Pan American Section

Welcome from the Chair

Jorge Juncos, MD
Associate Professor of Neurology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA
MDS Pan American Section Chair


December 2014

Jorge JuncosThe MDS Pan American Section has had a very successful year expanding its educational programs and membership. 

I. Expansion of Educational Programs in 2014. We expanded the outreach to nine countries that included 1,252 attendees.

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Program Name Date Program Location # of
Outreach: 4th International Scientific Conference “Restauración Neurológica 2014” March 5-7 Havana, Cuba 150
Treatment of Parkinson's Disease: Past, Present and Future March 20-22 Miami, FL, USA 154
Botulinum Toxin in Neurological Practice April 4 Santiago, Chile 68
Outreach: SEMANA NEUROLÓGICA 2014 June 16-21 Toluca, Mexico 531
Outreach: The 9th  Brazilian Meeting of Movement Disorders August 21-23 Búzios, Brazil 143
MDS-PAS School for Young Neurologists September 11-13 Buenos Aires, Argentina 48
Outreach: Clinical Research in Movement Disorders Workshop October 2-3 Buenos Aires, Argentina 28
Outreach: VI annual meeting of the Center for Movement Disorders (CETRAM) October 4 Santiago, Chile 60
Allied Health Team Training for Parkinson’s Disease November 13-15 San Diego, CA, USA


    Total Attendance 1, 252


The above courses have been highly successful well beyond attendance.  I would like to highlight the ‘Semana Neurologica’ in Toluca.  The integration of our program into this very large regional Neurology meeting illustrates our growing skills at integrating Movement Disorder courses into large regional meetings designed for non-specialists.  This has helped grow exposure to the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society and increased our membership. 

In 2015, we hope to make similar inroads into the general medical community who care for the vast majority of MD patients in much of the MDS-PAS region.  Reaching out to the National non-specialty societies may require consideration of a new Affiliate Membership category.  Under the leadership of Dr. Ricardo Lopez Contreras, El Salvador has led the way in these efforts.  Finally, Dr. Santiago Perez-Lloret must be commended for the innovative course in Clinical Research in Movement Disorders, an exciting concept that our Education Committee is considering for export to other countries.

II. We launched the Visiting Trainee Grant program which awarded geographically balanced grants to the following young neurologists who began Movement Disorder rotations in 2014:

- Daniel Martinez-Ramirez from Hospital Central Dr. Ignacio Morones Prieto San Luis in Potosí, Mexico is attending a one- year fellowship at University of Florida in Gainesville, FL, USA under Dr. Michael Okun.

- Dr. Yamil Matuk from is attending a six week fellowship program at the Center for Movement Disorders (CETRAM) in Santiago, Chile under Dr. Pedro Chaná.

- Dr. Manuel Jose Aguilar Urriola from Hospital Santo Tomas in Panama City, Panama is attending a one year fellowship program at the Federal University of Parana in Curritaba, Brazil under Prof. Hélio Teive.

Feedback from trainees so far has been very positive. In 2015, the MDS-PAS will grant up to $40,000 in Visiting Trainee Grant awards to young neurologists who would like to rotate through Movement Disorder training programs throughout the region. 

III. As illustrated by the Toluca example above, we have begun exhibiting at local conferences to expand membership in countries throughout the region.  Our success is highlighted by the membership growth.  We are also trying to expand the use of Affiliate Memberships.  For instance, in the case of countries adjacent to each other but with low representation in the Society, such as those in Central America, we are exploring the possibility of helping them organize into groups with Associate Member in the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.  This would help strengthen their representation in the Society and add to their ability to implement courses in Movement Disorders with the help of the MDS-PAS. 

In summary, it has been a very successful year for the MDS-PAS, and we plan to continue to build on quality and outreach in 2015, while exploring more proactive and creative ways of financing these commitments.


Jorge Juncos, MD
Chair, MDS-PAS