World Neurology - April/May 2020We would like to welcome all neurologists from around the globe to this issue of World Neurology, and at the start would like to again wish you, your families, and your patients all the best of health and safety at this time.

Much of this issue is devoted to an update on COVID-19. We are honored that the cover story on this issue is written by Drs. Avindra Nath and B. Jeanne Billious from the Section of Infections of the Nervous System at the United States National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). They provide an up-to-the moment summary of the evolving knowledge about the interface of COVID-19 on neurology and our patients. In the President's column, Dr. William Carroll reminds us of the importance of the pandemic on our patients and the role the WFN plays in, among other important aspects, advocating for maintaining the highest standard of care for neurological patients worldwide. Dr. Carroll also updates us on the enhancements to the WFN website as a clearinghouse for accurate and up-to-date information about neurological involvement in COVID-19 as well as its effects on neurological societies and neurological patients and services worldwide.

Dr. John England, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Neurological Sciences ( JNS), provides his Editor's Update on the journal, informing us of the efforts to invite and expeditiously publish the accepted papers in JNS relating to the neurological aspects of COVID-19. This issue also features an obituary, reprinted from JNS, of Prof. Alberto Portera-Sánchez, a pioneer of Spanish neurology and former vice president of the WFN, along with additional heartfelt words from Vladamir Hachinski, former president of the WFN. Drs. Tissa Wijeratne, Claudia Trenkwalder, president of the International Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society (IPMDS), Wolfgang Grisold, and Dr. Carroll, announce and update us on the efforts and ongoing plans for this year's World Brain Day. This year's World Brain Day focuses on ending Parkinson's disease as a collaborative effort between the WFN and the IPMDS. Drs. Dafin Muresanu, Selevan Ovidiu, Cristian Andriescu, and Stefan Strilciuc, describe the history of neurological meetings in Transylvania, particularly the annual international events organized by the Society for the Study of Neuroprotection and Neuroplasticity (SSNN).

With this issue, we are also pleased to introduce a new column, written by WFN Secretary-General Wolfgang Grisold, who will update us with each issue about the many Committees of the WFN and their critical roles, beginning with the Standards and Evaluation Committee. This issue also features a number of reports from the recipients of Junior Traveling Fellowships (JTFs) to attend the World Congress of Neurology (WCN) in October 2019 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. These heartfelt reports are reminders of the wonderful "in person" congress that so recently occurred (and yet now seems so distant for many reasons). Equally importantly, these reports serve as a reminder of the upcoming WCN 2021 we are so actively planning and looking forward to attending in Rome, Italy in October 2021. Finally, as Dr. Carroll reminds us in his column, the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the WFN Council of Delegates (COD) remains scheduled for Sept. 9, 2020 during the ECTRIMS/ACTRIMS meeting in Washington. We look forward to seeing all of the delegates at this meeting, whether it is virtual or in person.

We hope you enjoy this issue of World Neurology, and look forward to receiving your contributions, especially updating all of our colleagues on how the current pandemic has (or has not) affected neurologists, our societies, and our patients around the globe.

 

Steven L Lewis MDWalter Struhal MD

By Steven L. Lewis, MD, Editor, and Walter Struhal, MD, Co-Editor

 

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Highlights


President's Column

  • It's All About COVID-19
    By Prof. William Carroll
    This is the most important event in the last century. Arguably, aside from the tragic loss of life, the widespread and virtually simultaneous shutdown of global and regional economies, and the restriction of individual movements and travel with the enforcement of social distancing has no precedent.

Main Feature

  • COVID-19: A Neurologist's Perspective
    By Avindra Nath and B. Jeanne Billioux
    The crisis we are currently facing is unprecedented in every way. Just a few months ago, we were talking about developing targeted gene therapies for a spectrum of diseases, including ultrarare diseases. Only a few weeks later, the health care system finds itself overburdened and undersupplied to the point where we are talking about rationing health care. Maintenance care has been pushed to telemedicine clinics and elective procedures have ground to a halt.

From the WFN

  • Committees of the WFN
    By Wolfgang Grisold, Secretary General, WFN
    The committees of the WFN contribute greatly to the work of the WFN. The chairs are appointed by the trustees, and the committee is composed of members of the regions. This new column will introduce the committees in the next issues of World Neurology, starting with the Standards and Evaluation Committee in this issue.

World Brain Day

  • Message From the WFN President About World Brain Day 2020
    By Prof. William Carroll, WFN President
    World Brain Day is July 22, 2020. This year, we are excited to announce that the World Federation of Neurology is partnering with the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society to raise awareness for Parkinson's disease. There are more than 7 million people of all age groups with Parkinson's disease worldwide, and the illness affects many more than this number through its impact on families and caregivers.

  • World Brain Day 2020 Moves to End Parkinson's Disease
    A World Federation of Neurology and International Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society Collaboration
    We invite our readers to rally around World Brain Day 2020 "Move Together to End Parkinson's Disease." Please make the World Brain Day 2020 campaign an important priority. The educational and promotional material from the WFN and IPMDS collaboration will help you to be the best advocates for your patients with Parkinson's disease and their caregivers.

Journal of the Neurological Sciences

  • Editor's Update for the Journal of the Neurological Sciences Regarding COVID-19
    By John D. England, MD
    Although not initially suspected, neurological features of COVID-19 do occur. In fact, for patients who recover from the respiratory disease, neurological complications may be one of the severe lasting features of COVID-19.

From the field

  • Neurological Meetings in Transylvania
    By Dafin Muresanu, Selejan Ovidiu, Cristian Andriescu, and Stefan Strilciuc
    Over the past 15 years, there have been three annual international events in the field of neurology organized by the Society for the Study of Neuroprotection and Neuroplasticity (SSNN). The society was established in 2005 by an international group of clinicians and basic researchers at the initiative of Prof. Dafin F. Muresanu, MD, Romania, with the scope of promoting a strong collaboration platform for translational medicine, in an attempt to strengthen stronger collaboration between the academics and clinicians. Hence, there is dual focus on basic and clinical research.

Junior Travelling Fellowship: Reports form WCN 2019

  • Andina Wirathmawati, MD
  • Emmanuel Iwuozo, MBBS, MSc, FMCP
  • Mostafa Abdelmomen
  • Hamada Zehry

In Memoriam

  • Alberto Portera-Sánchez, Pioneer of Modern Spanish Neurology
    By Félix Bermejo-Parej, Luis Calandre, Teodoro Del Ser
    Prof. Alberto Portera-Sánchez died on November 30, 2019, in Madrid at the age of 91. Born in Caspe, Saragossa, Spain, he graduated in medicine in 1950 in Spain and then he obtained the specialization in pediatrics and neurology in Paris and in the U.S. (at the Universities of Georgetown in Washington and in Maryland).

    By Vladimir Hachinski, Past President, WFN
    Early in the 20th century, Spanish neuroscience had a high international profile, personified by Santiago Ramon y Cajal. He was a winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine and last year his publications were cited 1,559 times, 85 years after his death.