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From the editors

Steven L. Lewis, MD, Walter Struhal, MD

We’d like to welcome all readers to the March-April 2022 issue of World Neurology.

The issue begins with the obituary of Dr. Jun Kimura (1935-2022), former WFN president and renowned electrodiagnostic neurologist, written by his colleague and former mentee, Ryuji Kaji.

In the President’s Column, WFN President Dr. Wolfgang Grisold discusses a number of items, including implications of the current global situation, internal developments and plans at the WFN, an update on COVID with regard to the WFN, the International Global Action Plan (IGAP) of the WHO, and World Brain Day 2022, devoted to Brain Health for All.

Dr. Chandrashekhar Meshram announces the important news that the Padma Shri Award, the highest civilian honor of India and conferred by the president of India in New Delhi, has been awarded to Dr. Bhimsen Singhal.

Dr. Meshram also summarizes Dr. Singhal’s remarkable accomplishments.

Drs. Marina Alpaidze, Tsotne Samadashvili, and Alex Razumovsky discuss the successful teaching course sponsored by the Neurosonology Specialty Group of the WFN held in Tbilisi, Georgia, in late 2021, which discussed the use of transcranial Doppler ultrasonography as an essential daily modality in the critical-care setting.

In this issue’s History Column, Dr. Peter Koehler discusses the early endeavors to build a CT scan, with particular reference to the Ukraine pioneers who were integral in this development.

This issue also includes a number of important announcements, including World Brain Day 2022 devoted to Brain Health for All, an announcement for the WFN’s call for applications for 2022 Grants, and an announcement of the upcoming 17th International Congress of Neuromuscular Disease, which will take place in Brussels in early July 2022.

This issue also updates us about a recent important position statement from the American Epilepsy Society about the serious risks associated with use of valproate by women of childbearing potential.

Finally, this issue also includes an obituary of Dr. Paul Kleihues, a world-renowned neuropathologist in the field of brain tumor research who was integral in the WHO classification of human tumors.

We thank all readers for their interest in World Neurology and invite you to submit ideas for contributions. Please send your ideas to stevenlewi@gmail.com. •

 

 

Neurosonology Specialty Group WFN Teaching Course

Meeting discussed use of transcranial Doppler ultrasonography as an essential daily modality in the critical-care setting.

By Marina Alpaidze, MD, PhD, Tsotne Samadashvili, MD, PhD, and Alex Razumovsky. PhD, FAHA, NVS

Conference room at Caucasus Medical Center.

The Neurosonology Specialty Group of the WFN is dedicated to the promotion of science and research as well of education and training in the field of ultrasonic techniques and its clinical utilization. Therefore, international cooperation and the dissemination of scientific information within the field of neurosonology is part of the WFN Neurosonology Specialty Group activities.

The WFN Neurosonology Specialty Group course considering clinical applications of transcranial Doppler (TCD) utilization in neurocritical care and neurosurgery was held Nov. 5, 2021, at the Caucasus Medical Centre in Tbilisi, Georgia. The meeting was conducted under the auspices of the NSG WFN, Georgian School of Anesthesia and Intensive Therapy, and Georgian Chapter of NSG WFN, and the Georgian Society of Cerebral Hemodynamics and Neurosonology.

Razumovsky (top left), L.Tsikarishvili. (bottom left), T. Samadashvili (top right), M. Alpaidze (bottom right).

Among the faculty were Drs. T. Samadashvili, MD, PhD, president of the Georgian School of Anesthesia and Intensive Therapy (NGO) and chair of the anesthesiology department at Caucasus Medical Centre; Lado Tsikarishvili, MD, PhD, chair of the neurosurgery department at Caucasus Medical Centre; M. Alpaidze, MD, PhD, professor in the department of radiology at the Tbilisi State Medical University; and Alexander Razumovsky, PhD, FAHA, NVS, secretary of the WFN Neurosonology Specialty Group.

(From left to the right) L. Tsikarishvili (neurosurgeon), T. Samadashvili (anesthesiologist), M. Alpaidze (radiologist), and A. Razumovsky (neurophysiologist).

This course was designed for different medical specialists, including neurologists, neurocritical care physicians, and neurosurgeons.  Presentations were related to the clinical yield of TCD for neurocritical care applications, specifically for patients after subarachnoid hemorrhage and traumatic brain injury. Different aspects of neurosurgical, critical care, and neurosonology were discussed in detail. Among them were management strategies of cerebral vasospasm after SAH and TBI. Some new trends in the clinical utilization of neurosonology applications were debated. Due to the COVID-19 regulations in Georgia, the meeting offered simultaneous live broadcast for a wide-ranging audience. •

Marina Alpaidze, MD, PhD, is professor in the radiology department at Tbilisi State Medical University. Tsotne Samadashvili, MD, PhD, is chair of the anesthesiology department at Caucasus Medical Center. Alex Razumovsky. PhD, FAHA, NVS, is secretary of the Neurosonology Specialty Group of the WFN.

 

 

2022 WFN Grants-In-Aid

The WFN mission is to foster quality neurology and brain health worldwide, and this year, the WFN is offering up to six grants of up to $25,000 with a maximum spend of $100,000.

Research projects that will be considered for funding include:

  • Education such as research on neurological education and patient education (Please note that grants related to the funding or creation of neurological residency or fellowship training programs will not be awarded.)Improvement of neurological services
  • Regional collaboration
  • Disease-based projects (Please note that pure laboratory or “bench research” projects are out of the scope of this grant program.)

2022 grant applications that are likely not to be adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic will be preferred.

We look forward to reviewing applications for the 2022 WFN grant program.

Eligibility

Neurologists less than 10 years from graduating in neurology from WFN Member Societies.

Preference will be given to applicants residing in areas of World Bank low/lower-middle-income countries.

Aim

The WFN seeks to fund low-cost, high-impact education and outcome research projects able to be implemented locally (at source). International cooperation is encouraged.

(Please note projects to provide routine health care and ongoing research proposals are not eligible).

Criteria

Projects should be in education, improvement of services (regional or national), or scientific and require the collection of data to test a hypothesis.

Each grant will have to satisfy its terms of the agreement. (See below.)

In the application, please address the following points:

  • Relevance: How does the project directly address the mission of the WFN?
  • Value: What is the return on invested effort in funds and/or time?
  • Viability: Is this a time-limited project with a measurable outcome or is it an initiative that will grow and support the development of further research or initiatives?
  • Synergy: Within the WFN and among committees, initiatives, and task forces, with outside partners, governmental and non-governmental organisations, the WHO, fundraising agencies etc.
  • Please suggest possible partners. For example, a project on stroke would probably be interesting for the WSO, for epilepsy possibly with the ILAE, etc. (See co-sponsored grants.)
  • Evaluation: How will the outcome be measured?
  • Management: Good governance, transparent monitoring, and clear interim and financial reports are required.

Co-Sponsored Grants

The WFN encourages co-sponsored grants. These grants will be co-sponsored by the WFN and a partner organization. The partner organization can be a scientific society (e.g. ILAE, MDS, etc.), a regional society (EAN, AOAN etc.), or a national society. The partner organization will sign a sponsorship agreement with the WFN to define the shared costs and the role of the individual partners in such projects.

Project responsibility and reporting will be shared by the WFN and the partner organization.

Deadlines

  • Application due by July 1, 2022
  • Applicants will be notified of successful funding in due course after the closing date.
  • Once applicants are informed of the decision, funding will begin as soon as it can be arranged thereafter.
  • Applications are to be submitted exclusively using the online WFN grant application form and should include the following:

Application Checklist

  • The name of the lead applicant with curriculum vitae and any sponsoring group
  • Title of the project
  • Description of the project
  • Direct relevance of the project to the mission of the WFN
  • Viability of the project
  • Timeline of the project, dates, and duration
  • Detailed budget in U.S. dollars
  • Name of bank to enable electronic funds transfer and confirmation of the same by the specified bank
  • Approval by a local or institutional ethics committee

All funding must be received through an academic institution account.

Please visit the WFN website for additional information. •

The WFN: Past and Future

Wolfgang Grisold

This is my first column as the WFN president in World Neurology but not my first article in our newsletter, edited by Steven Lewis. World Neurology has become an important source of information for members and serves to communicate information on the WFN.

Before I comment on the present state of the WFN, and the vision for this year and the following years, I want to thank the outgoing president, William Carroll, and all trustees having served in the previous administration, for their huge efforts and devotion to the WFN.

I also want to thank all committees, Specialty Groups, cooperating societies, and the WFN office as well as the professional conference organizer (PCO) (Kenes) who mastered the difficult transition from classic congress to virtual congresses.

Ryuji Kaji, the outgoing vice president, was chair of this successful transition into a virtual congress. The abilities of the PCO also must be commended.

The WFN is a U.K. charity with 123 member societies. The work is supported by the London office, a few external coworkers, and a lean structure.

The WFN is by constitution and voting system in a constant flux in leadership. This year, one new trustee position and a new secretary general will be at disposition at the next Congress of Delegates (COD) meeting and adds to the dynamic effects of change.

The WFN has a robust and detailed structure, which serves as the basis for further improvement and development. This transition of administration will be smooth, and the main targets and goals will be adapted and improved.

In the first Trustee meeting, held Jan. 13, 2022, Prof. Guy Rouleau (Canada) was welcomed into the WFN board of trustees as the new vice president. Prof. Rouleau is from Montreal, Canada, was the delegate of Canada to the WFN, has participated in the WFN department visit program, and is the Congress president for the World Congress of Neurology (WCN) 2023 in Montreal.

The trustees decided on the composition of the WFN leadership until the next COD meeting 2022. The position of the secretary general will be taken by Steven Lewis (U.S.), who has been a long-time supporter within the leadership. We decided to use the opportunity and allow more regional representation, which will include Prof. Chandrashekhar Meshram (India), Prof. Marco Medina (Honduras), and Prof. Riadh Gouider (Tunisia) from the Asian, Latin American, African, and the Pan-Arab regions, respectively.

This is a unique opportunity to have representatives of the regions on the board, and gives the trustees the flexibility to have this option until the next COD meeting, where the election of one trustee and secretary general will take place, and the further composition of the coopted trustees can be adjusted again, within the available positions.

Due to COVID-19 and travel conditions, a traditional first face-to-face meeting with the trustees and the regions was not possible this year. COVID hampers activities on the one hand, and on the other, shows what creative potential this provides to communication, teaching, and virtual congresses. This will be overcome by a 2-day virtual conference, which will give each region and the trustees the possibilities to learn more on the needs of neurology worldwide.

At this time, most terms of office for the committees come to an end, and much effort will be exercised to select the most interested and capable persons as well as to selecting regions and gender.

For the upcoming year, there is still uncertainty on the possibility of live meetings, but it is planned that the WFN leadership will meet with the leadership of the AAN and the EAN this year, at this year’s conferences. Hopefully, it will be possible to also attend the Indian Academy of Neurology and the Asian Oceanian Congress of Neurology meetings, and the WFN will also attend other regional meetings. The annual COD meeting will be this fall, although the site has not yet been determined.

WCN

One important task of the WFN is the organization of biennial congresses, rotating through the regions. After the successful congress with SIN 2021, which was virtual, the next congress is planned for 2023 in Montreal hosted by the Canadian society, and in 2025 in Seoul, Korea.

For both meetings the preparations at different levels are ongoing, and the first congress announcements and calls for Montreal will be appearing soon.

The WCN is an important part of the WFN activities and provides attractive programs with plenary sessions showcasing new and current developments, scientific sessions aimed at specific topics, a large number of abstract presentations, and general education. The WCN aims at high scientific quality and universal approach for many regions as well as communicative aspects between participants and members.

We will aim to have a patient day and will support the activities of young neurologists. For countries in need, adapted fees will be in place according to the income status, and congress bursaries will be available. As lessons learned from the pandemic, we will also provide hybrid activities featuring important topics.

World Brain Day

The WFN has created the World Brain Day (WBD), which has become an important and powerful instrument to facilitate topics and neurological issues globally. This year’s topic will be Brain Health for All, which will put us in contact with many regional societies, as well as reflects the importance of the topic that was started by the WFN last year on the initiative of our Past-President William Carroll. At this stage, the content was composed of videos and webinars that were well received and also stimulated the interest in this topic.

This year, we will work closely with the regions and will enhance our efforts to encourage local and regional events. Visit the WFN website for further developments and try to implement brain health initiatives in your region. As in previous years, we will provide tools, such as posters, press statements, and other useful support that can be adapted and used locally to celebrate WBD.

WHO

From the ongoing activities of brain health and WBD, the close cooperation with the WHO will continue to globally raise the awareness for neurology and provide more access for those in need. The WFN has contributed jointly with the Global Neurology Alliance (GNA) to develop comments and suggestions for the Intersectorial Global Action Plan (IGAP), and the WFN considers this an important step for the global development of neurology.

Traditionally, the WFN has been in close contact with the WHO, such as the involvement in the ICD, the joint publication of the Atlas (Editions 1 and 2) and historically a “white book” (Country Resources for Neurological Disorders) on neurological resources, which dates back to 2006 and needs a relaunch.

The WFN also collaborates in WHO activities related to the COVID pandemic and is engaged in several workforces.

It will be important for the regional societies to engage in local WHO activities as this has been done previously by some regions. This will deal with specific topics and can also increase awareness and possibly impact.

Closely linked with this global activity is the Needs Registry. Looking at needs, the outgoing president, Prof. Carroll, on behalf of the WFN, will finalize a Needs Registry, which is based on a membership survey, and will give more details on the worldwide needs. This important paper will be published on behalf of the WFN and will be of help to better understand neurologic needs and access worldwide.

Education

Education is one of the core missions of the WFN. Education at all levels will be one of our main tasks.

We have a spectrum of educational activities, ranging from the Junior Traveling Fellowships and congress bursaries, to WFN Teaching Centers and Department Visits. Also, educational sessions are part of the WCN. We have an educational day in Africa, a joint headache educational day with the International Headache Society and the Global Patient Advocacy Coalition

(GPAC) and the annual Regional Teaching Course in Africa with the EAN. These activities will be continued and updated. (For details, visit the WFN website). The educational days in Africa have become a good template to reach a large audience, and these educational days can be expanded to other regions. The education day on headache with IHS/GPAC will be continued this year.

We will increase our activities in e-learning, and the e-learning hub on the WFN website, which was introduced last year, and will be expanded. We look forward to seeing how this important instrument will contribute to global educational activities.

We are also determined to look at new educational activities, such as mentorship, advocacy, and leadership. Format hybrid meetings and asynchronous meetings will be considered. New models, such as apps, mini or micro learning, as well as the concept of M (mobile) learning will be evaluated for possible use.

Core Curriculum

The definition of neurology as a field is difficult. Even more difficult to define is the content of a core curriculum. This is due to the large variation of the resources of our membership, which ranges from highest standards toward members with hardly any neurological workforce. Discussions within the WFN on a possible core curriculum have been ongoing for years. Interviews with several members have shown that a basic core curriculum will be important for many members societies to develop neurology and neurological facilities.

For the development of future programs, we will also receive input from the specialty groups and the Global Neurology Alliance, which is composed of world societies, specialist societies, the regions, and specialty groups.

In previous years, this cooperation has been effective and adds to the impact of programs. A good example is the Regional Teaching Course in Africa, which is chaired by the EAN and where the AAN, the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO), and the WFN regularly participate. We are grateful to the educational activities of the specialty groups. As an example, at this year’s International Congress of Neuromuscular Disease (https://icnmd.org), a joint WFN-ICNMD lecturer will illustrate the topic of neuromuscular disease in lower middle-income countries.

The content of education is not limited to knowledge and science. We also need to teach advocacy and leadership for neurologists. We must find ways to help our young and trained neurologists find attractive positions and work in and for the WFN.

Our vision is that successful participants of our leadership seminars will be able to participate in the work of committees and leadership and be able to learn and see the organizational needs and requirements.

The WFN has a grant award program with yearly funding. This will be continued and will be mainly directed toward educational activities in both research and practical application.

Publications

The WFN has three publications: the Journal of the Neurological Sciences (John England, Editor), eNS (Walter Struhal, Editor) and World Neurology (Steven Lewis, Editor). These publications help to promote neurology worldwide and are an important source of information and education. We have now established a platform for recommendations from the editors, and hope to be able to synchronize on important topics in the future

Social media is helping to promote new articles and important developments and has become an important part of our communication. The content and targets will need to expand to a larger group, including lay persons, patients, and health care providers.

Internal Work

Based on the WFN structure, we need to improve communication and outreach with regions and member societies. The detailed work with the members societies from last year has increased our understanding and identified some blind spots, which need to be removed.

Internally, the WFN needs to be prepared for the future. In addition to gender, young neurologists, and patients, we will make sure the future transitions of administrations will be smooth and already incorporate the president-elect, which will need a change of the procedures.

Importantly, we will need to consider gender and diversity, the need of young neurologists, and install a platform for patient organizations into the WFN. This will need preparatory work and will require important input from our committees, which will be asked to provide ideas and suggestions.

This work needs strong administrative support from the trustees and organizationally from the office team, which is an important part of our strategy.

In Summary

Communication, increasing the impact of the WFN, and internal adaptations will be the task for the WFN in the next period, and I will use this platform to update and inform on the recent developments.

Despite our own personal regional background and regional interests, we have to strive for a cosmopolitan approach, which by etymology would be best described as “citizens of the world” and describes the spirit of the WFN’s approach.

I look forward serving as the WFN president and building on our robust structure to consolidate and improve the present structures and to encourage and work on future projects. •

 

Email me with your ideas, suggestions and comments: wolfgang.grisold@wfneurology.org

Letter from the editors

Welcome to the January-February 2022 issue of World Neurology.

Steven L. Lewis, MD, Walter Struhal, MD

The issue begins with the President’s Column, where new WFN President Wolfgang Grisold discusses the past, present, and future of the WFN as well as many activities and goals currently planned under his presidency. This report is also followed by an announcement and photos of all of the new WFN trustees.

Dr. Arina Tamborska announces an ongoing survey of neurologic complications of COVID-19 from the University of Liverpool with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Federation of Neurology (WFN).

In this issue’s column about the WFN Committees and Specialty Groups, edited by WFN President Wolfgang Grisold, the activities of the WFN Education Committee and the WFN Environmental Neurology Specialty Group are highlighted. This issue also includes a call for a new chair for the WFN Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Specialty Group.

In the History Column, Dr. Peter Koehler discusses the history of insulin coma therapy (ICT) and its historical role as a treatment for neuropsychiatric disease and the observations of the neurological signs induced by this procedure.

Dr. Gaminit Pathirana, president of the Association of Sri Lankan Neurologists (ASN), reports on the history and activities of the ASN, which includes its recent and successful meeting.

In the WFN Training Center report, Dr. Ndayisenga Arlène provides a wonderful report of her WFN-sponsored full neurology training at the WFN Training Center at the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senegal, where she is the first fully trained neurologist to graduate as a WFN-sponsored trainee from this center. She has now successfully returned to Rwanda as the fifth neurologist in that country.

Dr. Tissa Wijeratne provides a brief history of World Brain Day and the success of World Brain Day 2021 devoted to multiple sclerosis. The theme for this year’s World Brain Day 2022 is also announced in this issue and is devoted to Brain Health for All.

As always, we would like to thank all readers for their interest in World Neurology and invite ideas for contributions to be sent to Dr. Lewis or Dr. Struhal •

World Brain Day: Summary of Activities and Report

By Prof. Tissa Wijeratne, MD, PhD, FRACP, FRCP, FAAN, FEAN

Tissa Wijeratne

Let us convey our most sincere gratitude to all member societies for the engagement and strong support with yet another successful world brain day campaign. Neurological disorders are the leading cause of disability, and the overall burden will continue to rise with the pandemic’s ongoing impact and the problems associated with post COVID-19 neurological syndromes (Long-COVID).1-4 The burden of neurological disorders impacts mostly low to middle-income countries, where a larger percentage of the world’s population continue to experience the double whammy of disease burden and the impact of the pandemic.5-7

In this context, the WFN World Brain Day (WBD) campaign is of major importance. WBD was established in 2013 and first executed in 2014. Since then, this global advocacy campaign has been very successful.

Every year on July 22, the ambitious WBD campaign advocates brain health globally. In 2021, the WFN worked with the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF), along with other broader global patient support organizations and WFN member societies, with the theme of “Stop Multiple Sclerosis” over several months until the World Congress of Neurology and ECTRIMS Congress in October.

Thousands of public awareness programs, educational programs, and social media activities were promoted worldwide as part of this massive advocacy campaign from July 22 until the end of October 2021.

Summary of Achievements

Outstanding social media reach during July 2021 with key statistics of 247,000 Twitter impressions in July. The website saw an increase in traffic:

  • 47,000 users: an increase of 66.9%
  • 57,000 sessions: 55%
  • 281.7% increase in traffic during WBD week, for roughly 7,821 users.
  • 48 promotional videos united the international community in support of World Brain Day (These interviews are highly inspirational, and I strongly recommend you check these out here).

Five social media videos attracted additional attention from the global audience. On World Brain Day, the WFN hosted a worldwide webinar to elevate multiple sclerosis awareness, focusing on the key impact points:

  • Prof. William Carroll, then-president of the World Federation of Neurology
  • Prof. Tissa Wijeratne, chair of World Brain Day, World Federation of Neurology
  • Prof. Wolfgang Grisold, Secretary-General of the World Federation of Neurology
  • Associate Prof. Brenda Banwell, chair of MSIF’s International Medical and Scientific Board
  • Prof. Mai Sharawy, co-founder of MS Care Egypt and chair of the board of MSIF

In summary, the 2021 WBD campaign was a resounding success as the campaign reached out to over 148 million people worldwide.

We are also pleased to announce that the 2022 World Brain Day campaign will be devoted to Brain Health for All (see box on the right and the following link: https://wfneurology.org/world-brain-day-2022) •

Prof. Tissa Wijeratne is the chair of Public Awareness and Advocacy at the World Federation of Neurology. Tissa.Wijeratne@wfneurology.org

 

References:

  1. Carroll, W.M., The global burden of neurological disorders. Lancet Neurol, 2019. 18(5): p. 418-419.
  2. Feigin, V.L., et al., The global burden of neurological disorders: translating evidence into policy. Lancet Neurol, 2020. 19(3): p. 255-265.
  3. Wijeratne, T., et al., COVID-19 Pathophysiology Predicts That Ischemic Stroke Occurrence Is an Expectation, Not an Exception-A Systematic Review. Front Neurol, 2020. 11: p. 607221.
  4. Wijeratne, T. and S. Crewther, Post-COVID 19 Neurological Syndrome (PCNS); a novel syndrome with challenges for the global neurology community. J Neurol Sci, 2020. 419: p. 117179.
  5. World Brain Day 2021 ‘Stopping MS’: an interview with Tissa Wijeratne and Joanna Laurson-Doube. Communications Biology, 2021. 4(1): p. 873.
  6. Wijeratne, T. and W. Carroll, World Brain Day 2021: Global campaign to stop multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler, 2021. 27(9): p. 1318-1319.
  7. Wijeratne, T., et al., World Brain Day 2021: a call to stop multiple sclerosis. Lancet Neurol, 2021. 20(8): p. 597-598.

 

Previous World Brain Day Topics

2014          Our Brain Our Future

2015          Epilepsy (ILAE)

2016          Brain Health and the Aging Population (ADI)

2017          Stroke (WSO)

2018          Clean Air for Brain Health

(WFN Environmental Neurology SG)

2019          Migraine (IHS)

2020          Parkinson’s Disease

(IPD and MDS)

2021          Stop Multiple Sclerosis (MSIF)

 

Announcing World Brain Day 2022

This year’s WBD will be devoted to Brain Health for All and will follow the WFN Brain Health campaign from last year.

Our goals are:

Awareness: Brain health is vital for mental, social, and physical wellbeing.

Prevention: Many brain diseases are preventable.

Advocacy: Global efforts are required for optimal brain health.

Education: Education for all is key for brain health.

Access: Equitable access to resources, treatment, and rehabilitation is essential for brain health.

Please follow us on social media and website for ongoing activities.

WFN ENSG and the WFN Education Committee

By Wolfgang Grisold, MD

Grisold

This column on the Committees and Specialty Groups is the latest of this series, which has been edited by me in my previous role as the secretary general. It serves to provide more insight into the role of the WFN committees as well as the specialty groups. It also allows the international readers to see the works and activity of the committees and groups as well as to allow them to engage in a particular topic. The duration of leadership in the Specialty Groups and Committees is limited. The trustees may consider to rearrange some committees to adapt to ongoing needs. Therefore, we will continue this column so that we can explain the composition, but also the tasks and the people behind them.

This month, we will introduce the Education committee, chaired by Steven Lewis. He will outline this committee’s work. Being part of this committee over the years, I am proud of its achievements and am aware that this content is one of the main tasks and missions of the WFN. The present activities have been reduced by COVID in almost all aspects, but the new administration will support continued evolution of our activities; in addition to resuming the Teaching Centers and Department Visits, we will be able to provide a core curriculum, as well to look into new activities related to education, such as advocacy and leadership.

From the Specialty Groups, we choose the Environmental Neurology Specialty Group, which is presently chaired by Gustavo Román, and has made us aware of the importance to consider environment on neurology. Much credit goes to Jacques Reis who organized meetings in Strasbourg and made environment the topic of the WBD 2018. At that time, the significance of the topic was not appreciated by some, but over time, this initiative has become extremely valuable. This group has also been active since the beginning of the pandemic and has written an important paper.

WFN Education Committee

The chair of the WFN Education Committee is Steven Lewis (U.S.), the current acting secretary general of the WFN, and the co-chair is Riadh Gouider (Tunisia), current co-opted WFN Trustee. For a list of current members, please see the WFN website.

The task of the WFN Education Committee is to provide strategic direction and oversight to the many current and future educational activities of the WFN, in keeping with the mission of the WFN to foster quality neurology and brain health worldwide by promoting global neurological education and training, with the emphasis placed firmly on underresourced parts of the world.

Current activities of the Education Committee include the WFN Department Visit Program, where trainees from low- and lower-middle-income countries, primarily from Africa, can attend four-week observerships. This allows these trainees to witness the breadth of neurology in outstanding institutions in Europe (for African trainees) and Canada (for trainees from Africa and Central and South America), due to the generous support and hospitality of these local societies and institutions.

In addition, the Education Committee organizes and oversees the WFN Teaching (Training) Centers to provide neurological training opportunities for residents of low- and lower-middle income countries. There are currently five WFN Teaching Centers, two for Anglophone African trainees (Cairo, Cape Town), two for Francophone African trainees (Dakar, Rabat), and one for trainees from Central and South America (in Mexico City).

Both the Department Visit Programs and the Teaching Centers were “on hold” during the COVID-19 pandemic, but all are resuming this year to provide much needed short- and long-term training for young neurologists in low- and lower-middle-income countries. Likewise, the WFN Junior Traveling Fellowships provide bursaries for up to 30 young neurologists and trainees annually to attend national and international meetings; this program is also resuming this year after being on hold during the pandemic. A recent call for JTF applicants for 2022 was just announced.

Please see previous issue of World Neurology for reports from many of the trainees who participated in the Department Visit Program, Regional Training Centers, and recipients of Junior Traveling Fellowships.

In addition to the above, another important activity of the WFN Education Committee is oversight of the AAN/WFN Continuum program, where hard copies and online access of Continuum, the AAN’s official CME journal, is provided free (in both hard copy and online form, depending on preference) for the education of neurologists in low- and lower-middle-income countries.

These are just some of the many activities of the WFN Education Committee, with many additional activities and projects organized and supported by a growing number of educational subcommittees, including those involved in eLearning and various other critical educational offerings to improve neurologic education and care throughout the world.

WFN Environmental Neurology Specialty Group

Gustavo Roman

The chair of the Environmental Neurology Specialty Group is Gustavo Román (U.S.) and the vice chair is Şerefnur Öztürk (Turkey). For a list of current members, please see the WFN website.

History of the WFN Environmental Neurology Specialty Group (ENSG)

The idea of creating a dedicated research group on environmental issues in neurology arose during the World Congress of Neurology (WCN) in Sydney in 2005. In 2007, Prof. Prockop announced its creation in a letter published in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences (JNS). The Environmental Neurology Applied Research Group (ENARG), as it was originally called, became the successor of the former neurotoxicological group, created and chaired by Prof. Prockop. The first members considered that interactions between man and his environment, as well as the environmental impact on our health, notably brain health, have a major importance for neurologists. The recent pandemic illustrates the pertinence of the holistic and transdisciplinary approach that characterizes environmental neurology.

Aim and vision: The goals of the ENSG are to increase awareness of the relationship for the environment and neurological disorders, to promote education and clinical research in all matters having to do with the adverse effects of environmental substances of interest, including agents that occur naturally (algal toxins, phytotoxins, and mycotoxins associated with neurological disease, in addition to neurotropic viruses), as well as pollutants that arise as a result of human activity.

Humans may be exposed to these substances/events in industrial/occupations/situations or as a result of terrorism or forced displacements. There are important global threats, such as water pollution, environmental triggers of sporadic neurodegenerative diseases, global warming, and COVID -19 (including long COVID).

Members of the ENSG.

Activities: Since our 2015 report, the ENSG has had a major impact on the activities of the WFN. We have participated in 2017 Kyoto, 2019 Dubai, and 2021 Rome (virtual) congresses. In 2018, the ENSG acted as scientific adviser for World Brain Day and issued a dedicated article. The impact was interesting, although this day was ignored by several societies. In 2020, anticipating the huge neurological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, our group launched a call for registries in neurology and issued one of the most cited articles summarizing the knowledge about the neurological involvement of COVID-19.

In our presentations at the WCN in Rome, we summarized the first lessons from the COVID -19 pandemic. Our goal is to provide quickly to all neurologists worldwide accurate information about the diagnosis as well as of the therapies, and to improve our knowledge by managing dedicated easy-fulfilled registeries worldwide. A good example of such absence is illustrated by the difficulties in studying the neurological aspects of the Long-COVID. International comparisons are obviously needed from neurologists as for decision-makers in health policies.

Our most important project is to involve worldwide neurologist in a survey by questionnaire and then to promote an education a course online.

To our knowledge, no other specialty has ever created a group dedicated to environmental aspects in their discipline. For a list of publications of this group, please see the box. •

 

Publications by the Group Members Related to Environment and Neurology

  1. Special Reports: History of the WFN Environmental Neurology Applied Research Group. https://worldneurologyonline.com/article/special-report-history-of-the-wfn-environmental-neurology-applied-research-group/
  2. Reis J, Román GC. Environmental neurology: a promising new field of practice and research. J Neurol Sci. 2007 Nov 15;262(1-2):3-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2007.06.017. Epub 2007 Jul 24. PMID: 17651758.
  3. Román GC, Spencer PS, Reis J, Buguet A, Faris MEA, Katrak SM, Láinez M, Medina MT, Meshram C, Mizusawa H, Öztürk S, Wasay M; WFN Environmental Neurology Specialty Group. The neurology of COVID-19 revisited: A proposal from the Environmental Neurology Specialty Group of the World Federation of Neurology to implement international neurological registries. J Neurol Sci. 2020 Jul 15;414:116884. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2020.116884. Epub 2020 May 7. PMID: 32464367; PMCID: PMC720473
  4. Wasay M, Khoja A. Environment and Neurological Diseases: Growing Evidence for Direct Relationship. J Coll Physicians Surg Pak. 2018 May;28(5):337-338. doi: 10.29271/jcpsp.2018.05.337. PMID: 29690958.
  5. Reis J, Spencer PS, Wasay M, Grisold W, Carroll WM. Clean air for Brain Heath; ongoing agenda of 2018 World Brain Day. J Neurol Sci. 2019 Feb 15;397:61-62. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2018.12.015. Epub 2018 Dec 12. PMID: 30594104.
  6. Béjot Y, Reis J, Giroud M, Feigin V. A review of epidemiological research on stroke and dementia and exposure to air pollution. Int J Stroke. 2018 Oct;13(7):687-695. doi: 10.1177/1747493018772800. Epub 2018 Apr 27. PMID: 29699457.
  7. le Moal J, Reis J. Do we need a specialization in Environmental Medicine? J Neurol Sci. 2011 Mar 15;302(1-2):106-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2010.05.023. Epub 2010 Jun 9. PMID: 20542523.
  8. Reis J, Grisold W, Öztürk Ş, Wasay M, Román GC, Carroll WM. The World Federation of Neurology and the challenges in Environment Neurology. Rev Neurol (Paris). 2019 Dec;175(10):742-744. doi: 10.1016/j.neurol.2019.08.006. Epub 2019 Sep 17. PMID: 31540677.
  9. Reis J, Spencer PS, Román GC, Buguet A. Environmental neurology in the tropics. J Neurol Sci. 2021 Feb 15;421:117287. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2020.117287. Epub 2020 Dec 19. PMID: 33445007.
  10. Spencer PS, Lagrange E, Camu W. ALS and environment: Clues from spatial clustering? Rev Neurol (Paris). 2019 Dec;175(10):652-663. doi: 10.1016/j.neurol.2019.04.007. Epub 2019 Jun 21. PMID: 31230725.

Letter from the Editors

Steven L. Lewis, MD, Walter Struhal, MD

We would like to welcome all neurologists worldwide to the September/October 2021 issue of World Neurology. The issue begins with the President’s column, where WFN President Prof. Bill Carroll discusses the upcoming WCN, opening within days of the publication, and the important role of the WCN in the WFN.

Next, Kimberly Karlshoej, WFN strategy and program director, and on behalf of multiple contributors, updates us on the Intersectoral Global Action Plan (IGAP) on Epilepsy and Other Neurological Disorders of the WHO.

Prof. Wolfgang Grisold provides another informative report on the WFN Committees and Specialty Groups, with this issue’s report providing us with an update on the Constitution & Bylaws Committee and the Neurosonology Specialty Group. Prof. Gagandeep Singh and colleagues then discuss their recent publication of the India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative, reporting on the trends of the burden of neurological diseases across the states of India from 1990 to 2019.

Dr. Imane Hajjaj, from Morocco, provides us with a report of her successful and informative (pre-COVID-19) visit to Istanbul, Turkey, as part of the WFN Department Visit program. In this issue’s History column, Prof. JMS Pearce discusses the development of the concept of the extrapyramidal system. Next, María Jimena Alemán, a medical student from Guatemala, reviews the book One by One by One, by Dr. Aaron Berkowitz, about the author’s experience providing much-needed neurologic care in Haiti.

Finally, Dr. David Steinberg provides a heartfelt obituary, reprinted with permission from the Journal of the Neurological Sciences, on the life of Dr. George K. York III, neurologist and historian of neurology.

Thank you for your interest in World Neurology, and we look forward to “seeing” so many of you at the WCN2021, starting Oct. 3! •

From the Editors

Steven L. Lewis, MD, Walter Struhal, MD

We would like to welcome all neurologists worldwide to the July-August issue of World Neurology. This issue begins with the important and sobering update by Dr. Chandrashekhar Meshram about the epidemic of rhino-orbito-cerebral mucormycosis occurring within the COVID-19 pandemic, including its current treatment recommendations.

On a more uplifting note, WFN President Prof. William M. Carroll provides us a number of important updates in his President’s Column, including the ongoing festivities for this year’s World Brain Day, the exciting plans for the World Congress of Neurology just a few short months away, and the Annual General Meeting of the Council of Delegates of the WFN.

WFN First Vice President, Prof. Ryuji Kaji also provides an update on the four candidate cities for World Congress of Neurology 2025. This is followed by the statements from each of these candidate cities: Beijing, Brisbane, Istanbul, and Seoul. Following these proposals are the statements from each of the candidates for WFN elected trustee, first vice president, and president.

In this issue’s history column, Prof. Peter Koehler provides a detailed analysis of the likely migraine occurring in the renowned scientist, Christiaan Huygens. And in his ongoing column, WFN Secretary General Prof. Wolfgang Grisold updates us on the activities of the WFN Finance Committee and the Specialty Group on Neuroepidemiology.

Profs. Satish Khadilkar and Sarosh Katrak describe the history and evolution of the highly successful AAN-WFN Continuum Program in Mumbai, and its recent conversion to a digital format. Prof. Mustapha El Alaoui-Faris details his look back on eight years of experience successfully training Sub-Saharan African Neurologists at the WFN Training Center in Rabat, and provides his thoughts for further optimization of these educational efforts. Dr. Lawrence Robbins provides a personal view of setting up a neurology clinic in Central America, and advice for others considering such volunteer opportunities.

Finally, Prof. Aida Kondybayeva updates us on the details of the recent and highly successful neurology Online Update meeting held in Kazakhstan.

Thank you for your interest in World Neurology and the many activities detailed in these issues. We look forward to seeing so many of you attending the upcoming World Congress of Neurology this October. As always, we look forward to your contributions to this publication, including updates on the many recent and ongoing activities of this year’s World Brain Day. •

WCN 2025 List of Candidate Cities Finalized

By Ryuji Kaji MD, PhD

Ryuji Kaji MD, PhD

Ryuji Kaji MD, PhD

The World Congress of Neurology will be held virtually Oct 3-7, 2021, in Rome. Thank you for submitting more than 2,000 abstracts, which are very high in quality scientifically and clinically. WCN 2023 is scheduled from Oct 13-19 in Montreal, Canada.

The venue of WCN 2025 will be selected from Asian-Oceanian cities by electronic voting by the council of delegates this year. The winner will be announced at the online Annual General Meeting just before WCN 2021.

Since the conventional site visits by the committee members were not possible because of the pandemic, we had to carefully scrutinize the documents and information provided by the host societies to determine the finalists with the help of Kenes, our Professional Congress Organizer (PCO).

I am now respectfully reporting four cities as finalists: Brisbane, Australia; Seoul, South Korea; Beijing, China; and Istanbul, Turkey. Congratulations to all! Evaluation of these cities will be announced later by Kenes.

Each candidate society produced a statement detailing and promoting the bid, which is published in this issue of World Neurology, as well as a five-minute video version of the bid which is displayed on the WFN website in the period before the WFN member societies vote on the 2025 venue.

I wish good luck for all the candidates! •

Ryuji Kaji, MD, PhD, is chair of the Congress Committee and is first vice president of the WFN.

 


XXVII WORLD CONGRESS OF NEUROLOGY CANDIDATE COUNTRY

Beijing, China

Members of the Chinese Society of Neurology (CSN) are keen to host the XXVII World Congress of Neurology (WCN) in 2025 in Beijing. It will give the CSN great honor to welcome their colleagues worldwide to participate this prestigious event, for the first time, in China.

Chinese Society of Neurology: A Brief Introduction

With 14 branch societies and 700,000 members, CSN is a non-profit national social organization established in 1910 and has the institutional aim of promoting scientific research, clinical prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of neurological diseases. CSN is now the largest and most well-known society with a focus on neurology in China. CSN plays a leading and active role in the nation’s medical education, training, and professional exchanges in the area of neurology and brain health.

Outlook to World Congress of Neurology 2025

CSN will strive to deliver a high-level XXVII WCN for neurologists, scientists, practitioners, and experts to share academic achievements, participate various education and training activities, and translate scientific advances into action all over the world. By closely collaborating with World Federation of Neurology (WFN), national and international academic organizations and media, CSN will also be committed to distribute updated knowledge from WCN 2025 to various countries around the world.

During the XXVII WCN, we are going to address a wide range of new global neurological challenges, highlighting the challenges of diagnosis and treatment for neurological diseases in developing countries and potential solutions. We would also like to provide opportunities for members of the community to have immersive and personalized experience of scientific research and clinical practice in China by visiting our hospitals and research institutes in Beijing. We aim to bridge global resources and build international clinical and scientific networks to facilitate local and international collaborations, and, ultimately, accelerate neurological research and therapy.

Positive Impact on Chinese Neurological Community

China is the most populous and the largest developing country in the world, with a population of 1.4 billion. While they have made some impressive progress, more efforts are needed to meet the challenges posed by an aging population—the most vulnerable group to neurological diseases. XXVII WCN in 2025 will provide an extraordinary opportunity to bring together both local and international scientists, clinicians, public health experts, and policy makers to promote health and address the urging need to alleviate the epidemic of neurological diseases in China.

Extensive Experience in Organizing Conferences

CSN holds more than 20 academic conferences each year, the largest of which is an annual neurological meeting that attracted about 8,000 participants nationwide in 2019. Prof. Yongjun Wang, the president of CSN and president of Beijing Tiantan Hospital, and his team are also experienced in organizing international congresses. The most well-known is Tiantan International Stroke Conference, which has been held annually since 2000 with about 10,000 delegates attending.

Fantastic Venue and City

China National Convention Center (CNCC), the proposed conference venue, covers an area of 270,000 square meters, with a construction area of 530,000 square meters, and has enough capacity to hold large-scale conferences. CNCC is right next to the Bird Nest Stadium (China National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics opening and closing ceremony) and is suitable for viewing the beautiful scenery of Beijing. Around CNCC, there are plenty of luxury and comfortable hotels to accommodate enough attendees. CNCC is 25 km away from the Bejing Capital Airport, which is convenient to travel to and from most countries.

Beijing is China’s capital city, with over 21 million residents with an administrative area of 16,410 km2. With its history of more than 3,000 years, combining both modern and traditional style, Beijing has become a global city and one of the world’s leading centers for culture, education, and science and technology. By the end of 2019, there are 11,311 medical and health institutions, including 733 hospitals and about 100,000 practicing (assistant) physicians.

This bid has received overwhelming support from the entire CSN. We pledge to make sure the conference is successful, and the stay of doctors, researchers, and guests in Beijing an enjoyable and memorable experience. •

 


XXVII WORLD CONGRESS OF NEUROLOGY CANDIDATE COUNTRY

Brisbane, Australia

It is with great anticipation and excitement that the Australian New Zealand Association of Neurologists (ANZAN) submits this bid for the 2025 World Congress of Neurology (WCN) to be awarded to Brisbane.

Australia and New Zealand are proud multicultural nations. Approximately 50% of our populations are born overseas or born to parents of overseas origin, many from the Asian and Oceanic region. This gives us a unique understanding of and ability to cater to the needs of the regional and international neurological community.

Australia and New Zealand have a tradition of excellence in neurology and have contributed to major advances in understanding of neurological disease through strong national and international collaborations, in both basic and clinical research.

Education is the most important aim of the conference. Our members are well placed to help design and deliver a high-quality program that is diverse and inclusive of both local and international experts and registrants, and of young speakers. We would advocate for topics that are of relevance and interest to our region and also of global relevance. These are sessions on indigenous health, led by indigenous members of the scientific community, and climate change. Climate change is a critical issue in Oceania, whose islands are predicted to suffer catastrophic effects from rising sea levels. We will highlight the importance of this issue by ensuring and advertising that the meeting is carbon neutral.

Australia is experienced in holding large-scale international scientific meetings and will offer our unique antipodean hospitality. We will contribute a strong local flavour to the meeting by drawing on our unique indigenous cultures and our vibrant local music and entertainment.

Brisbane is a superb place for a conference. It receives direct flights from the Americas, Europe, and Asia. The Brisbane Convention and Entertainment Centre (BCEC) is in the heart of the city, with hotels of all grades within easy walking distance. The BCEC is modern and well-designed, with beautiful theatres and spaces, and a collection of superb Australian aboriginal art. The BCEC was voted the World’s Best Convention Centre in 2016-2018. In 2014, it was selected to host the G20 summit (the “best ever”). It has a dedicated “dietary requirements” kitchen that can satisfy all cultures and needs.

The BCEC is close to parks, museums, theatres and restaurants, and the riverside district. delegates can easily walk or cycle along the river. WCN will ‘own Brisbane’ for the week – signs in the airport, banners in the streets and lit-up buildings will welcome delegates to our city, and also highlight to the public the importance and value of neurological sciences. We have identified a range of striking locations for the official dinners and, to showcase Australia and New Zealand cuisine and culture, we are already planning a spectacular event for all delegates.

The bid, if successful, will be supported by nearly $1 million in funding from city, state, and federal government, mitigating the risk of hosting the WCN.

The World Federation of Neurology has a goal of increasing access to neurological services, and the congress regularly offers support to neurologists from low-income countries. In addition, to advance neurology in our region, ANZAN will invite, as our sponsored guests, the physicians who care for neurological patients in Oceania. We anticipate this will lead to significantly increased personal connections among our nations, and provide pathways for neurology training.

Furthermore, as a legacy, any profits from the Congress will be used for education in our region. ANZAN already has a category of membership for neurologists from low-income countries and though our Asia-Pacific committee has a diverse programme of teaching, that will be extended to become a lasting benefit of holding the WCN in Brisbane.

Australia and New Zealand are a unique pair of countries that are worth exploring. The Australian aboriginal people have the world’s oldest living culture, and the indigenous peoples of New Zealand and the Oceanian region have a rich Polynesian culture. Visitors can also explore our cities, beaches, deserts, reefs and rainforests. All the important sites can be reached easily from Brisbane.

As additional arguments in favor of our bid, we point out that the ability of Brisbane to host major events is recognized by its listing as the preferred host for the 2032 Olympic games. Furthermore, the WCN has been held in the Southern hemisphere on only three previous occasions. The ability to highlight and advocate for neurological sciences would provide benefit to our region by locating the Congress once again in the southern hemisphere. •

 


XXVII WORLD CONGRESS OF NEUROLOGY CANDIDATE COUNTRY

Istanbul, Turkey

On the behalf of the Turkish Neurological Society, it is a great pleasure and honor for us to submit this letter of intent to the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) to host the World Congress of Neurology in 2025, in Istanbul.

The Turkish Neurological Society was established on May 12, 1992, as a separate society. The aim of our society is to increase awareness of neurological diseases in Turkey, to investigate the impact of neurological diseases on public health, to make preventive studies, and to improve education and research facilities of professionals related to neurology. Moreover, increasing the recognition of neurological diseases, improving the diagnostic and therapeutic interventions with the collaboration of related fields including child neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, radiology, cardiology, physical treatment and rehabilitation, ophthalmology, and otology are accepted as the main goals. In addition to neurologists acting as our full members, we have psychologists, physiotherapists, nurses, and medical students acting as associated members who work together to catch the target. The overall number of members is around 2,600 at the time being who will be looking forward to attending the World Congress of Neurology, which will be held in their country.

Istanbul, as Turkey’s most populous city a cultural and financial center, bridges Europe and Asia both physically and culturally. From this point of view, one may easily recognize its unique location in connection with the opportunities it presents regarding international events and organizations. The city is offering an outstanding infrastructure in the framework of the conference and exhibition venues, best accommodation alternatives with almost 112,000-bed capacity and over 222 five- and four-star hotels, Istanbul offers a variety of options, including top international and domestic hotel brands, at a variety of price points. In the widest price range, and most enjoyable social event opportunities together with cultural and historical aspects belonging to the times where Istanbul used to be the capital of three ancient empires: Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires. Istanbul is an ideal city to convene congresses with 100 to 30,000 or more participants.

The city is home to seven convention centers and three exhibition centers, each capable of hosting major events with thousands of delegates. Istanbul has four independent meeting clusters spread around the city—The Congress Valley, the Golden Horn, the Airport Area, and the Asian side.

Istanbul Congress Center is located in the city center and covers an area of 120,000 m2 on a total of eight floors, which includes a 3,705-pax auditorium, meeting halls, and exhibition areas. It is only at a walking distance from a wide range of hotels, restaurants, and attractions.

Istanbul is considered one of the main air traffic hubs connecting many international airlines from Europe to Middle East, Asia and Africa and served by more than 50 airlines from all parts of the world. Travel time to Istanbul from all major cities of Europe is between two and three hours. The national carrier of Turkey, Turkish Airlines (THY) has branches in almost all of the European countries also member of Star Alliance. Most of the countries’ citizens may obtain their visa at the airport upon arrival.

As a strong verification to its prestigious ranking Istanbul hosted conferences in recent years that received praise from all sides. Some of the main congresses are World Dental Congress FDI, with 15,000, International Congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology EADV hosting 8,100 delegates, EFNS-ENS Joint Congress of Neurology with 5,000, Ninth World Stroke Congress WCS with 2,500 can be counted within the prestigious meetings that Istanbul hosted.

We believe that the World Congress of Neurology will be an excellent opportunity for academic and scientific exchange among neurologists from all over the world, with the reasonable and attractive costs that will be committed. It will be a great facility for thousands of neurologists not only from Turkey but also from the region to attend this organization at the southeastern part of our continent. With your great support and our experience, our goal is to make the World Neurology Congress 2025 a glorious, unforgettable event.

We look forward to welcoming you to Turkey. We would be honored to receive your support to organize this event in Istanbul in 2025.

Let us meet where the continents meet. •

 


XXVII WORLD CONGRESS OF NEUROLOGY CANDIDATE COUNTRY

Seoul, South Korea

Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is a city where both modern and traditional cultures coexist. Remnants of history are seen among modern architecture in this mega-city. Whether for business or leisure, travelers can enjoy this global city steeped in tradition and history. Traveling to Seoul is convenient with visa-free entry for 112 countries and direct flights to and from 108 cities and 54 countries. In addition, the city is considered to be one of the safest in the world, with the highest safety and lowest crime index in 2016. Furthermore, because Seoul is accessible and safe for locals and tourists, the Union of International Associations has recognized it as one of the top three convention cities for five consecutive years. Coupled with Korea’s highly successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its continuous efforts to safeguard its citizens and tourists, Seoul is the perfect place for people to come together for mutual exchanges of ideas through international conventions.

We propose to hold the 2025 World Congress Neurology (WCN 2025) at COEX, a global convention center located in Gangnam, the heart of modern Seoul, where major technological hubs are clustered. COEX has a subterranean design that combines vibrant spaces with state-of-the-art facilities, and we anticipate using approximately half of the venue for the event. The venue’s design and layout will provide ample space for academic and scientific activities, including lectures and sessions as well as social events. Numerous international conferences, such as the G20 Seoul Summit and the Asia-Europe Summit (ASEM), have been successfully held at this venue. COEX is surrounded by hotels, Duty-Free shops, banks, a large department store, and emergency facilities, such as hospitals and police and fire stations. In addition, COEX has Asia’s largest underground mall with over 300 stores and restaurants, a movie theater, a library, and even an aquarium. The variety of activities COEX offers allows participants to unwind after a day of scientific pursuit and networking. They may opt to go shopping, take a stroll in nearby parks, visit a spa, or enjoy their entertainment of choice.

Additionally, traveling to and from the venue and airport—anywhere within Seoul—is convenient thanks to an abundance of taxis and mass transportation, including the subway and bus. Participants can quickly get around the city and fully enjoy its culture, history, aesthetics, and architectural design. Therefore, we anticipate that hosting the event at COEX will provide an overall unforgettable experience for all.

Inspired by the World Federation of Neurology’s steadfast drive despite the many difficulties the COVID-19 pandemic posed, the Korean Neurological Association (KNA) is more committed than ever to support the growth, knowledge, and innovation of the neurological society by ensuring the successful organization of this premier educational event.

We believe that this could take place in the heart of Seoul and wish to extend our support and enthusiasm moving forward. Furthermore, we hope that by hosting this event, we will pave the way for a more robust network among the various international neurological societies, including the KNA, to achieve high-quality neurologic care. Although the association is a relatively new society founded in 1982, we have extensive experience hosting major scientific meetings over the last decade. Specifically, we have successfully hosted 2,600 participants at the World Stroke Congress 2010 and 1,600 participants during the 2018 AOCN (the most attended AOCN meeting), both in Seoul. Thus, the KNA is more than capable of organizing and hosting such a big conference while ensuring that participants enjoy both the Congress’s scientific programs and social events, as well as any leisure activities.

In Seoul, our fellow World Federation of Neurology members will surely enjoy furthering themselves in pursuing the skills and knowledge needed in neuroscience. Moreover, they will also enjoy socializing with locals and fellow convention attendees; enjoy authentic Korean cuisine; explore the country’s culture, local activities, shopping, and everything in between. We believe that Seoul is suitable for the WCN 2025 and hope you will strongly consider our capital for the future conference. •