President's Message

September 2014

Greetings from the ANA.  I hope you enjoyed a wonderful summer.  As we embark on another academic year, I want to remind you that our ANA Annual Meeting is just weeks away.  The program has shaped up well, featuring a stimulating combination of leading edge research and clinical neurology.  The program encompasses more than 200 presenters and 17 Special Interest Groups. This year the ANA Annual Meeting will be held October 12-14, 2014 in Baltimore, MD; the deadline for early registration is Thursday September 25, 2014.

We are particularly excited this year by the meeting symposia.  We are delighted that a symposium on “Diseases of the Synapse” will feature a keynote presentation delivered by the most recent Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine, Thomas Südhof, M.D., the Avram Goldstein Professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  His talk will center on aspects of the molecular physiology of the synapse.  Other topics in this symposium will cover neurexins and schizophrenia, autism and immunological aspects of synaptic pruning.

A symposium on pain (“Novel Concepts in Pain Generation and Treatment”) will discuss new mechanisms and management of neural pain, channelopathies in peripheral neuropathies and new developments in the genesis and treatment of migraine.  A third symposium (“BRAIN and Connectome: Initiatives Shaping the Future of Clinical Neuroscience”) will address problems and prospects in understanding the human connectome, covering highly innovative new technologies in connectomics and the Brain Initiative.  A fourth colloquium will address “Neurological Challenges Posed by Recurring and New Viral Infections.”

The Presidential Symposium (“The Expanding Roles of Repeat Mutations in ALS and Related Diseases”) will provide an update on the molecular pathology of intronic expansions in neurodegeneration, encompassing innovative recent findings in ALS, frontotemporal dementia and related disorders.

Join us in Baltimore this October to earn up to 26.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ from over 40 sessions on the most timely and transformational advances in all areas of neurological research.  I look forward to seeing you and learning more about your research. To register online visit:

Finally, I want to take this opportunity to call to your attention a remarkable new book from Dr. Allan Ropper and Brian Burrell that will be available at the end of the month.  Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole (St. Martin press) is a marvelous exploration of the Wonderland of clinical neurology, as described through a series of patients in Dr. Ropper’s care.   A consummate clinician-educator and writer, Dr. Ropper explicates several unforgettable cases that underscore the challenges and rewards of studying the compromised brain.  These vignettes demonstrate the merits of matching brilliant clinical insights with anatomic and radiographic observation, reminding once again of the compelling mysteries of the brain and, as Dr. Ropper puts it, the poetry of the mind.  

Robert H. Brown, Jr., D.Phil., M.D.
University of Massachusetts
President, American Neurological Association