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COVID-19 and World Neurology

Message from Prof. William Carroll, WFN President

At this time of what we all hope is the peaking of the Covid19 crisis, I write to assure you that the WFN remains functioning normally with none of the Trustees, Staff or Executive physically affected. We trust that this continues and ask that if any member society is affected adversely in any way that they think we should be aware of, or that we might be able to assist, then please contact the London Office.

For those of you who have been following our Facebook or Twitter feeds or the information on the WFN website or in the WFN newsletter, World Neurology, you will have noticed that the WFN had planned this year to ramp up its visibility, the promotion of brain health in parallel with this year’s World Brain Day, to commence the promotion of the 2021 World Congress of Neurology and pursue and address the inequities of access to quality neurological care. Most of these activities were to combine both physical attendance at major international meetings and new press campaigns. With the impact of Covid19 and the uncertainty of how long this will last, we will be transferring more emphasis of these efforts to the media. The cancellation of the 2020 American Academy of Neurology, the world’s largest neurological meeting, late last week illustrates the likely direction for other major neurological meetings.

It is paramount that neurological disorders and especially non-communicable neurological disorders do not become subsumed by the Covid19 crisis and the response to it. In addition to providing our full support for the battle with Covid19 by governments, their health services, institutions and hospitals, we also owe our patients with neurological disorders our reassurance and our vigilance. Most importantly, drug supply chains, access to medicines and preemptive information to those receiving neuro-immunological and other treatments, as to where to find the most appropriate and up-to-date information will be invaluable to patients in jurisdictions where such services are already fragile. Most of the major neurological disease organisations and national and regional neurological organisations have done these preparations or are making them so it may just be a matter of ensuring the information pertinent to certain member societies is available. Fortunately, Covid19 appears not to be neurotropic and although there have been some earlier discussion on this in the literature there has been no firm evidence to change this view.

In closing, I wish all member societies, their individual members and their families and above all our patients, safe passage through this pandemic.


Professor William M Carroll

President World Federation of Neurology



2nd Letter to WFN member societies from the President [16 April 2020]       

Further to my previous letter regarding the Covid-19 pandemic I write to you again for two main reasons.

First, to again reassure you that that the London office of the WFN remains viable, active and healthy despite the restrictions applied to the residents of London. I also send the best wishes of the trustees and myself to you, your members and all your families. It is a very trying time for all, and for those in “hot spots”, a dangerous time. As you would all know, at present, there is no better protection than the current restrictions on movement, personal interaction and proximity and frequent vigorous hand hygiene.

Second, while all of us are carefully watching the global and national statistics on infection rates and mortality rates as well as the effects on our families and our practice of neurology it is difficult for any one member society to access country wide neurology-related information from around the world. All of us would like to know how others in the WFN are faring. It has been proposed that we begin a new section under Covid-19 on the WFN website titled “WFN Member Society C-19 Bulletin Board” where member societies can post notices related to the effects of Covid-19 in their country or region. Please use the following email address and head the post “For WFN member Bulletin Board”. Note, these are not primarily for the WFN Office but for all WFN members. Consequently they will be accessible by all.

Matters which would be of considerable interest to members of the WFN would relate to two broad areas;

  • Rates of infection, testing, hospitalisation, mortality and recovery.
    Current countrywide measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and whether they are proving effective.
  • Effects of the pandemic on neurological care in general (outpatient services, medication access, infusion services, physiotherapy etc) and for those possibly more vulnerable patient groups such as Parkinson’s Disease, Motor Neurone Disease, Myasthenia Gravis, Multiple Sclerosis/NMOSD and immune mediated neuropathies etc.

There is obviously a third and less tangible reason for doing this which relates to a sense of sharing the burden and the collaborative effort in mitigating the effects of the pandemic, i.e. a shared purpose.

Professor William Carroll

President, World Federation of Neurology


WFN Member Society C-19 Bulletin Board


ANZAN extends its sympathies to our colleagues around the world.  At this point in time Australia and New Zealand are fortunate to have suffered minimal impact due to Covid-19.

We send best wishes to all our colleagues, their families and patients,

Pam McCombe


Members' Bulletin


COVID-19 Resources


WFN COVID-19 reference review committee

  • Journal of the Neurological Sciences Editor-in-Chief: John D. England
  • eNeurologicalSci (eNS) standing Editor-in-Chief: Walter Struhal
  • World Neurology Editor-in-Chief:  Steven L. Lewis


A commentary on the current state of neurological involvement with Covid 19

Important announcements in the media

  • Coronavirus: Dexamethasone proves first life-saving drug. BBC News ⧉


Selected References Related to COVID-19 and Neurology

While we have restricted the selection of articles to reputable peer-reviewed journals we do/can not guarantee the validity of the data nor the conclusions.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Letters and Case reports

Global Neurology Alliance: COVID-19 and Neurological Impact

The WFN, for the present, is unable to cover all specific information needed for neurology and COVID-19, and has decided to abstain from producing a WFN Coronavirus guideline.

The WFN and Global Neurology Alliance (GNA) are conscious that there will be a lot of information around COVID-19 and its neurological impact. At present it is difficult to distinguish the scientific value and impact.

For more information, please use the links (⧉) in this section to access up-to-date and relevant information including COVID-19 and about the members of the GNA. 

If you are unable to find answers to your specific questions, please let us know, that we might help to find you a specific source. Links to the WFN Specialty Groups are provided below where you can find additional contact information.

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Cancelled International Neurology Congresses

  • 2020 AAN Annual Meeting 
    25 April-1 May 2020 | Toronto, Canada [
  • 2020 EANO Meeting 
    10-13 September 2020 | Glasgow, UK [


  • ESO-WSO Conference 2020
    New date: 7-9 November 2020 | Vienna, Austria [Read More ⧉]
  • AOCN 2020
    New date: 1-4 April 2021 | Taipei, Taiwan [Read More ⧉]
  • MIND & BRAIN - 60th International Neuropsychiatric Congress
    New date: 27-30 May 2021 | Pula, Croatia [Read More ⧉]
  • 16th ICNMD 2020
    New date: 28 May - 1 June 2021 | Valencia, Spain [Read More ⧉]
  • 12th European Congress of Neuropathology
    New date: 31 May – 3 June 2021 | Odense, Denmark [Read More ⧉]


  • 6th EAN Congress 2020
    23-26 May 2020 |Going Virtual  [
  • 2020 Peripheral Nerve Society (PNS) Annual Meeting
    28 June 2020 | Going Virtual  [
  • ECTRIMS / ACTRIMS Annual Congress
    9-12 September 2020 | Washington D. C., USA [Read More ⧉]
  • 33rd ECNP Congress
    12-15 September 2020 | Vienna, Austria [
  • ICNMDigital
    11-14 September, 2020 (
  • International Congress of Parkinson and Movement Disorders
    13-17 September | Philadelphia, USA [

Covid 19 events concelled


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