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Announcement of the appointment of New Chairman of the AOAN Education Task Force

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Ichizo Nishino as the new Chairman of the AOAN Education Task Force following a unanimous agreement by the Council of Delegates during the AOAN Council of Delegate Meeting on 6th October 2021. This appointment will be for 2 (TWO) years and Dr Ichizo will be responsible:

Announcement of the appointment of New Chairman of the AOAN Education Task Force
1. To form the AOAN Educational Task Force with AOAN members experienced and committed to Neurology
2. To strategize a plan for organizing education programmes and teaching courses.
3. To promote education support for and by Young Neurologists.
4. To distribute educational grants among society members.
5. To facilitate fellowship programmes among society members.

Dr. Ichizo Nishino is Director of the Department of Neuromuscular Research, National Institute of Neuroscience (NIN), National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry (NCNP). He is also appointed to Director of two departments in Medical Genome Center in NCNP. Currently, he is a Guest/Visiting Professor at four universities: the University of Yamanashi, Kaohsiung Medical University (Taiwan), Peking University (China) and Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University (Thailand).

Dr. Nishino obtained his M.D. in 1989 from Kyoto University. After five years of neurology training supervised by Prof. Jun Kimura, he started muscle disease research in NCNP in 1994 under the supervision of Dr. Ikuya Nonaka. Further, he continued research for 2 years in Columbia University, where Prof Michio Hirano and Prof Salvatore DiMauro guided his research. He was appointed to Section Chief in NIN, NCNP in 2000, and to his current position in 2001. By now, he has published more than 500 PubMed-listed papers in the field.

His laboratory functions as a referral center for muscle disease in Japan, providing diagnostic services for muscle pathology and genetic analysis. In addition, his lab is designated as the national NGS center for hereditary muscle disease by AMED (a governmental funding organization in Japan). His lab collects around 80% of muscle biopsies performed in Japan (1103 cases in 2020), and he signs out all cases. As a result, his muscle repository has more than 21,000 frozen muscle biopsy samples, one of the largest collections of the patient’s muscles.

Dr. Nishino is currently serving as Vice President of Asian-Oceanian Myology Center; Executive Board member/Trustee in several societies, including World Muscle Society, Japanese Muscle Society, Japanese Society of Neuropathology, and Japanese Society of Neurological Therapeutics; Education Committee member for World Federation of Neurology; and Associate Editor/Editorial Board member for more than 10 international journals. In addition, he had been an Executive Committee member for TREAT-NMD until he stepped down just recently. He is also a corresponding Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology (FAAN) and the American Neurological Association (FANA).

Prof. Nishino has been presented with many awards for his contributions in the medical arena, including the Japanese Society of Neurology Award and Uchida Award from Japan Foundation of Cardiovascular Research

We are delighted to have Prof Nishino to be on board gearing the task force and we thank him in advance for his future contribution.

Announcement of the appointment of New AOAN Secretariate Member

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Abdul Hanif Khan Yusof Khan as the new AOAN Secretariate Member by the Council of Delegates during the AOAN Council of Delegate Meeting on 6th October 2021. This appointment will be for 2 (TWO) years and Dr Yusof Khan will be responsible:

1. To facilitate administrative matters pertaining to the AOAN
2. To organize meetings and disseminate information to the executive members/office bearers and council of delegates
3. To assist the Executive Members/Office Bearers on matters pertaining to the AOAN
4. To prepare reports and minutes of AOAN Meetings

Dr Yusof Khan is currently a Neurology Fellow in Hospital Pengajar Universiti Putra Malaysia under the guidance of Prof Hamidon Basri. We are delighted to have Dr Yusof Khan be on board as the secretariat member, and we thank him in advance for his future contribution.

Statement from Asia-Ocenian Association of Neurology (AOAN) for the 12th World Congress of Neuro-rehabilitation (WCNR)

16th Dec 2022 (Online)

Firstly, we congratulate and thank the World Federation for Neurorehabilitation (WFNR) for the organising of WCNR. We Acknowledge that the purpose of WFNR is to advance the development of neurological rehabilitation worldwide and to inspire, encourage and develop collaboration between clinicians with an interest in the field.

Regional updates in Asia (published literature in PubMed from 2020 onwards on “neurorehabilitation” AND “country”) include:

  • China
    - Acupuncture for post-stroke cognitive impairment (RCT), Exergaming in falls risk reduction and improvement of mobility post-stroke, Music therapy on stroke rehabilitation, rehabilitation nursing program non-inferiority trial comparing nurse vs therapist-led treatment.
  • Afghanistan
    - Combat injury is the main research area – traumatic brain and sciatica nerve injury. More research and funding needed to examine the long-term neurorehabilitation approach in this area.
  • Hong Kong
    - Wearable ankle robotics role in facilitating intensive repetitive task-specific gait training on stair environment for stroke rehabilitation. Baduanjin Qigong improves balance, strength and mobility in chronic post-stroke patients.
  • India
    - Published literature on education, Training and Practices of neurorehab in India during covid-19 pandemic showed up to 2/3 of participants (n=872 neurorehab professionals) practised multidisciplinary neurorehab, with a third or less of the patients who needed rehab either exercise independently, supervised by caregivers or therapists. Tele-neurorehab was adopted in about half of the centres and continuing medical education was taught mainly online during the pandemic
  • Japan
    - Japan Neurosurgical Database (JND) a prospective observational study registry established in 2017 by the Japan Neurosurgical Society (JNS) to visualize real-world clinical practice, promote science, and improve the quality of care and neurosurgery board certification in Japan. Cerebrovascular diseases comprised the largest proportion overall and in the neurosurgical subgroup (53.1%, 41.0%, respectively)
  • South Korea
    - Korean Stroke Cohort for Functioning and Rehabilitation included 7459 patients, showed education and occupation can buffer an individual against cognitive impairment caused by stroke and promote rapid cognitive recovery early after stroke. Furthermore, higher education minimizes long-term cognitive decline after stroke, especially in older patients.
  • Pakistan
    - A mixed method study on ethical issues and dilemmas in spinal cord injury rehabilitation in the developing world listed revealed issues in understanding patient autonomy in decision making, lack of insurance for SCI rehabilitation, financial challenges, challenges of providing emerging technology in SCI rehabilitation and SCI rehabilitation during disasters.
  • Iran
    - A small RCT showed that advanced weight-bearing mat exercises combined with functional electrical stimulation improved the ability of wheelchair-dependent people with spinal cord injury to transfer and attain independence in activities of daily living
  • Southeast Asia (SEA)
    - Advanced and simple technologies such as robotics, virtual reality, telerehabilitation, motion capture, assistive devices, and mobility training were carried out in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Published research on rehabilitation for falls and associated risks after stroke in Southeast Asia only involved a few countries namely Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Recurrent falls between 6month to 1 year post stroke ranges from 12.5% to 16%. In Thailand, Village Health Volunteers’ training (8 weeks, 1hr/week) improved walking speed among stroke survivors.
  • Malaysia
    - MSC (Malaysia Stroke Council) guide on acute stroke care service during COVID-19 pandemic comprises of prehospital stroke awareness, hyperacute stroke care, stroke care unit and intensive care unit admission, post-stroke rehabilitation and secondary prevention practice


Research on neurorehabilitation in Asia post-COVID19 pandemic mainly focused on cerebrovascular disease in adults, followed by neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. There was paucity of research on other neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury and epilepsy, to name a few. Patients with neurological disease are usually complex with increased medical and functional needs to maintain independence.

More involvement in the community setting by healthy volunteers would be a cost-effective way in low to middle-income countries. In order to carry this out, we need to invest on education. Carer education on rehabilitation is as crucial as education of the healthcare professionals. Furthermore, rehabilitation should be included in the training curriculum of young neurologists. AOAN is committed to this mission which will be carried out by the AOAN Educational Task Force. Understanding the importance of rehabilitation and actively involved in the rehabilitation process will be beneficial managing the condition holistically. This remains true when the disease is progressively deteriorating and maintaining basic daily function is what we focus on. Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias affect over 50 million persons globally and is expected to rise with population ageing. Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) estimated the prevalence of people with dementia in Asia Pacific to triple from 23 million in 2015 to 71 million by 2050. More than half of people with dementia worldwide (135 million) will reside in this region. Hence, research on neurorehabilitation in this area should be accelerated and diversified, as rehabilitation is one of the strategies to slow the disease progression and maintain independence.

In conclusion, investment in education in neurorehabilitation to carers, volunteers and healthcare professionals is as important as having technologies infused in the rehabilitation process. Asia as a region is ageing rapidly; thus, more research in neurorehabilitation should include neurodegenerative diseases. National registries on neurorehabilitation should share a common minimal dataset that can be shared among other Asian nations, to guide policy, research and funding.

Hakimah Mohammad Sallehuddin
Hamidon Basri
On behalf of AOAN

Asian and Oceanian Association of Neurology (AOAN) MISSION STATEMENT
  • To promote the development of clinical neurology and neurological science throughout the Asian andOceanian Region.

  • Assist, as required, in the development of training programs and research efforts in member and potential member nations of  the region. 

  • Facilitate co-operative exchange programs for trainee and qualified neurologists and neuroscientists.
  • Participate with activities promoted by the WFN.

  • Respect the aims and aspirations of member organizations in providing support and advice.

  • Promote friendship amongst neurologists and neuroscientists in the region.

  • Act with sensitivity in obviating political and cultural influences which may impact adversely on these mission objectives.
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