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Promoting Education and Attainment of the Highest Level of Knowledge and Understanding of Clinical Neurophysiology

The International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology (IFCN) has member societies in 62 countries. The IFCN mission is to promote best practice in clinical neurophysiology through education and research throughout the world. And our vision is to improve healthcare worldwide by understanding the nervous system and optimizing the diagnosis and treatment of its disorders through clinical neurophysiology.

Dear Colleagues,

As 2019, and consequently the decade, draws to a close the IFCN Executive Committee (ExCo) would like to wish you a happy and healthy holiday season. Thanks to your membership and the time, energy and knowledge of our volunteers; IFCN can celebrate the many successes of 2019 and of the current decade.

Throughout this year, the ExCo has dedicated its efforts and resources on education, membership, congress management, research, journals, and organizational efficiency. Educational tactical activities have included the Research, Educational and Africa Scholarships, and we are pleased to announce the 2019 scholarship winners:

The 2019 Educational Scholar from Economically Developed Societies

Chen Fei Ng of Malaysia

The 2019 Educational Scholars from Economically Developing Societies:
Camara Diankanagbe of Guinea, and
Youssouf Benmoh Rabat of Morocco. 

The 2019 Research Scholars are:

Giuila Paparella of Italy,
Tayyba Anwar of USA and
Behnaz Esmaili of Iran

Please be advised that the deadline for the 2020 Education and Research Scholarships is March 31, 2020.

The IFCN has numerous educational activities under development including identifying societies willing to share stellar scientific content for distribution via the new IFCN online platforms which will be launched by the second quarter of 2020. 

ExCo has also sought ways to enhance members’ experience of the IFCN; ExCo has stated that it “will identify society members’ goals for which they have limited resources, which the IFCN can dedicate resources to enhance the collective outcome”. An example of this is the Visiting Professors Program. This allows the IFCN to fund experts’ travel to locations which otherwise might not have been possible due to expenses. As of 2019, ICNS members can apply to have a visiting professor come to their country. A new Visiting Professor Program application will be available on the IFCN website by spring of 2020. 

Another activity that the IFCN is engaged in for the betterment of the membership and entire field of clinical neurophysiology is the Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine Neurophysiology Data Working Group (DICOM-WG32), whose aim is to facilitate secure data transfer.  The outcomes from these efforts will have long-term implications for practitioners, patients, and manufacturers. 

Congresses remain an important mechanism for conveying knowledge, and allowing face-to-face contact, while creating networking opportunities. The Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurologists (ANZAN) has begun planning the ICCN 2022, which will be held on the 7th-11th of November 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. Announcements will be made about abstract submission opportunities, so please make sure you keep up to date with the congress’ details.

The mission of the IFCN is to promote best practices in clinical neurophysiology and research throughout the world, facilitated by the organization of congresses. Though the organization of scientific meetings is the responsibility of IFCN Chapters, the ExCo recognizes that some scientific meetings cross Chapter boundaries or may fall outside the purview of Chapters. The ExCo is prepared to consider providing limited financial support for up to two scientific meetings per year. This financial support also is available to cutting-edge meetings organized by Special Interest Groups, which allowed the IFCN to be a proud sponsor of the 7th International Conference on Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation (NIBS).  In addition, IFCN supported a 3-day invitation-only consensus meeting to examine the diagnostic criteria for ALS/MND. It was held September 27-30, 2019 on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia and involved some 30 ALS clinicians, neurologists, and clinical neurophysiologists from around the world. We expect several papers will be generated from this meeting Clinical Neurophysiology (CLINPH) continues to be the jewel in the crown of the IFCN educational resources. It now has a 2018 JCR Impact Factor of 3.675 and a ranking IF in Clinical Neurology of 51st out of 199 in the field of clinical neurology, a CiteScore of 3.14, and total citations of 19,574 and total articles of 276. The ExCo is gratified that Ulf Ziemann agreed to serve another term as the Clinical Neurophysiology (CLINPH) Editor-in-Chief (EiC). Throughout Professor Ziemann’s tenure as EiC, he has worked to increase the number of published guidelines, which have amounted to more than 20, so far mainly in the areas of EEG/MEG, NCS/EMG, and TMS/evoked potentials. All guidelines are IFCN-endorsed and are world-wide freely accessible in a virtual special issue.

The recent launch of Clinical Neurophysiology Practice (CNP), an Open Access journal focused on clinical practice issues in clinical neurophysiology, has proven more successful than anticipated. It includes relevant new research, case reports or clinical series, and didactic reviews. We are pleased to announce that CNP is gradually ticking off the milestones. CNP was indexed by PubMed Central, achieved an Elsevier CiteScore of 1.54 (as of June 2019) and had >116,546 downloads in 2018. It will be indexed by Clarivate Analytics in the Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), a prelude to assessment for a JCR Impact Factor. The CiteScore would be equivalent to an Impact Factor around 2.0, which would be a good IF for a new journal devoted to clinical practice rather than scientific research. Credit for this success is due in large part to the excellent shepherding of the online journal by David Burke, its EiC.  As Professor Burke steps down from this position, the ExCo welcomes Professor Margitta Seeck who will take on the CNP EiC mantle in January 2020. In addition to serving as the first CNP EiC, Dr. Burke served 16 years on the ExCo; his wisdom and historical knowledge will be much missed. 

The research published in Clinical Neurophysiology and Clinical Neurophysiology Practice, coupled with the awarding of scholarships, are important mechanisms for the diffusion of scientific knowledge that IFCN promotes. The Clinical Neurophysiology Young Investigator Paper Awards are awarded annually (named after Mary Brazier, Herbert Jasper, William Cobb, and Grey Walter). For the 2018 Mary Brazier Young Investigator Paper, 46 applications were received.  The awards of the years 2018-2021 will be presented during the ICCN 2022. 

Since 2005, the IFCN has received administrative support from VenueWest, located in Vancouver, Canada. Due to the recent changes in Canadian non-profits regulations the ExCo determined that it was best to move IFCN headquarters from Canada to the United States. Association Innovation and Management (AIM) of Reston, Virginia, will likely serve as our new headquarters, with Clarissa Russell at AIM facilitating the transition process and becoming the new IFCN Executive Director. This transition provides the ExCo with the opportunity to realign the IFCN Bylaws with current operational activities, achieving our strategic goals and moving closer to our vision. 

We also want to thank our hosts of the two 2019 ExCo meetings; the newly formed Egyptian Society of Electrodiagnosis Medicine & Clinical Neurophysiology (March in Cairo (pictured)) and the Brazilian Society of Clinical Neurophysiology (August in Sao Paulo). 

Back Row – Left to right: Ryusuke (Ricky) Kakigi, Aatif Husain, Renato Verdugo, Jorge Gutierrez, Ulf Ziemann, Jonathan Cole, and David Burke
Front Row – Left to right: Mark Hallett, Walter Paulus, Ann Hanafy, and Donald Sanders

As we look to 2020, the ExCo is excited about our participation in the 7th Asian-Oceanian Congress on Clinical Neurophysiology (ACCON) to be held in Kuala Lumpur, April 9-12, 2020, and the Clinical Neurophysiology Society of South Africa Congress to be held October 9-11, 2020

As we embark on a new decade, the IFCN continues to be committed to the furtherance of its scientific and educational goals by:

  • Fostering and encouraging scientific research, investigation, and demonstration in the field of clinical neurophysiology;
  • Improving the quality of instruction in the professions dealing with these sciences;
  • Supplying information to, to cooperate with, and to advise, any society, institution, or individual interested in these problems;
  • Proposing guidelines for the practice of clinical neurophysiology and to give advice concerning criteria for methods, techniques, and for the interpretation of results
  • Establishing and maintaining an efficient collaboration with international and national learned societies, governmental organizations, and professionals.

On behalf of the full ExCo, we wish each of you a happy, safe and enjoyable holiday season. We look forward to what 2020 and the next decade will bring.

Happy Holidays,

Walter Paulus
IFCN President

NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF MEMBERS OF IFCN

The Board of Directors of the Federation hereby gives notice that the Annual General Meeting of the Federation will be held at Venue West Conference Services Ltd., Suite 301 – 1040 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, on the 26TH day of February, 2018, at 10 a.m. for the following purposes:

1. To receive the report of the directors to the members;
2. To receive the financial statements of the Federation for the period ended December 31, 2018;
3. To appoint an auditor for the Federation for the current fiscal year;
4. To confirm and ratify the election of Directors to ExCo; and
5. To transact such other business as may properly come before the meeting.

The new Extended International 10-20 System of the IFCN

The standard International 10–20 System (19 electrodes) does not include electrodes in the inferior chain (at the level of the preauricular point). Thus the

inferior-basal and anterior part of the temporal lobe, which preferentially picks up activity originating or propagating from the mesial temporal structures, is not sampled. Given that several frequent diseases (e.g., temporal lobe epilepsy due to hippocampal sclerosis, autoimmune epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease) are characterized mainly by mesial temporal pathology, this region needs to be targeted through additional scalp electrodes in standard recordings.

The IFCN has endorsed a new Guideline (Seeck et al. 2017, The standardized EEG electrode array of the IFCN. Clin Neurophysiol 128:2070-2077) that addresses this problem. The standard International 10-20 System is extended by addition of the T9/T10 (10% inferior to T7/T8), F9/F10 (20% anterior to T9/10, or 10% inferior to F7/F8) and P9/P10 (10% inferior to P7/P8 or 20% posterior to T9/T10) electrodes, which results in a total of 25 electrodes (Figure).

The IFCN strongly recommends to use these 25 electrodes as a minimum for all standard EEG recordings.

Figure. The new Extended International 10-20 System of the IFCN.

Clinical Neurophysiology Practice is now listed on PubMed

Application  for our new open-access journal, Clinical Neurophysiology Practice for listing by PubMed Central was successful.
Now that we will be listed on PubMed Central, future papers will be indexed and available for the foreseeable future. However in addition those papers published prior to acceptance will be indexed back to issue 1, page 1.This is expected to occur in August or September, once a few administrative and technical issues about uploading to PMC have been addressed.

Potential authors are encouraged to think of this journal for submissions that are practice-orientated – technique updates, repetition and validation studies, normative data, illustrative case reports, see published articles for all issues back to 2016, details of the journal, and our guide for authors.

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