology, the entire team of the neurology department of Johannes Gutenberg University, and especially Dr. Dresel, whose help and guidance were invaluable to me. •