Montreal Neurological Institute, Canada

By María Eugenia Briseño Godínez

I am a resident of neurology at the National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery in Mexico City. I had the privilege to be selected for the WFN Department Visit Program 2019 in Canada. I did an observership for a month in the Montreal Neurological Institute. There, I chose to be in the two services that interest me the most as a training neurologist: epilepsy and neuromuscular.

The first two weeks I was under the tutoring of Dr. Kobayashi, who not only was kind but also shared her knowledge about the treatment of patients with epilepsy. This allowed me to spend some time in the epilepsy monitoring unit; there I saw how important it is for the management and diagnosis of the patient to have the right infrastructure.

During the last two weeks, Dr. Massie accepted me in the neuromuscular unit. There, I was impressed when I saw how the ALS clinic was organized; every patient attended there receives an amazing multidisciplinary care that impacts positively on their life quality. This example of care made me feel really motivated.

In conclusion, this experience was valuable to me, because it allowed me to see and learn how neurology is practiced in a place with all of the resources. It represented a life example that will improve my knowledge as a future neurologist and the way I will treat patients in my country.

This opportunity was mind opening and for sure will be for future residents. There is nothing but gratitude to this kind of program and to the people who made it possible. •

Editor’s Update: Journal of the Neurological Sciences

By John D. England, MD

John D. England, MD

John D. England, MD

The Journal of the Neurological Sciences is publishing a series of articles in a two-part Special Issue on “Addiction Medicine.” The editor for this Special Issue is Dr. Mark S. Gold, a world-renowned psychiatrist and addiction medicine expert.

Substance abuse and drug addiction are a major unmet public health problem. A major part of this problem is the “opioid epidemic.” However, alcohol and other substances are also major contributors to this significant public health burden.

The magnitude and scope of these issues mandate that all health care providers and public health officials be better informed about the recognition and treatment of patients with substance use disorders. As part of our journal’s mission to inform and educate readers about significant public health issues in neurology and psychiatry, we are publishing the first of a two-part Special Issue on “Addiction Medicine.”

The authors of these articles are all world experts on a particular aspect of “Addiction Medicine.” Topics range from basic neuroscience to clinical diagnosis and treatment of substance use disorders and addiction.

We hope that these articles will provide readers with a better and more complete understanding of the current state of “Addiction Medicine.” The first part of this Special Issue is accessible via the website for the Journal of the Neurological Sciences or the link via ScienceDirect. •

John D. England, MD, is editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Neurological Sciences, the official journal of the WFN.

Women And Neurology: A Special Session of the Turkish Annual Neurology Congress

By Prof. Serefnur Ozturk

Traditional “In The Region” sessions during the annual neurology congresses have focused on a variety of subjects for more than 10 years. Many of the subjects have been explored with the contributions of delegates from countries that are in collaboration with the Turkish Neurological Society during The Turkish Annual Neurology Congress. “Women and Neurology” was the focus for this year.

Session Chairs Prof. Aksel Siva and Prof. Serefnur Ozturk, president of the Turkish Neurological Society, explained the mission of this session. Prof. Siva said the collaboration in the region with the neighbor countries is important to understand the problems and to improve solutions. Delegates of the neighbor countries are invited as speakers in “In the Region” sessions by the Turkish Neurological Society every year.

The topics of women as manpower in neurology as well as neurological disorders in women were discussed by the invited speakers. Gender-specific disorders in the region were evaluated by the delegates, and potential solutions were suggested.

Prof. Ozturk explained the current situation of manpower in neurology. She said the rate of female neurologists in Turkey is 51%. For residents, this rate is higher (35% male residents versus 65% female residents). The directors of the neurology departments consist of 56% female and 44% male directors. Neurological disorders in women must be considered as a special group of the common disorders, and differences between countries must be evaluated in the region. It was suggested that immigrant women are an increasingly vulnerable group of this population and must be cared for with a special system by the health ministry.

Prof. Vida Damarin (Croatia), Prof. Anita Arsovska (Macedonia), Prof. Nune Yeghiazaryan (Ermenia), Prof. Gennarina Arabia (Italy), Prof. Anna Lebedeva (Russia), and Prof. Ahmad Khalifa (Qatar) reported the manpower rates in neurology for their countries. The epidemiological distribution of neurological disorders in women were discussed by the invited speakers. Cerebrovascular diseases, migraine and other headaches, and multiple sclerosis were more prevalant disorders in women in the region, and risk factors were also significantly higher in women, according to the presentations.

This special meeting highlighted the importance of future collaboration to increase the quality of life in women with neurological disorders in countries that share similar conditions, cultures, and lifestyles. •

Prof. Serefnur Ozturk is the president of the Turkish Neurological Society, Selcuk University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neurology in Konya, Turkey.

Frankfurt, Germany

By Dr. Meriem Aoufi

Thanks to the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) for the German department visit grant, I have spent four weeks in the department of Prof. Helmuth Steinmetz in the Goethe University Johan Wolfgang Hospital in Frankfurt.

During my stay, I trained for two weeks in the comprehensive stroke care unit (20 beds) and for another two weeks in the epilepsy video-EEG-monitoring unit (8 beds).

In my hospital, where I am a resident in my fourth year, we don’t have a stroke unit, and thus we refer these patients to other hospitals with stroke units. We also don’t have video-EEG monitoring. Therefore, it was a great opportunity for me to acquire knowledge and skills in acute stroke management and vascular secondary prevention as well as complex epilepsy differential diagnoses and presurgical workup to select patients who are candidates to undergo surgery for refractory epilepsy.

Prof. Steinmetz and his team were nice and friendly, and although the language was a bit difficult for me, they were so kind to explain to me. Thanks to the team, I have learned novel skills and knowledge to bring home and also had friendships that will last hopefully a lifetime.

Frankfurt is a beautiful and prosperous city. One can spend one’s free time in numerous parks, museums, or especially near the Main river.

I highly recommend my colleagues to apply for these grants, and I am very thankful for this opportunity. •

Dr. Meriem Aoufi is a resident in her fourth year at the EHS Ben Aknoun, Algiers, Algeria.

World Stroke Day Celebration

By R.S. Jain, MD, DM Neurology

It is always a Herculean task to educate the illiterate in large numbers with limited resources in the biggest and most prestigious government medical college institution of the state like ours. Two posters on World Stroke Day were released by Hon. Chief Minister of Rajasthan State Shri Ashok Gehlot.

An exhibition for public education was organized by the Department of Neurology and was inaugurated by Principal Prof. Dr. Sudhir Bhandari and Medical Superintendent Prof. Dr. D.S. Meena.

The posters were prepared in Hindi (the local language) with photographs explaining types, causes, risk factors, treatment, and prevention of stroke. They were displayed in a big Registration Waiting Hall of the OPD block involving more than 10,000 patients every day. There was a continuous display on eight big hanging TV screens in the hall as well.

Brain models were displayed for better understanding by the general public. Pamphlets and folders in simple Hindi providing information about various aspects of stroke were also distributed. All of this was nicely covered by the media. News was published Oct. 30, Nov. 2, and Nov. 4, 2019, in the leading Hindi newspaper of the state “Rajasthan Patrika.” TV channels also covered this public awareness event.

We have a Cardio Neuro Medicine Centre (CNM) located in the emergency department with availability of a neurologist and cardiologist 24 x 7 to deal with acute stroke especially for thrombolysis during the therapeutic window period. We also have a well equipped DSA lab with facility for all types of neurointerventional procedures including stenting and coiling.

This activity was also beneficial in sensitizing postgraduate students of medicine and neurology handling stroke cases especially in view of the upcoming Stroke ICU in our institution. •

R.S. Jain, MD, DM, is the senior professor and head of the Department of Neurology, at SMS Medical College and Hospital in Jaipur Rajasthan, India.