Ten grants totaling almost $150,000 have been awarded by the World Federation of
Neurology (WFN) and its partners in the World Brain Alliance to advance brain research
and brain health around the world.
The grants were awarded through the World Brain Alliance’s 2012 Grant-in-Aid
competition to fund projects such as improving neurology teaching and training in
developing nations, building a Web-based EEG platform and expanding a registry to
collect data about intrauterine and newborn strokes, which may be related to cerebral
The WFN started the grant program in 2011. In 2012, it formed the World Brain
Alliance with nine other international societies whose members study the brain, said
WFN President Vladimir Hachinski, CM, MD, DSc.
“The first year of the program, we used only WFN money, and last year, we decided
to involve other brain organizations through the World Brain Alliance,” Dr. Hachinski
“A lot of organizations do little bits and pieces in different parts of the world, and
most of the time we don’t know who is doing what and where,” he said. “One way of
taking inventory of who is doing what and where is to get all these organizations together
in a review process to learn from each other what can be done.”
Partners in the World Brain Alliance helped review the 84 letters of intent, and then
the final applications for the grant program. Not all members help fund the grant
program, but their participation has helped increase funding, Dr. Hachinski said.
“A number of these grants involve small amounts of money, but they potentially have
high impact,” he said. “One of the criteria of the grants is the synergy, so we want to
know what the project can be connected to. How can we put this together to make the
money go further? By including other organizations in the process, we are doing that.”
The international maternal newborn stroke registry, which received a $20,000 grant,
is a prime example of that synergy.
“The story there is that a stroke can occur at any age, even before birth,” Dr.
Hachinski said. “Many cases of cerebal palsy are really intrauterine strokes. For the
longest time, nobody had enough experience to really understand childhood stroke.
“Now, by having people report their cases worldwide, we have the experience of
hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of children and are beginning to understand childhood
stroke. The application we funded is simply enough money to build on that base. We
know very little about this, and it is a major problem. I am delighted about this particular
More than half of the projects are focused on Africa.
“That is where the greatest need is. That is where the smallest investment has the
biggest pay-off because there is such a tremendous need. I was very happy with the
variety of initiatives,” Dr. Hachinski said.
The 2013 Grant-in-Aid competition is accepting Letters of Intent (starting April 15,
2013, with a deadline of May 15, 2013). For information, log on to:
http://www.wfneurology.org or contact Rebecca Clarke at Rebecca.firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of the World Brain Alliance with the WFN are Alzheimer's Disease
International, the European Brain Council, the International Brain Research Organisation,
the International Child Neurology Association, the International League Against
Epilepsy, the World Federation for NeuroRehabilitation, the World Federation of
Neurosurgical Societies, the World Psychiatric Association and the World Stroke
The 2012 Grant-in-Aid recipients and their contact information are:
• Dr. Aisha Umar: Proposal for training grant for neuroimaging training for
neurology trainees and neurologists in West Africa; $23,000;
• Dr. Chongtin Tan: Visiting Professor, Africa; $5,000; email@example.com
• Dr. Godwin Mamutse: Neurology teaching in Zimbabwe; $14,450;
• Dr. Marco Medina: WFN Pan American regional proposal; $2,000;
• Dr. Juriaan Peters: BlazeEEG: A web-based EEG platform; $12,000;
• Dr. Lionel Carmant: Development of mobile clinic for neurological care in Haiti;
• Dr. Richard Walker: Parkinson’s disease nurse specialist (jointly funded with the
Movement Disorders Society); $22,080; firstname.lastname@example.org
• Professor Werner Poewe: Movement Disorder Society Europe section and WFN
fellowship program for unserviced countries in Africa (jointly funded with the
Movement Disorder Society); $11,107; Werner.Poewe@i-med.ac.at
• Dr. Roberto Cilia: Neurology training for non-neurologists in Ghana (jointly
funded with the Movement Disorders Society); $20,000; email@example.com
• Dr. Cheryl Bushnell and Gabrielle DeVeber: International maternal newborn
stroke registry (jointly funded with the World Stroke Organization); $20,000;