Press release: EFNS Task Force Report on Neuroimaging

EFNS Team jhelp at
Tue Jan 27 13:23:42 EST 1998

See the European Journal of Neurology website at for further details

Rapid Science Publishers - European Journal of Neurology

PRESS RELEASE - 27th January 1998 Immediate release


"Neuroimaging in European academic neurology: present status and
future organisation"


Thanks to an ever increasing array of sophisticated techniques,
neuroimaging has become an integral part of clinical neurology and a
major tool in the neurosciences. Because, undoubtedly, the role of
neuroimaging will grow even further, a Task-force on Neuroimaging was
created by the European Federation of Neurological Societies in June
1996 to assess how academic neurology in Europe should adapt to such
rapid changes. The present report summarises the conclusions reached
by this task-force. After a brief survey of the current optimal use
and potential developments of neuroimaging in academic neurology, a
set of recommendations and guidelines are proposed, which can be
summarised as follows:

(1) The future place of neuroimaging in neurology departments: because
neuroimaging has become an integral part of clinical neurology and
neurosciences and is increasingly based on neurophysiological
knowledge, it must be better incorporated within clinical neurology
departments than it is at the present time. Although rare examples
exist where large neuroimaging equipments belong to clinical neurology
departments - in analogy to the situation that prevails for cardiology
- this situation (which some might view as an "ideal case"") raises
regulatory issues that are likely to get further enforced with the
European integration. A more realistic model is the large "neuro"
department merging neurology, neurosurgery, clinical neurophysiology,
neuroradiology, nuclear neurology and neurorehabilitation, according
to which the equipment would be purchased and run on a service basis.
This arrangement would imply not only huge savings, but also optimised
patient case, better training, and improved opportunities for

(2) The role of the neurologist in the implementation and
interpretation of neuroimaging procedures in relation to the other
traditional medical disciplines: this is a complex issue because of
differences in regulations among the different European countries and
across the distinct neuroimaging techniques. Based on the situation
that prevails in some European countries and the US, the following
recommendations are proposed as a generalised system to better
incorporate neuroimaging within academic neurology: (I) that
Neuroradiology, as an independent medical specialty dealing mainly
with structural imaging, includes at least one, and preferably two,
years of clinical neurology in its training; (ii) that a new medical
(sub) specialty in "functional neuroimaging" (not including diagnostic
structural imaging) be created, entailing either a full training in
clinical neurology with additional training in functional
neuroimaging, or perhaps more realistically, a less extensive
neurology training allowing only some kind of partial clinical
practice; and (iii) a system of "credentials", according to which any
certified neurologist could obtain additional certifications in
specific neuroimaging techniques, including interventional
neuroradiology, following proper (and accredited) training.

(3) The training in neuroimaging of future neurologists: to
incorporate as soon as possible neuroimaging as part of the training
in neurology, Chairs of Neuroimaging, must be created within academic

(4) The role of neuroimaging in post-graduate education, professional
meetings and neurological research urgently needs to be enlarged,
especially within the framework of European neurology congresses.


The foundation of the European Federation of Neurological Societies
(EFNS) was a giant step in the organisation of the European
neurological community. Thirty-six national neurological societies,
with a total membership of more than 15,000 neurologists, are
represented in the EFNS. Beyond scientific and educational aspects of
the profession, the EFNS provides a forum for debate of current
political issues in neurology.

The European Journal of Neurology was launched in 1994 as the official
journal of the EFNS. Focusing on the major neurological disorders, the
journal publishes review and original research papers as well as EFNS
Task-force summaries and guidelines. Special Sections to the 1997
annual volume include summaries and guidelines on continuing medical
education (March), EFNS Task-force reports on neurological
rehabilitation (July) and acute stroke treatment (September).
Guidelines from the EFNS Task-force on neuroimaging appear in European
Journal of Neurology, volume 5, issue 1 (January 1998).

"...Jean-Claude Baron on behalf of the EFNS Task-force, presents an
extremely well written and visionary report on neuroimaging in
academic departments in Europe. The task-force points out that
neuroimaging is one of the fastest developing fields of neurology and
that many possibilities already exist which are not utilised to their
full extent by present day academic neurology in Europe. Looking into
the future, it does not take much extrapolation to realise that in
just a few years neuroimaging will revolutionise he approach to many
neurological patients...." Jes Olesen, EFNS President

Full text reference: European Journal of Neurology 1998, 5:5-15


Further information and copies of the full Guidelines are available
direct from the Publishers, Rapid Science Ltd, 2-6 Boundary Row,
London, SE1 8HN. Tel: 0171 865 0198 or Fax: 0171 928 0748 or E-mail:
sarah.findlay at

Details of membership of the EFNS can be obtained from the EFNS
Secretariat, Neurological Hospital Rosenhügel, Riedelgasse 5, A-1130
Vienna, Austria. Tel +43 1 880 00 270 or Fax: +43 1 88 92 581 or
E-mail: efns-head at

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list