2009 Report from Website Editor-in-Chief

February 19, 2009


By Orly Avitzur, MD, MBA, FAAN, AAN.com Editor-in-Chief

Colleagues, friends, and readers of AAN.com,

AAN.com is now a teenager—it's been 13 years since the introduction of the first AAN.com in 1996, when the news of the day was preparing health providers to recognize and treat stroke as a "brain attack."News delivery has come a long way . . . and so has AAN.com.

By 2007, our site had grown considerably and, along with the latest redesign, physician editors were added to the team. Our vision was to make the experience more relevant and useful to you, and we continue to dedicate our efforts toward that goal.

In 2008 we added new features to improve navigation and divided the home page news into an Academy News section and an AAN blog section featuring articles written by members. We've given you breaking news in the field of neurology along with relevant resources and expert Q&As. Our CDC alert regarding the pork processing plant, posted in late January 2008, made national news, and our Clinical Guidelines expert opinions from the guideline authors were highly downloaded. We've added a 'Submit a Comment' feature, and have been happy to hear your responses. We've brought you an NINDS feed so that you can directly download information for your patients, as well as an RSS feed to help keep you up to date. You can also print up articles or email them to friends.

The section editors for Science, Education, Practice and Technology, and Advocacy have added a wealth of articles and news items to keep you informed of the most recent developments in our field. The most popular articles in 2008 were:

  1. Submit Your Abstracts for the 2009 Annual Meeting Scientific Program Today
  2. New E/M Templates
  3. A New Choice on the Menu: Five Years of the Modified Atkins Diet for Epilepsy
  4. Emerging Concepts: Treatment-Responsive Autoimmune Limbic Encephalitis
  5. Health 2.0 for Neurologists

New developments for 2009 are well underway. The first original online CME program was approved and we plan to bring more educational offerings to you in the upcoming year. We will present a new Capitol Hill Report directly from the Academy's legislative counsel, Mike Amery, to give you regular updates on legislative action and how the Academy ensures that the voice of neurology is heard in Washington, DC. Special blogging software is being prepared and we hope to add more voices soon as well as post your responses. The patient website, The Brain Matters, is undergoing a complete revamp and will bring together a variety of tools and resources for your patients and the neurologic community.

During the Annual Meeting in Seattle, our home page will provide more comprehensive information than ever, with daily updates on education and scientific program events, and details about the plenary sessions. Those attending will be able to bring up their course schedule online along with all the special events as we introduce an improved, customizable calendar. This year, you can follow along on your smart phone with the launch of the new mobile site, m.AAN.com, a new members-only benefit. The mobile site includes the Academy membership directory, full articles from AAN publications, and the Practice Guidelines—all resources are fully searchable. (Read more about the mobile website.)

This year, those unable to make it to the Annual Meeting can view video clips of what they're missing as the website editors speak with members from all over the world, interviewing scientists and speakers and posting their conversations on the website. And if those of you who are lucky enough to attend run into one of us in Seattle, please stop and introduce yourselves—you may find yourself in one of our videos on the home page.

The American Academy of Neurology has created a unique opportunity for its members to express their views through AAN.com. If you'd like to share your story, comment on a feature, give us advice, or tell us what you'd like us to add, speak up. I'd love to hear from you.

Orly Avitzur, MD, MBA, FAAN
Editor-in-Chief, AAN.com