Thursday, June 16, 2016

American Association of Neuropathologists annual meeting is underway in Baltimore

Dr. Doug Anthony (in foreground) enjoys Special Course at
AANP meeting today
The 92nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Neuropathologists opened today with a Special Course focusing on the neuropathology of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Additionally, two sessions focused on updates to the most recent WHO Classification of CNS Tumors. The day opened with a presentation by Walter Koroshetz, MD, director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Dr. Koroshetz addressed advances in optical instrumentation in the imaging of brain trauma and the way in which neuropathologists are pivotal in providing histologic correlation to what is seen on imaging. Next, Dr. David Brody from Washington University in St. Louis discussed radiologic/ pathologic correlations in traumatic axonal injury. Dr. Ann McKee followed with an overview of the latest consensus regarding the neuropathologic diagnosis of CTE. She explained that perivascular accumulation of phosphorylated tau is characteristic of the early stages of CTE. The later stages show evidence of tau accumulation in the medial temporal lobes and at the base of sulci in other regions of the neocortex. A break from the CTE theme came in the form of a presentation by Dr. David Louis on the new nomenclature of diffuse glioma diagnosis in the 2016 WHO Classification of CNS Tumors. The concept of an integrated, layered diagnosis involving histology, histologic grade, and molecular information was presented. Dr. Cynthia Hawkins followed with a discussion of changes in the way pediatric tumors are reported under the new WHO classification. Dr. Hawkins noted, for instance, that the term "primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET)" has been retired in favor of more updated terminology. After lunch, Dr. Dan Perl talked about his work on CTE among military personnel. Then, Dr. William Stewart discussed the pathophysiology of CTE and explained that, although tau accumulation is characteristic of CTE, the pathology is more complex and also involves beta amyloid and TDP-43 accumulation. The day concluded with a lively round table discussion involving Drs. McKee, Perl, and Stewart. In summary, the Special Course was an informative and exciting beginning to what will undoubtedly prove to be a magnificent annual meeting!

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