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April 13, 2012


Catherine M. Rydell

AAN Leadership Update

Catherine M. Rydell, Executive Director & CEO
April 2012

Your attendance is requested at the
Monday, April 23, 2012
8:00 a.m.
Room 346/347
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center
New Orleans

Member Services and Planning

  • Third–year residents recently were offered a free review of their CV and invited to complete a survey about the experience. Response was overwhelmingly favorable with 87 percent of respondents indicating they would be "likely" or "very likely" to use the service if it were added to the Neurology Career Center. The program is expected to be rolled out at the Annual Meeting in New Orleans.


  • Continuum: Lifelong Learning in Neurology® and Neurology Now launched iPad® apps the first week in April, completing the family of iPad applications. Neurology, Neurology® Clinical Practice, and Neurology Today's apps are already available via the Apple Store.
  • Change in access for Neurology® and Neurology: Clinical Practice apps for the iPad. As of April 3, access to the apps for the journals will be limited to AAN members and other subscribers. Members will be prompted to log in using their AAN usernames and passwords.
  • In celebration of the launch of apps for the AAN's family of five journals—Neurology®Neurology® Clinical PracticeContinuum®Neurology Today®, and Neurology Now®—the AAN will be gifting $500 Gift Cards toward the purchase of an iPad® on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings of the Annual Meeting, from a drawing of those who complete and submit Exhibit Hall Passports.


  • The AAN signed on to a letter to Senator Tom Harkin (D–IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, requesting $32 billion in funding levels in FY2013 for the National Institutes of Health, including $1.698 billion for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
  • Idaho, Florida, Kentucky, and Wisconsin have passed legislation implementing new regulations for head injuries and concussions in youth sports in 2012. The AAN supports "Lystedt Law" legislation emphasizing education among coaches, parents, and players; immediate removal from play if an athlete is suspected of a concussion; and clearance by physician or health care professional properly trained in the evaluation and management of concussion.
  • The cognitive care specialty coalition will be meeting to decide next steps for messaging on the primary care–cognitive care issue and are also waiting for the Supreme Court's decision on health care which could invalidate provisions such as the primary care bonus.

Clinical Practice

  • Bill Preston, MD, was appointed to the National Committee for Quality Assurance Radiology Maintenance/Non–Cardiac (Overuse) Workgroup. This workgroup will be responsible for reviewing an existing Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement radiology measurement set as well as developing overuse measures in the area of non–cardiac diagnostic imaging.
  • The evidence–based guideline "Intravenous Immunoglobulin in the Treatment of Neuromuscular Disorders" was published on March 27 and was endorsed by the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine. A clinician summary, patient summary, clinical case example, slide set, and Neurology journal podcast were produced; AAN Public Relations issued a press release. The Payment Policy Subcommittee is issuing a policy statement for this guideline, which should be available in June 2012.
  • The evidence–based guidelines "Update: Pharmacologic Treatment for Episodic Migraine Prevention in Adults" and "Update: NSAIDs and Other Complementary Treatments for Episodic Migraine Prevention in Adults," which were co–developed with the AAN by the American Headache Society, will be published on April 24 during the Annual Meeting in New Orleans. The guidelines were endorsed by the American Osteopathic Association. A clinician summary, patient summary, clinical case example, slide set, and Neurology® journal podcast will be produced; AAN Public Relations will issue a standard press release, matte news release, and radio public service announcement.

Medical Economics

  • The AAN commented on a recently released Draft National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease. The plan was a requirement of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA), signed into law in January, 2011. The law also required a creation of the Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services to coordinate work on Alzheimer's–related research and strategic planning to overcome the disease. The Advisory Council is chaired by an AAN member, Ronald Petersen, MD, PhD.
  • In March, the AAN hosted a webinar for more than 15 medical directors with whom the AAN has a working relationship. Gary Gronseth, MD, FAAN, evidence–based medicine consultant to the AAN, outlined upcoming improvements to the AAN's guideline development process and invited a two–way dialogue with the medical directors about the changes, since insurers are an audience the AAN considers when developing guidelines. CMS carriers as well as medical directors from private insurance companies attended the web event.
  • Medical Economics and Management Committee Chair Neil Busis, MD, FAAN, presented a practice management webinar "CPT Coding for Neurodiagnostic Procedures Made Easy" to 155 participants live on March 15. Busis addressed member coding questions and provided guidance on proper use of three new CPT codes for EMG when performed at the same time as nerve conduction studies. The codes became effective January 1. Since then, AAN staff has addressed more than 200 individual member questions regarding appropriate use of the new EMG codes.


  • Steve Gleason, who used to play for the New Orleans Saints and is now diagnosed with ALS, will receive the National Achievement Award from the AAN Foundation. The award will be presented to Gleason during the keynote address for the Brain Health Fair on Saturday, April 21, 2012.
  • The governor of Louisiana has proclaimed the week of April 21–28 as Brain Health Awareness Week. The proclamation coincides with the Brain Health Fair and AAN Annual Meeting.

Public Relations

  • The mayor of Minneapolis has proclaimed June 9, 2012, as Brain Health Awareness Day in the city of Minneapolis, to coincide with the grand opening festivities for the new AAN headquarters.
  • The AAN is pledging to work with the entire epilepsy community to improve the quality of life for epilepsy patients in response to recent recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine in its report Epilepsy Across the Spectrum – Promoting Health and Understanding. Read press release.


  • The speakers and schedule for the new Hot Topics in Education: Institute of Medicine Report on Epilepsy have been finalized: panelists include Christianne Heck, MD, from USC; Gregory Holmes, MD, a pediatric epileptologist who is chair of neurology at Dartmouth and past president of the American Epilepsy Society; William Theodore, MD, from NIH and current head of the AAN Epilepsy Section; Patricia Shafer, RN, BSN, from Beth Israel in Boston; and Frances Jensen, American Epilepsy Society president.
  • The Experience for residents and fellows will be taking place for the second year at the Annual Meeting. There have been many enhancements to the program. We will be offering 1–on–1 teaching sessions for residents and mock interviews will be provided. The Career Center will be front and center at The Experience.
  • A new item writing workshop will take place at the Annual Meeting on Monday, April 23, taught by Fred Flynn, MD, and Douglas Gelb, MD. This workshop is going to be used to improve the quality of the AAN self–assessments.


  • In an effort to be conscious of the environment and to begin establishing a searchable archive of meeting abstracts, all scientific abstracts for the 2012 Annual Meeting will be available online through the Abstracts Online and websites. These online formats offer convenient search capabilities not found in print. Access is easy:
    • Abstracts Online 
      Visit to access abstracts for a full year until February 2013. Abstracts Online even lets you build your itinerary!
    • Neurology 
      Visit to access abstracts indefinitely.
  • The speakers have been identified for the 2012 Clinical Trials Forum: Fred Lublin, MD, FAAN; Horacio Kaufmann, MD, FAAN; Shunichi Homma, MD; Carol Koski, MD; and Mark S. Forman, MD, PhD.

Annual Meeting

  • Annual Meeting Education program evaluations will be available online only. In an effort to be conscious of the environment and your time, all 2012 Annual Meeting Education Program evaluation forms will be handled electronically only—online and at your convenience. Log on to after you've attended your applicable course or program to complete the form and receive your CME.
  • Syllabi for the 2012 Education Program will be available electronically only, and all registered attendees are encouraged to download the full–text syllabi for their selected programs. Registered attendees will receive an email notification when syllabi are available.