Message from the Chair

May 23, 2012


Greetings!  As a neophyte to the chair position for the Movement Disorders Section, I am both excited and a bit nervous about providing you an overview of Section structure and activities.  Our past chair, Kathleen Shannon, has led the Section in an outstanding fashion these past two years and richly deserves our highest accolades and appreciation.

Our section is represented by the Executive Committee, which consists of:

  • Chair: Ronald Pfeiffer

  • Vice Chair: Charles Adler

  • Past Chair: Kathleen Shannon

  • Councilors: Mark Stacy, Samuel Frank and Alberto Espay

Within the Section, five Work Groups also operate:  the Nominating Work Group, Education Work Group, Science Work Group, Practice Work Group, and Communications Work Group.  An ad hoc committee addressing surgical movement disorders issues is also at work.  Our current section liaison with the AAN office is Jodi Brendan Amir; she is the “glue” that holds us all together!  Membership in the Movement disorders Section now stands at 1102 and there is always room for more!!

The Movement Disorders Section continues to be active on a number of fronts. 


1. Annual Meeting

Four awards relating to Movement Disorders were given out this year at the AAN Annual meeting in New Orleans.  Amer Ghavanini received the Founders Award and Nandakumar Narayanan the S. Weir Mitchell Award, both sponsored by the AAN Alliance.  The Jon Stolk Award in Movement Disorders for Young Investigators, sponsored by the AAN, was received by Pedro Gonzalez–Alegre and Caroline Tanner won the Movement Disorders Research Award, sponsored by the AAN, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, and the Movement Disorders Section.  Heartiest congratulations are due to each of these individuals.

The Integrated Neuroscience Session, once again produced in conjunction with the Movement Disorder Society, this year addressed “Neuroplasticity in Basal Ganglia Therapy” while the “Subspecialty in Focus” Program, also produced in partnership with the Movement Disorder Society (coordinated by Chris Goetz) and designed to appeal to the interests of subspecialists and draw them to the meeting, included two educational courses, “Impulse Control Disorders and Reward Mechanisms in Movement Disorders” and “Myoclonus.”  All three were very successful and our hearty thanks is extended to the organizers and speakers at these excellent venues for learning.  Plans for similar offerings, with new exciting topics, are underway for next year’s meeting in San Diego.
Finally, the Highlights in the Field session was delivered by Alberto Espay and Mark LeDoux, who capably and efficiently covered the Movement Disorders highlights of the meeting in an entertaining and efficient fashion.

2. Movement Disorders Fellowship Match Network

Spearheaded by Stan Fahn, work continues with regard to the Movement Disorders Fellowship Match Network.  The number of programs participating in the match, which operates through SFMatch, continues to grow and at the time of the Movement Disorders Section meeting in New Orleans stood at 22.  The hope is that this number will continue to grow and eventually include all Movement Disorders fellowship programs.

3. Work Groups

The various Work groups continue to pursue activities within their respective domains.  Acquisition of additional members for the Work Groups will be a task that I will be undertaking in the near future.  If anyone has an interest in serving in a Work Group, by all means contact me!

4. Strategic Plan

This is another topic of ongoing activity within the section.  The current Plan is clearly dated and requires significant revision, which will be undertaken in the coming year.  Section members with interest and skills in strategic planning processes will be warmly welcomed by the Executive Committee!!  

5. New Initiatives

The Executive Committee is anxious to receive suggestions from the Section membership for new initiatives to address and problems to tackle.  In past years, this has resulted in projects and committees addressing issues such as the potential need for designated Movement Disorders Surgical Centers, the need for education of non–movement disorders specialists in the proper use of DaTSCAN imaging, and the development of quality measures for movement disorders practice.  Only a small proportion of our Section members are able to attend the section’s annual in–person meeting, so I hope that members not able to attend will not hesitate to contact me or other members of the Executive Committee with more ideas and thoughts of what our Section can do to make itself relevant to our members and valuable to both neurologists treating movement disorders and the individuals they are treating.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Section, please contact me, either by email or by phone (901–448–5209).

Ron Pfeiffer, MD, FAAN