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Best Post of April '08: Neuropathologists meet in San Diego

Posted Aug 01 2008 7:10am


And now for another in my occasional “Best of the Month” series, where I march through the past months choosing only the very best blog posts. This one, which features the illustrious Dr. Mark Cohen (pictured) is from Thursday, April 10, 2008:



The esteemed and illustrious Dr. John Donahue attended the recent American Association of Neuropathologists annual meeting in San Diego. He was kind enough to provide a summary of the famous Diagnostic Slide Session from that meeting as follows:



“It came time for the Diagnostic Slide Session, now being moderated by Anthony Yachnis. It can be summed up as follows: "Dr. Mark Cohen, ROCK STAR!!!" He had to get at least 7/10 cases absolutely correct. He was diagnosing things I had never even heard of. There was a case of "vanishing white matter disease," also called "childhood ataxia with central hypomyelination" and "ovarian leukodystrophy," due to a mutation in eukaryotic initiation factor 2B, and he nailed it! I have never even remotely heard of that disease. There was also a case of intractable epilepsy due to "filamin A" (on chromosome X) astrocytic inclusions that look superficially like Rosenthal fibers, and he nailed it! I never heard of that, either. It was one of the most impressive diagnostic exhibitions I have ever seen. I asked him how long he's been doing this; he said 15 years or so. The cases were so hard that I only felt comfortable going up to the mic once, and after I gave my differential diagnosis, the speaker said "What did you do with the unstained slide that I provided?" I said, "I didn't want to waste it, so I was waiting to see the right answer." That generated laughter and applause!”



Thanks for your contribution, Dr. Donahue. And congratulations are in order. It turns out that an image from Dr. Donahue’s article Apolipoprotein E, Amyloid-[beta], and Blood-Brain Barrier Permeability in Alzheimer Disease appears on the cover of the current issue of the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology.



Next week, I’ll be posting from the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Chicago, IL. The meeting celebrates the 60th anniversary of the organization. The first annual meeting, featuring 38 presented papers, was held at the French Lick Springs Hotel in 1949. Two thousand abstracts have been accepted for this year’s meeting.
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