Dr Anaita Udwadia-Hegde, Pediatric Neurologist, Mumbai, India. -Director of Neurosciences, SRCC Narayana Children’s Hospital & Honorary Consultant at the Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre & Wadia Children’s Hospital. -President of the Association of Child Neurology-India (AOCN-India)2021-2023. -Elected, Executive Board Member of the International Child Neurology Association, ICNA, 2018-2022, Lead of Education.
- Jt Organising Secretary, International Child Neurology Congress, Mumbai, 2018.
- Post graduate teacher, over 25 years
- Guide and mentor, Pediatric Neurology Fellowship program, over 16 years.
In the 4 years with ICNA, learnt alot regards the situation & needs of child neurology in different regions of the world. We have helped support with personnel, ideas, funds and or collaboration, national child neurology bodies and passionate professionals keen to improve the situation in their country.
Helped conceive the Global Regional Initiative Program -GRIP, a collaborative effort to upskill child neurology worldwide. Here ICNA with other international child neurology associations such as CNS, EPNS, etc plan to fund & support an upskilling regional project for 2 years.
The ICNA educational activities, inspite of COVID have been amazing. Numerous National associations have been endorsed by ICNA. Cross continent teaching programs and the ICNTN has been a run-away success.
As President of the AOCN-India, have created active verticals with a thrust on education, research, advocacy, outreach, finance, website and offbeat. Focus is to connect, empower, increase and enhance the child neurology fraternity in our country.
But my passion, is my work in rural Maharashtra. Founded the Rural Child Neurology Program, in 2010. Conduct camps quarterly. We treat, give holistic, multidisciplinary & nutritional care to over 800 children with neurological problems at each camp, & focus on parent education. During COVID, we were able to support the children with medication and virtual consults. I do believe that corrective measures in the critical first few years of a child’s development, have maximum benefits on mental and developmental growth
Having completed a term on the Executive board, I have had the opportunity to learn and see how the ICNA works in all regions of the world. As Lead of Education, ICNA, the pandemic made us move from conventional academic programs to the beauty of the virtual world. Change in educational methods, structure, platforms, has made us all closer, connected and made travel dispensable in the pursuit of education.
- I hope to enhance the educational activities already conducted by regional national bodies, international conferences, the very successful ICNTN & FLICNA sessions. We will continue the programs with the aim to reach all corners of the world.
- I would like to see the GRIP program (Global Regional Initiative Program)come to fruition and thus help different regions of the developing world to a solid 2year supported program, from ICNA & other international child neurology partners eg CNS, EPNS etc. They can avail of this program for any emergent need in their region eg: training of first few child neurologist in their country, establishing an epilepsy surgery program, metabolic lab, research project etc.
- Collaborating with other child neurology bodies to facilitate cross continental training for both students in developed and developing countries. There is much to be learned on both sides.
- Creating a role for ICNA as a body to promote the number of child neurology members worldwide. Creating awareness at international and local levels, support training programs, eg: fellowships, funds, collaboration, and help with practice parameters.
- In creating advocacy statements in support of correct child care, against wrong or misinformed practices and to guide the parent body towards correct developmental concerns.
- Multinational, multicentric research activities to combine knowledge for better science.
- Giving a more global and multicultural feel to the practice of child neurology worldwide.
Dr. Hasan Tekgül was born in Gümülcine-Greece, in 1964. He migrated with his family to the west part of Turkey, Izmir, in 1974. Dr. H. Tekgül graduated from the University of Ege, Izmir, Turkey in 1986. Dr. Tekgül began his career in pediatrics in 1992, then as a pediatric neurologist in 1994, and as an associate professor in 1998. In 2000, he was awarded a grant by the Turkish Scientific Research Council, Research Fellowship at Harvard University. He studied neonatal neurology with Joseph Volpe and neonatal EEG with Gregory Holmes and Blaise Bourgeois between 2000-2002 at Children’s Hospital Boston.
Dr. Tekgül also spent three months in Cleveland Clinics, Ohio, for a three-month EEG course. He returned in 2002 to set up a pediatric clinical neurophysiology lab for the comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and treatment of children and adolescents with epilepsy at Ege University Hospital. Dr. Hasan Tekgül took up the position as Professor of Pediatric Neurology at the University of Ege, in 2003. His clinical sub-specialties are Neonatal Neurology, Developmental Neurology, Pediatric Epilepsy, and Pediatric Clinical Neurophysiology (EEG Monitoring, EMG, and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation-TMS). He has designed and tested a reduced electrode EEG montage for neonatal EEG monitoring. He has also contributed to seminal research on biomarkers of epileptogenesis and neuronal plasticity in the developing brain with TMS. His current projects include genetic characterization of developmental epileptic encephalopathies, new EEG modalities for neonatal seizures in neonatal intensive care units.
Dr. Hasan Tekgül has 166 original research publications (103 in international journals and 63 national journals) and numerous book chapters. He has presented her research at international meetings but also supports global educational programs, with a particular focus on national EEG courses ( basic EEG: 12, and advanced EEG:11) and EMG courses.
- Pediatric Neurologist / Epileptologist Consultant Head, Department of Pediatric Neurology, Ege Children’s Hospital, Izmir, Turkey,
- Clinical Professor Ege University Medical Faculty, Izmir, Turkey
Other Relevant Positions:
- Turkish Child Neurology Society Vice President
- An Active Member of the International Child Neurology Association (ICNA)
- Antalya 2022 ICNC Chairman and Scientific Committee Member
- The European Pediatric Neurology Society is an active member.
- The Asian-Oceanian Child Neurology Association is an active member.
- Reviewer for a number of journals.
- Turkish Scientific and Research Council (TUBTAK) reviewer
Conflict of Interest I have provided consulting services to UCB, Sanofi, Novartis, Nutricia, Abbot, and Nestle. I received lecture fees and professional travel accommodations from UCB, Sanofi, Novartis, Nutricia, Abbot, and Nestle.
ICNA is a golden synapsis between health professionals to advance knowledge, education, facilitation, and sharing resources in field of neuroscience and reach children across the world.
I have been a member of ICNA since 2005 and have attended ICNA meetings. I have worked over the past fifteen years to establish international collaborations. I have trained residents and fellows from Cyprus, Azerbaijan, and Iran.
I have attended four educational meetings as an ICNA speaker: Colombus, Sri Lanka (22-23 March 2014), Tebrise, Iran (13-15 Sep 2016), Cox-Bazar, Bangladesh (5-6 November, 20016), Chennai, India (Jan 2016).
I actively work in clinical and laboratory research on neonatal neurology, pediatric epilepsy, and pediatric clinical neurophysiology. I would like to share and contribute to the education of junior child neurologists. I can be actively involved in educational exchange programs, symposiums, workshops.
It would be an honor to be a member of the Executive Board of ICNA. If I have been nominated and elected to the EB of ICNA, I can contribute to international education activities and congresses.
Dr Rekha Mittal
Additional Director ( Pediatric Neurology)
Madhukar Rainbow Children’s Hospital, New Delhi – 110017
Ph: 9958870028, Email: email@example.com
1988 – 2010
Worked as Pediatrician and later Pediatric Neurologist in Armed Forces, India.
Completed two years in - service training (while in the Army) in Pediatric Neurology from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi , in 1998.
Subsequently, practiced Pediatric Neurology in diverse medical set ups in different cities across India – from basic medical centres to the advanced Army Hospital Research and Referral, New Delhi.
2010 - present
Worked in different superspeciality hospitals in New Delhi. Presently with the Madhukar Rainbow Children’s Hospital, New Delhi, where I also see children from different countries, including the middle east, Africa, and Asia, and have some insight into challenges in Pediatric Neurology in these countries.
Ran a charitable centre for 5 years, where Pediatric Neurology services were provided free of cost to children from economically weaker families.
A. Association of Child Neurology (AOCN):
Was one of the seven founding members of the AOCN, and subsequently, Secretary and President of the AOCN.
Was secretary/chairperson in the organization of 3 National Conferences of the AOCN
Initiated /organized and was part of, many educational activities of the AOCN like Continuing Medical Education/ similar programs.
During the Covid pandemic, which happened when I was president of AOCN, academic activities were continued online, with masterclasses, short courses, lectures for Pediatric / Pediatric Neurology Residents, General Pediatricians and Pediatric Neurologists.
Convened 3 important consensus statements for India:
Social and Legal Aspects of Childhood Epilepsy
Diagnosis and Management of Febrile Seizures
Diagnosis and Management of West Syndrome
As President, I was successful in getting approval from the National Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences (Government of India), for Pediatric Neurology as a subject for awarding a degree in this subject ( equivalent DM )
I have experience in practice of Pediatric Neurology under diverse medical setups and populations, and also organisational experience and success in different activities at a National Level in India.
1. Pediatric Neurology UPSKILLING AT EVERY LEVEL : from the ground upwards to the sky is the limit, can be achieved; it is the key for resource development.
The ICNA is a prestigious world body to which Pediatric Neurologists the world over seek membership and follow. As such, the body already has a leadership role in multiple areas of education, practice, advocacy and encouraging and awarding research in Pediatric Neurology at different levels. However, a footprint into Pediatric Neurology practice at the grassroots level can be expanded, in best interest of children requiring Pediatric Neurology services.
In a majority of developing countries with limited resources, the pediatric neurology practice is mostly by General Pediatricians. The Zimbabwe story on the ICNA website ( https://icnapedia.org/icna-zimbabwe-appeal ) is not limited to Zimbabwe; it is still the story of most countries.
The way forward would be :
- Pediatric Neurology for Pediatricians : ICNA could have a greater role in improving knowledge and academic programs by partnering with local Pediatric / Pediatric Neurology bodies in different countries and regions.
- Training and teaching modules for Pediatric residents in certain key areas ( Epilepsy, Developmental disorders, Neuroinfections, clinical examinations). The making of a good Pediatric Neurologist , as well as inculcating good Neurology practice starts in Pediatric MD residency. Residents doing MD often find Pediatric Neurology challenging. Hopefully, this will spark more interest in the subject in the brightest minds.
- Short term courses for paramedical workers in certain focussed areas can be designed (eg Epilepsy counselling, Autism counsellors, Neuromuscular disorder counsellors). This can be modified according to regions in partnership with local bodies, to adjust for regional differences.
- The network of Pediatric Neurologists around the world could be motivated to volunteer for this activity.
2. Development of ICNA consensus statements/ guidelines on common neurological disorders for practice at differing levels of healthcare.
3. Recognition of Pediatric Neurology services by individuals in this field, beyond research. This would encourage Humanism and innovation in practice of Pediatric Neurology.
Prof Shaheen Akhter
Professor of Paediatric Neurology
Dean, Faculty of Paediatrics Director, Institute of Paediatric Neurodisorder and Autism (IPNA)
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU)
Prof Akhter is the Professor of Paediatric Neurology and Dean, Faculty of Paediatrics at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), the only medical university in Bangladesh. She has been working for more than 22 years in Paediatric Neurology, Neurodevelopment, and Autism. She has taken an active role in developing and implementing the 'Paediatric Neurology and Neurodevelopment Residency Course' at BSMMU. She is actively engaged in patient management alongside clinical research and teaching commitments.
Prof Akhter is the Founder-Director of the Institute of Paediatric Neurodisorder and Autism (IPNA). IPNA is a pioneer institute that operates at the national level, providing comprehensive and tertiary-level services to children with neurodevelopmental disorders and autism. IPNA aims to consolidate research initiatives at the national and international level and organize national and international seminars and workshops to disseminate disability/autism-related knowledge and other essential skills to doctors, teachers, and parents. It also runs a model 'School for Children with Autism' by autism-expert teachers and their team, involving parents in managing children with disabilities. IPNA regularly organizes national and international training and seminars for paediatric neurologists, paediatricians, and other health professionals.
She is an active member of ICNA and, as IPNA head, she and her team had organized a two-day-long "ICNA Educational Meeting" at Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, in 2016. The event hosted internationally reputed child neurology and child development scholars and focused on exchanging knowledge and best practices in Autism, Epilepsy, Movement Disorder, child development, CNS Infections, Cerebral Palsy Neurometabolism, and Neurodegenerative disorders.
Prof Akhter has also been working with the Bangladesh Non-communicable Disease Control Programme to develop tools for screening neurodevelopmental problems and ASD for community field workers in health care. Prof. Shaheen does not have any conflicts of interest to disclose.
During the pandemic, the ICNA’s continued role in creating a knowledge environment by providing education and training and engaging in research and advocacy was hugely beneficial for paediatric neurologists worldwide. We especially felt its positive impact in Bangladesh during the prolonged and continued lockdowns. I believe it is vital to build on these close connections and forge a deeper relationship based on learning and knowledge-sharing. I believe we can offer a unique perspective: of medical practitioners dealing with a vast number of healthcare seekers in low-resource settings.
More and more research is being conducted locally based on this context, especially since there are still certain infectious diseases that prevail in developing countries like Bangladesh, which struggle with providing care to a significant population with limited means. In Bangladesh, paediatric neurology is still a relatively new sub-specialty, but more and more doctors specialise in it. Integrating such understandings into a platform as huge as ICNA can enrich us in Bangladesh and bring diverse critical perspectives into the ICNA itself. Such representations can make crucial contributions to an ever-growing and increasingly diverse association in an ever globalizing and integrating world. Now more than ever, we need to improve systems to respond adeptly to the challenges children living with a neurologic condition face.
We need to work harder to create inclusive opportunities for all children and families to access and receive the quality of care they deserve. In this, each of us in the child neurology community has a role to play, and ICNA is already an integral actor in fulfilling this responsibility and disseminating scientific knowledge to empower regional healthcare delivery. I am committed to being a part of this journey and working to improve the lives of children with neurological disorders and neurodisability as a part of this worldwide neurology community.
Sheffali Gulati, FRCPCH (UK), FAMS, FIAP, FIMSA
Professor, Program Director, DM Pediatric Neurology Program
Faculty I/C, Centre of Excellence & Advanced Research for Childhood Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Chief, Child Neurology Division, Department of Pediatrics, AIIMS, New Delhi, India
INSAR (International Society for Autism Research) Global Senior Leader for India
Chairperson, Academy of Pediatric Neurology, Indian Academy of Pediatrics
President Elect, Association of Child Neurology, India
Executive Board Member, Indian Epilepsy Society
Co-Convenor, Paediatric Epilepsy Subsection, Indian Epilepsy Society
Founder Member, Association of Child Neurology
Professor Sheffali Gulati: trained/working at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. Part of the team which started first DM Pediatric Neurology Program in South Asia (2004), Program Director (2008-). Contributed towards establishing Pediatric Neurology programs across India/SAARC countries.
Over 25 years experience, has developed Pediatric Neurology in India as a specialty- academics, clinical care, patient empowerment, research, advocacy and public health domains. National/International awards(Over 25)- First India recipient, Sheila Wallace Award(ICNA)2014, National Award for Science & Technology communication 2021; Fellowship Award, McGill University 2006,ICNA 2010. Fellow, Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health, UK; Fellow, National Academy of Medical Sciences/Indian Academy of Pediatrics/International Medical Science Academy.
Envisioned, conceptualized and heading Centre of Excellence and Advanced Research for Childhood Neurodevelopmental Disorders (2017-): high quality care, high end research, education hub(www.pedneuroaiims.org), National registry and National Child Neurology telehelpline/ consultation (24X7; toll free) .
Over 365 research publications (NEJM, JAMA pediatrics), Citations: 5094; h-Index 34; i10-index 125; Highest IF: 91.245, Maximum citations:316.Research projects leading to innovations/advocacy (NIH/Autism speaks/MRC,UK/ AIIMS-UCL): Neurodevelopmental disorders including Screening/Diagnostic Instruments(National programs; Mobile app PedneuroaiimsDiagnostics: google/ios) Drug refractory epilepsy including dietary therapies, Autism spectrum disorders, Cerebral palsy, SLD, Neuromuscular disorders/neurorehabilitation
Scientific associations International Society for Autism Research-Global Senior Leader (2021-); Association of Child Neurology, India- Founder member (2002); President elect (2023-2025); Academy of Paediatric Neurology, Indian Academy of Paediatrics- Chairperson (2021); National Convenor-Guidelines (2022), Indian Epilepsy Society(National body of ILAE): Co-convenor Paediatric section; Executive Board Member; Indian Academy of Neurology- Curriculum review / Guidelines development committee Member, Advisory board, ICNC 2018; Member, Advisory Board, ICNTN; Coordinator, Neurodevelopmental disorders module, organized “PediatricNeurogenomics” webinar series with ICNTN collaboration.
Has been instrumental in transforming care for children with neurodevelopmental disorders across India and her contributions in the field of epilepsy, autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders are unmatched CV summary: https://drive.google.com/file/d/12q3y8JIYWazVSCxrUc74rB60C4t7jWv9/view?usp=sharing
My vision for ICNA is for it to be a premier association for paediatric neurologists globally promoting the highest quality patient centered care for children with neurological disorders and neuro-disability and supporting the professional development of the members.
The association should focus on the trinity of clinical care, academics and research and to
- Promote advocacy and commit itself to the better care of children and families through joint collaborative work with the National/regional neurological societies, national governments and NGOs.
- Promote evidence-based medicine, and best education for both families and professionals, through adoption of modern technology to surmount barriers to health care in culturally/linguistically diverse settings in both patient/ practitioner populations.
- Equip child neurologists with the tools, skills and knowledge to be the best qualified health professional through innovative approaches in education and lifelong learning especially in resource limited countries.
- Provide members with platforms for improved networking, communication, coaching & mentoring opportunities to help advance their career goals.
- Lead and guide, how we adapt and respond to evolving changes in the post-COVID era, in supporting members to remain resilient, work together and help deal with local/regional/global issues.
- Use of a comprehensive registry may be helpful in many ways including creating a database and improving the clinical practice as per SOPs developed.
- Contribute to the development of assessment, training and recruitment strategy, creating and maintaining an efficient world-class training system that engages and prepares students to be globally competitive and to foster the future generation of child neurologists with a special focus on LMICs.
- Facilitate capacity building of research institutions for education, research and international co-operation to develop an effective international research system and foster local, regional, national and international collaborations. We should be fostering interactive, dynamic and more collegial relationship.
Viraj Sanghi is a consultant paediatric neurologist at the SRCC Children’s Hospital and the KEM hospital and GS Medical College in Mumbai with a keen interest in paediatric stroke, neuromuscular disorders and palliative care.
He received his MBBS and MD degrees from Grant Medical College in Mumbai, India and subsequently received the Diplomate of the National Board in Neurology in 2002. He went on to obtain his fellowship in Paediatric Neurology from SickKids, Toronto. Recently he completed certification in Palliative care from Harvard Medical School, Boston.
Over the past 22 years he has been passionate about and closely involved in ethical and holistic care as well as rehabilitation of children and currently serves the Rehabilitation committee as well as the Ethics committees at the SRCC Children’s Hospital in Mumbai. He is also instrumental in establishing the Family Centred Care programme and setting up a paediatric Palliative Care programme at the hospital. He is an enthusiastic teacher and has conducted several education programmes for fellows, residents, neurologists, community paediatricians and other healthcare workers. Additionally, he has also uses his administrative skills to organize and serves as faculty in several Regional, National and International conferences including the ICNC 2018 which was held in Mumbai. As a Trustee of Neurology Foundation, a charitable organization based in Mumbai, he is involved in fund raising and philanthropic activities for the underprivileged sector of society. He is currently on the ICNA Executive Board and is committed to serving the organization to help achieve its mission and goals.
In his spare time, away from the hospital and his work, Viraj enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, adorable black Labrador, reading, working out and watching Netflix! He is an avid traveler and loves to explore different cultures and cuisines across the globe.
ICNA is a global community of individuals who share the philosophy of providing high quality neurological healthcare for children from all regions of the world. We come together on a common platform with the intent of decreasing the burden of disease. Towards this common goal we must strive to achieve the following:
Grow the paediatric neurology workforce, especially in resource limited regions, with an unwavering commitment to excellence in education. We must continue to provide cutting-edge academic programs that promote the intellectual and ethical growth of students, residents and fellows through in-person as well as online models of academic programmes.
Expand and support paediatric neuroscience Research and encourage and support young researchers in this regard.
Develop standardized protocols and clinical algorithms that can promote highest levels of care and yet be applicable to those with limited financial means.
Provide a network that allows for free exchange of ideas and communication towards the promotion of high quality patient care and better outcomes. This would include mentorship programmes for residents and neurologists in early stages of their careers to help foster a sense of support.
Attain financial growth and sustainability for the organisation and yet continue to provide low cost resources for those regions that need financial support.
Continue the development and promotion of JICNA and other educational activities already in place.
Advocate for patients and care givers with policymakers and form partnerships with other societies, the government and community.
8.Uphold the values, ethics and integrity of ICNA and integrate professional education with humanistic, scientific and social learning.
I remain committed to the core principles of ICNA and would be honoured to continue to serve the board.
Vrajesh Udani completed his medical training at the prestigious Grant Medical college Mumbai, India with honours. He trained in Child Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology at the State University of New York, Brooklyn. After board certification he returned to Mumbai and set up one of the first Child Neurology services in India at the PD Hinduja National Hospital. A sabbatical year at the Miami Children’s Hospital enabled him to set up an active epilepsy surgery program. He further started an active teaching program at two public teaching institutions. Several child neurologists have trained under him in India.
His clinical and research interests have spanned several areas. He was part of the first international RCT studying the use of interferon in SSPE. He co-authored original clinical and genetic descriptions of MLC with subcortical cysts and PKAN in the Agrawal community in India. The link between infantile epilepsy and neonatal hypoglycemic brain injury was explored and has emerged as one of the commonest etiologies of drug-resistant epilepsy in the developing world. Long-term outcome studies in drug resistant epilepsy and autistic spectrum disorders have highlighted what happens in resource-poor setting. Recent research interests have been autoimmune encephalitis and MOG associated disorders.
He has published > 80 papers in peer-reviewed journals and 25 chapters in textbooks. He has served on expert consensus groups including the ILAE Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery task force and the ILAE Nosology Commission Syndrome Definitions.
He was the organizing chairperson of the International Child Neurology Congress in Mumbai in 2018 which was rated highly by most members. He is a member on the ICNA nominating committee for the last 4 years. He has served the Indian neurology community as President of the Association of Child Neurology-India and Chairman of the Pediatric Neurology subsection of the Indian Academy of Neurology.
He has lectured extensively in national and international meetings and given several prestigious orations.
A few initial thoughts about the state of world child neurology and what my goals would be if elected to the executive board
1) Though the burden of childhood neurological disease is high in the developing world, access to even basic child neurologic services is sorely lacking. This is primarily due to the lack of organized training in many parts of the world. The ICNA has been fairly successful in the continuing medical educational activities tried with regular physical and online teaching programs but a lot more needs to be done.
2) We probably have the highest numbers of rare disorders in child neurology. This makes it a challenge to study these diseases. We need international registries to be set up so to help increase our collective knowledge which would help our patients in the long run.
3) Access to advanced testing is a still a major hurdle in diagnosing rare disorders in many parts of the world due to cost / availability issues.
4) Finally novel therapies are rapidly gaining ground in different disorders. However, these are extraordinarily expensive and out of reach for most of the world. The ICNA is in a unique position in bridging these gaps with its reach across the world and its rapidly expanding membership.
I propose to help
1) Expand educational initiatives in parts of the world needing them most using not only world-renowned speakers but local experts as well
2) Establish registries to help study the epidemiology & natural history of rare disorders
3) Make available lists of where advanced genetic /immunologic tests can be done at reasonable rates
4) Use the good offices of ICNA to lobby the pharmaceutical industry to reduce costs and increase access to expensive medications