As we close out 2021, we mark several recent milestones for the IFCN. The IFCN and the International League against Epilepsy (ILAE) will publish jointly several clinical practice guidelines in the area of epilepsy. These guidelines will appear as joint publications in Clinical Neurophysiology and in Epilepsia, the organs of the IFCN and ILAE, respectively. The publishers, Elsevier and Wiley, recently achieved an essential milestone, the passage of a joint publication agreement. This opens the gate for the publication of the guideline “Minimum Standards for Inpatient Long-Term Video-EEG Monitoring: A Clinical Practice Guideline of the International League Against Epilepsy and International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology” by Tatum WO, Mani J, Jin K, Halford JJ, Gloss D, Mothersill I and Beniczky S, which appeared online in both journals on December 13, 2021. This guideline identifies standards for performing inpatient long-term video-EEG monitoring (LTVEM). It shows that only limited high-level evidence addressing standards for LTVEM exist. Selected evidence does exist for utility of LTVEM, though comprehensive criteria addressing minimum standards for performance are needed. Clinicians, hospital administrators, and insurers benefit from establishing standards for inpatient video-EEG monitoring applied to patient management.
Additionally, the Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation Special Interest Group (NIBS SIG) has recently undergone a renovation of sorts. In order to further extend our membership interests we broadened our name to Brain Stimulation SIG (BS-SIG). Both Professor Andres Lozano and Professor Sarah H. Lisanby have kindly agreed to join Professor Yoshikazu (Kaz) Ugawa as Working Group Co-leaders of the SIG to extend the focus into neurosurgical and psychiatric topics.
Please note that poster abstracts for the ICCN 2022 in September in Geneva can still be submitted until January 14, 2022. In addition to this, symposia proposals for the integrated SIG Brain Stimulation meeting may be submitted within the same deadline. As such and as mentioned above, brain stimulation topics in psychiatry and neurosurgery are welcome as well. This SIG meeting will be the successor meeting of the 2020 Baden Baden meeting.
I am also pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 IFCN Education and Research Fellowships. Francesco Fisicaro of Italy will be traveling to Japan to conduct research at Fukushima Medical University; Farnaz Sinaei of Iran is headed to Washington, DC to study at The George Washington University; Melody Asukile will travel from Zambia to South Africa to study with the Clinical Neurology Unit at Groote Schuur Hospital, University of Cape Town; Roxana Matus Mayorga of Nicaragua will be studying at the Centro Medico ABC in Mexico City; and Southanalinh Keovilayhong of Laos will study first in France at the Pierre Wertheimer Hospital, and later in Thailand at Ramathibodi Hospital. The IFCN Education and Executive Committees join me in wishing these doctors tremendous success in their endeavors.
The December Editor’s Choice for Clinical Neurophysiology is from Croce P, Ricci L, Pulitano P, Boscarino M, Zappasodi F, Lanzone J, Narducci F, Mecarelli O, Di Lazzaro V, Tombini M, Assenza G (2021) Machine learning for predicting levetiracetam treatment response in temporal lobe epilepsy. Clin Neurophysiol 132:3035-3042. Croce and colleagues in the present issue of Clinical Neurophysiology employed machine learning algorithms to determine the predictive power for seizure-freedom of 19-channels scalp EEG in 23 newly diagnosed TLE patients at baseline and after 3 months of ASM treatment with levetiracetam. 12/23 patients were seizure-free after 2 years. 152 features were extracted from the EEG recordings in the partial least square regression analysis, with a predictive power for seizure-freedom of AUC = 0.800 when using the baseline and 3 months EEG data. This study is important as it provides an initial proof-of-concept pipeline for predicting the clinical response to ASMs in people with epilepsy.
2021 has seen the development of further COVID-19 variants across the world, and we know this pandemic is not over. But through science and hard work we now have multiple vaccines available worldwide, our lives are starting to return to what we know will be the “new normal”, and we are hard at work planning a stimulating and innovative program for the ICCN 2022 in Geneva this September 4-8, where we will be excited to welcome you in person.
Wishing you good health in the new year and happy holidays,