American Academy of Neurology Meeting

Dr. James C Johnston

Dr. James C. Johnston recently attended the 70th American Academy of Neurology meeting in Los Angeles, California.

Over 13,000 neurologists and other medical professionals attended the annual meeting, coming from over 100 countries.  There were seven plenary sessions, 240 educational programs and over 3,000 scientific abstracts.

Dr. Johnston and one of his Ethiopian colleagues, neurologist Dr. Mehila Zebenigus, presented an abstract entitled The Spectrum of Neurological Disorders in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  (DOI:  10.13140/RG.2.2.15263.25769).

 This study was prompted by the fact that neurological disorders constitute a significant portion of the global burden of disease, and are rapidly increasing in sub-Saharan Africa, yet the paucity of data on neurological disease patterns in this region precludes effective allocation of the limited available resources.

The study incorporated all new patients referred to a neurology clinic in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia over a continuous twelve month period.  Board certified neurologists diagnosed and treated each patient after performing a history, examination and any necessary testing including laboratory, neurodiagnostic or neuroimaging studies.  A total of 4,195 patients were evaluated, with a mean age of 41.3 years and sex ratio of 106.9.

The most common conditions were musculoskeletal disorders (33.6%), predominantly degenerative spine disease (28.5%).  The most common neurological conditions were nerve, root and plexus disorders (15.4%), epilepsy (11.7%), headache (11.1%), cerebrovascular disease (8.4%), generalized neuropathies (6%), movement disorders (3.3%) and neurodegenerative diseases (2.7%).  Brain or spine tumors and psychiatric disorders were less common at 1.2 and 2.2% respectively.

This was the first report of disease patterns at a private outpatient neurology clinic in Ethiopia.  It demonstrated that degenerative spine disease with or without radiculopathy, entrapment neuropathies and episodic disorders (epilepsy, headache, cerebrovascular disease) comprise the vast majority of conditions.

More importantly, these common conditions are effectively treated within this resource limited setting, underscoring the importance of allocating resources to train more neurologists in developing nations.  Drs. Johnston and Zebenigus have emphasized this approach through the non-profit organization Global NeuroCare®.  (www.GlobalNeuroCare.org).

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American Academy of Neurology 2016 Fall Conference

 

American Academy of Neurology pic

American Academy of Neurology
Image: aan.com

Having received his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, TX, Dr. James C. Johnston is board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He holds additional certification in rehabilitation medicine. Practicing medicine for over 25 years, Dr. James C. Johnston specializes in neurology and is a member of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), World Association for Medical Law (WAML), and Fellow of both the American and Australasian Colleges of Legal Medicine.

Dr. James C. Johnston attended the AAN Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia in April of this year. The World Association for Medical Law recently held the annual Congress of Medical Law in Los Angeles during August 7-11 where Dr. James C. Johnston presented a lecture on The Ethical and Legal Challenges of Global Health Development. Dr. Johnston based this presentation on his work through Global NeuroCare, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations.

Shortly before the WAML meeting Dr. James C. Johnston presented a written statement to the United Nations ECOSOC High Level Political Forum providing recommendations to improve global health partnerships.

Along with co-authors Thomas Sartwelle and Professor Berna Arda, Dr. Johnston also presented on Electronic Fetal Monitoring and Cerebral Palsy at the WAML meeting, following several recent publications on this topic with the same co-authors.

American Academy of Neurology and the Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Physician and lawyer Dr. James C. Johnston has practiced neurology for more than two decades and is the founder and current director of Global NeuroCare. Dr. James C. Johnston maintains active memberships in a number of professional organizations, including the World Association of Medical Law, Australasian College of Legal Medicine and the American Academy of Neurology.

With a membership of over 20,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, the American Academy of Neurology has been working to advance the field of neurology since 1948. In addition to promoting the highest-quality neurological care possible, the American Academy of Neurology supports members through advocacy, continuing education, and sponsorship of research and publication of results.

In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Neurology, it was reported that consuming high levels of omega-3 fatty acids can preserve brain health by one to two years. The omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oils, made an impact by increasing brain volume up to .7 percent and enlarging the hippocampus, typically associated with memory, up to 2.7 percent. Levels of omega-3 fatty acids can be raised by eating a diet high in seeds, nuts, and fish and by taking food supplements.