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Letter from the Editor

Prof. Hans-Peter Hartung, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany
AAN 2021

Dear colleagues,

Due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, this year the AAN community again gathered only virtually. Nevertheless, it turned out to be yet another big success with more than 13,000 colleagues from around the world digitally joining the proceedings and multiple high class educational programs. As always, the meeting provided a unique opportunity to get authoritative updates about the latest developments in clinical and translational neurological research, disease diagnosis and management, healthcare, and topics on the borderland of healthcare, economics, and politics.

Clearly, of the entire spectrum of neurological disorders studied, the impact of COVID-19 stood out. Leading experts shared and critically analyzed the constantly accumulating evidence for involvement of the central and peripheral nervous system in this grave SARS-CoV2 disease and discussed how it impacts several aspects of disease management. Here, efficacy and potential risks of disease-modifying drugs were discussed also in relation to COVID-19 vaccinations.

In all the major disease groups cared for by neurologists, new advances were presented both regarding diagnosis and therapies. We have been witnessing astounding progress in utilizing anti-sense technology to provide therapeutic benefits in hitherto untreatable diseases of both the brain and peripheral nerve. Clearly, assessing cognitive impairment in many diseases and therapeutic avenues for improvement as well as deciphering the mysteries of dementia and the various subgroups continue to be a major challenge. This will certainly persist after the recent approval by FDA of aducanumab for Alzheimer dementia. Prominently discussed were also the recent therapeutic advances noted in migraine and multiple sclerosis.

The organizers did a great job in hosting this mega-virtual event. Mission accomplished. Congratulations! However, we would all be happy to see our colleagues at AAN 2022 in person again.





Prof. Hartung is currently Professor of Neurology at Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Honorary Professor at Brain and Mind Center, University of Sydney, Visiting Professor at Medical University Vienna and Palacky University Olomouc. He was chairman of the Department of Neurology, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf from 2001-2020, director of the Center for Neurology and Neuropsychiatry from 2012-2020 and director of the Department of Conservative Medicine from 2012-2019.

Prof. Hartung’s clinical and translational research interests are in the field of basic and clinical neuroimmunology and in particular multiple sclerosis and immune neuropathies, development of new immunological, neuroprotective and neural repair promoting strategies. He has (co-)authored more than 950 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 100 book chapters. He has been involved as member of the Steering Committee in numerous international multicentre therapeutic phase 2 and 3 trials in multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barré Syndrome and CIDP.

He was President of ECTRIMS and has served/serves amongst others on the executive boards of the European Charcot Foundation, the European Neurological Society, and the International Multiple Sclerosis Cognition Society (IMSCOGS). He is/was also member of the Editorial Board of a number of international journals. Prof. Hartung is a Fellow of the AAN and EAN, and has been chair/member of the management group of the EAN scientific panels on general neurology and multiple sclerosis. He is Corresponding and Honorary Fellow of several international societies.

Conflict of Interest Statement:

Hans-Peter Hartung has received fees for consulting, speaking, and serving on steering committees from Bayer Healthcare, Biogen, GeNeuro, MedImmune, Merck, Novartis, Opexa, Receptos Celgene, Roche, Sanofi Genzyme, CSL Behring, Octapharma, Teva, TG Therapeutics, and Viela Bio, with approval by the Rector of Heinrich-Heine-University.


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