Comments about the 2022 conference from clinician attendees

“The Inflammatory Brain Disorders Conference 2022 was the most educational and effective conference I have ever attended in my 42 years as a physician! 23 lectures over the course of two days, major gems and pearls in every presentation. I sensed a cumulative tsunami paradigm shift for psychiatry is in the works, and that in our future, inflammatory brain disorders will be the rule, rather than the exception. My accolades to all the panel of experts who shared their latest research and efforts. Thank you!”
Martin T. Jensen, M.D., Adult, Adolescent, & Child Psychiatry, Laguna Niguel, CA

“Hands down this conference is filled with more up to date and cutting edge information for understanding and helping patients with PANS/PANDAS and other neuroimmune/inflammatory conditions than is available anywhere else. I know these conditions are becoming more and more prevalent in our practices and attending this conference helps me tremendously to feel I am on the right track in treating my patients. Thank you once again for giving me access to superior speakers and leading edge researchers in this area.
Wendy Edwards, MD, Pediatrician, Ontario, Canada

“Most comprehensive education for neurological disorders, ranging from sub-cellular level dysfunction and biochemistry to cutting-edge technologies and treatments. The information provided is indelible, and you will take home new knowledge. It’s a must-attend.”
Kanwal Chaudry MD, FAAP, Pediatrician, Stilwell, KS

“This is the best conference I have ever attended. There was not a single speaker or topic that I was willing to miss, and I cannot wait for the next conference to see the evolution of the clinical and basic science research in neuroimmune disease. In my general Pediatrics practice in the last two years I have had several cases of autoimmune neurologic disease that were life-changing for the patient and mind altering for the physician. I am so happy to have the support of the Neuroimmune foundation as I help these patients navigate their lives.”
Yvonne Brouard, MD, Pediatrician, Modesto, CA

“When somebody enters a dark room if they switch on the light, then we can all see. That is what this conference has meant to many of us.”
Jose Irazuzta MD, Pediatric Critical Care, Jacksonville, FL

“This was an amazing conference. The only thing better than the conference was seeing the expression of joy on the face of a parent when I told her what I learned at the conference and when she realized that her child might find relief through information from the conference.”
Sharon Packer, MD, Psychiatrist, Bearsville, NY

“This was an exceptionally useful conference and the quality of the speakers was superb. I practice adult psychiatry. This conference will make me broaden my history taking to screen for symptoms of infections and autoimmune disease and make me consider these diagnoses more often.”
Catherine May, MD, Pediatrics, Providence, RI

“Excellent conference, learned a lot about a topic that I didn’t have much exposure to in my training. As luck would have it, immediately after the conference I saw a patient who demonstrated classic symptoms of PANS. Grateful for everything I have learned – I wouldn’t have been able to manage this case without it, and may not have understood what was going on prior to the talks. Will attend next year.”
Naema Qureshi MD, Psychiatrist, Slingerlands, NY

“I am a developmental and behavioral pediatrician. I was so impressed by the scientific rigor of the research, the wide variety of speakers in many subspecialty areas from all over the world in last years conference that I decided to attend this year as well. I am very pleased to say that the talks were new and not a repeat of last year’s conference. They maintained the excellent standard of scientific research and offered new approaches and new technologies that had not been discussed last year. I do believe that attending these conferences has made a direct impact on my practice. I do feel ready to consider PANS, PANDAS in the differential diagnosis. I understand that recognition of inflammation is the first step to helping these families with the prolonged course of the disease. Thank you for ongoing scholarship in this field.”
Victoria Crescenzi MD, Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Silverdale, WA

“This is my second year attending this conference, and I intend to make it an annual event. Both times, this meeting has allowed me the opportunity to learn from brilliant, engaging presenters on the expanding clinical information and research findings relevant to providing care to patient populations that too often suffer as a result of delays in diagnosis and treatment. As a practicing psychiatrist, I have an obligation to be current on this topic. Thank you!”
Deborah Milling, M.D.. – Deborah “Gaya” Milling, M.D, Psychiatrist, Mount Pleasant, SC

“I was aware of PANDAS but not as aware of PANS and this conference has really helped my understanding to diagnose and treat and refer cases. I found all of the talks finding relations to autoimmunity and environmental triggers fascinating and all the traditional psychiatric disease and potential underlying autoimmunity fascinating as well. I learned a lot.”
Athena J Stoyas, MD, FAAP, Pediatrician, Colorado Springs, CO

“Thank you for putting together such an excellent conference! It was even better than last year. I felt there was more direct clinical relevance, while still presenting advances in the basic science literature.”
Kathleen Toups, MD, Psychiatrist, Walnut Creek, CA

“This conference has been one of the best conferences I have ever attended in my academic and professional career. I am more confident of sharing this information with my colleagues, interns, and students.”
Kristin Marie Clemens, DNP, PMHNP-BC, MSN, Psychiatrist, Gaithersburg MD

“The conference was an absolute success! It provided an exceptional update on autoimmune diseases affecting the nervous system with a harmonic mixture of scientific and clinical contributions. Ample time for discussion was allowed. The faculty was outstanding. I do hope that this conference will occur yearly in the future.”
Hrissanthi Ikonomidou MD PhD, Pediatric Neurologist, Madison, WI

“This conference was very well run, and filled with very interesting topics. I am so glad that I attended because these are topics that are not discussed very often and they are very useful for everyday practice. I walked away with a greater knowledge on inflammatory brain disorders, and it will definitely impact how I evaluate and treat many psychiatric patients.”
Sarah McLaughlin, DO, Psychiatrist, State College, PA

“The variety of speakers with the variety of topics on autoimmunity was excellent. Hope that many of the clinicians attending will impart to other clinicians to have a more open mind when evaluating patients with anxiety and depression.”
Cindy Henry, DO, FAAP, Pediatrician, Woodruff, WI

“Thank you also for being involved with this conference, which has for two years provided vital perspectives and research about important topics that have in the past been initially ignored and at times minimized or even ridiculed by some medical “experts”.”
Mary De Luca, MD, Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatry, Albuquerque, NM

“Exciting conference that keeps you up to date on Neuroimmune diseases. As a psychiatrist I find it critical to stay informed on illnesses with neuropsychiatric symptoms. I highly recommend this conference.”
Rebecca Jill Pate, M.D., Psychiatrist, Murfreesboro, TN

“Wow. I am a new grad and came across a FB post for this conference and I’m so glad I did! I was incredibly impressed. Very informative, so much data, and great presentations by knowledgeable clinicians! I need to rewatch the recordings because it was so much. Great job all around! I can’t wait for next year.”
Danielle Saner, DO, FAAP, Pediatrician, Papillion, NE

“This was an excellent conference – thank you so much for bringing these impressive thought leaders together to advance the knowledge of this very important condition.”
Teresa Birkmeier-Fredal MD, Family and Integrative Medicine, Rochester Hills, MI

“The conference was more than superb! Continuing to talk about things clinicians can do is extremely helpful! THANK YOU again to this great foundation and the parents who turned their tragedy into benefiting so many other children!”
Zana Dobroshi MD PhD, General, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, New York NY

“I was very surprised and interested to learn how applicable the information presented in the course was to primary health care even though the topic may seem daunting or beyond our scope of practice. As a general pediatrician, It was nice to have a fresh perspective on how we can approach neurological and psychiatric conditions in health care using a multidisciplinary strategy. Thank you again for allowing me the opportunity to participate and I will be sure to recommend the course to my colleagues in the future.”
Vanessa Casanova Gonzalez MD FAAP, Pediatrician, Corpus Christi, TX

“Very informative conference. Relevant information provided for the Primary care Pediatrician. This conference will change work-up and management for my patients and I feel more confident in caring for these children. Thanks so much! It truly was wonderful!”
Andrea M. Assantes, M.D., F.A.A.P., Pediatrician, Cutler Bay, FL

“This was a very well managed and informative conference. I especially appreciated the extended Q and A sessions after the presentations.”
D. Dawn Motyka, M.D., Family Medicine, Santa Cruz, CA

“Great activity and very well organized and quick to go from topic to topic and conference to conference, great organization.”
Jorge Munoz, MD, Pediatric Neurology, San Juan, PR

“Thanks to this CME I feel better prepared to identify and treat inflammatory brain disorders, and I am very thankful for this education-thank you!”
Joshua Green, President & Medical Director, Burlington, VT

“The conference was well organized and featured top notch researchers who are in the forefront of dealing with these complex and life-changing conditions.”
Tarah Kruger, MD, Developmental Pediatrician, Kansas City, MO

“This is the second conference I attended which was sponsored by this organization. The Neuroimmune Foundation conference provides a thorough introduction to the landscape of neuroimmune disorders, not just PANS or PANDAS. I appreciated the translational nature as well as the information derived from the “bench” side of research. Additional perspective offered by academic clinicians provides the bridge between these two areas which are often difficult to connect.”
David P. Traver, M.D., FAAP, Pediatrician, Foster City, CA

“Wonderful conference. Huge thanks for the scholarship. This was the most educational CME activity I have participated in for years. Thank you to the sponsors!”
C Friedman, MD, Psychiatrist, Providence, RI

“This was a fabulous conference. What a privilege to be able to hear from these world leaders in their respective fields. I will definitely be taking much of what I learned back to my job. Mahalo (thank you) very much for offering such a first-rate conference and a special mahalo to the sponsors that allowed for conference fee waivers. I am very grateful.”
Sharon Tisza, MD, Psychiatrist, Honolulu, HI

“I will be much better equipped to look out for various neuroinflammatory/neuroimmune disorders that cause psychiatric symptoms and include those as possibilities in the differential diagnosis in my evaluations as a child psychiatrist. Dr. Yolken’s talk about the neuropsychiatric effects of Covid was fascinating! I learned so much more about PANS/PANDAS, and other neuroimmune disorders. Dr. Irani’s talk was so informative! Especially loved the videos, and easy to understand presentation. This was my favorite talk. Thank you very much for a wonderful conference.”
Hai Jin Kim, MD, Family Medicine, Annandale, VA

“LOVED LOVED LOVED this conference. I was amazed at the continued growth of this meeting year over year. I really enjoyed the inclusion of a wide variety of neuroimmune disorders such as MS, ME/CFS, NMDA, SLE, etc. Helps to think more mechanistically and to look for common themes which may guide treatment in the future (if only insurance companies would think that way too). This was a mind-blowing conference, truly.”
Angela Tang, MD, Internal Medicine, Rolling Hills Estates, CA

“I really appreciate the cutting edge work and the open-minded and collegial atmosphere across disciplines and medical specialties. Very interesting and heartening. This is Medicine (and Medical Research) as it should be : humane, wholistic and solution – focused!”
Rachel B. Vinkey M.D., Psychiatrist, Oakland, CA

“I feel honored to have had this opportunity to learn from so many dedicated professionals that are doing their part to research and help educate other health care clinicians, who also strive to improve the lives of their patients and families whose lives have been turned upside down by Neuroimmune disorders!”
Sarah Pentz, FNP-C, Family Medicine, Hagerstown, MD

“I thought this was a terrific program, and it added much-needed knowledge to my baseline fund of knowledge. I’d love to continue to keep abreast of future conferences and other learning opportunities!”
Dana Cohen, MD, Psychiatry, Dix Hills, NY

“Thank you so very much for putting together such an excellent series of speakers! There were so many helpful clinical pearls as well as fascinating research presented during the conference. I have so many more resources available to me thanks to the conference and I will definitely participate again next year.”
Gretchen Brantley M.D., Pediatrician, Charlottesville, VA

“The recent Neuroimmune Foundation conference was a refreshing group of presentations, which reinforced my current practice. Since the 1980s, I have been involved with the evaluation and treatment of children, and adults, with post-infection encephalopathies, due to a variety of infectious organisms. The presentations from the Stanford group, indicates that I have been performing the same examinations and evaluations, all these years, reinforcing that this is an important area of medicine, which is unfortunately overlooked by many physicians. I look forward to more interaction with the Neuroimmune Foundation, and look forward to more conferences that they sponsor. Further, I hope that more physicians avail themselves to this extremely useful knowledge.”
Terry Harville MD PhD D(ABMLI) F(ACHI), Immunologist, Little Rock, AR

“It was an excellent conference. I would recommend it to all physicians that deal with neurological and psychiatric illnesses.”
Sudha Nair, MD, Psychiatrist, Wayne, PA

“Greatly appreciate the highly educational presentation! Well-spent 2 -days of on-line learning from expert presenters. Thank you so much for the generosity of the Neuroimmune Foundation.”
Lorna M Rivera, MD, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Elk Grove Village, IL

“With the increase in knowledge from this conference, I feel more prepared to provide care to patients in my panel who are presenting with PANS/PANDAS. I also feel more prepared to help them secure the help of the specialists that are needed for ongoing evaluation and care. The presentations given by Dr. Larry Steinman and Dr. Jenny Frankovich were especially helpful in understanding the course of illness. Dr. Yolken’s talk was also helpful. I appreciate Dr. Thienneman’s provision of support to the caregivers. I especially want to thank the Neuroimmune Foundation for providing a scholarship for my attendance at the conference. Nurse Practitioners make up a significant and growing part of health care provision in our country and the recognition is important. Honestly, I had never even heard of PANS/PANDAS before the Fall of 2021 when I was presented with the first case for me to oversee. I now feel privileged to be their clinician of health care.”
Audrey ‘Amparo’ Russell-Kibble, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP, Family Medicine, Tucson, AZ

“Excellent conference. Although I do not have all the tools at my disposal to appropriately treat these conditions, I believe I can definitely start an evaluation and provide a good health history for children and adults with some of these conditions. I do not believe that these illnesses are as rare as published in the U.S. literature. I believe many cases are being missed. As such, it is good to be aware of the changes in physical presentation, diagnostics and treatments available at large tertiary healthcare institutions that can help patients and their families. Thank you for your work and providing us the opportunity to learn.”
Juana Ambriz de Williams, DNP, FNP-BC, Family Practice, Valparaiso, IN

“Similar to last year, I find it exciting to learn from these top tier experts – bridging specialties and practice settings and research topics – to learn about this critically important topic in my practice. Since last year’s conference – when I had a possible case of PANS/Autoimmune encephalitis brewing, I now have another patient with PANS/Autoimmune encephalitis – and what I learned last year was a huge help and I have learned even more now, going forward. I keep this at the top of my differential diagnosis of any rapid onset OCD or other deterioration. And I feel prepared to workup, diagnose, seek appropriate consultation, treat and support patients with neuro immune disorders.”
Candida Fink MD, Psychiatrist, New Rochelle, NY

“One of the things I appreciated from this conference was the bringing together of experts, researchers, clinicians, clinician researchers, from various areas, but all areas with essential overlap in these topics. For me, as primarily a clinician now, psychiatrist, I was very intrigued and amazed by the types of research ongoing. Years ago, I worked in a research lab, so I have a small understanding of what it takes to acquire and then share these exciting, yet sometimes seemingly tedious data and results!”
Heather Hill, MD, Psychiatrist, Washington, MO

“I thought this was fantastic and all of the speakers were excellent.”
Dr. Patricia Frey, DO, Psychiatrist, High Bridge, NJ

“Webinar had medical experts from mainstream science discussing real science and clinical issues related to neuro autoimmunity, and gave excellent quality presentations and useful clinical information for these challenging patients.”
Michael Chez MD, Pediatric Neurology, Roseville, CA

“It was very interesting conference and very cool to see that all of this research is ongoing which may one day revolutionize how we think about mental illness and how we treat it. I found it very hopeful.”
Ellen Lauer, DO, Pediatrics, Bangor, ME

“I attended both last year’s meeting and this one. Both were superb but I thought this one was even better than last year. There was a good mix of practical applications and basic science.”
Stephanie Braun, MD, Dermatologist, Weston, MA

“I think this was great- I especially appreciated presenters who offered case study material and how they continued treatment when previous treatments had failed, or when flares occurred. Overall, this conference was extremely helpful for further education, enhancing my practice, and reiterating that the interventions I currently provide are indeed accurate, reflect relevant and recent data and are overall helpful for patients who present to my office with underlying inflammation as cause to psychiatric symptom presentation.”
Heather Melena, APRN, PMHNP-BC, Psychiatry, Lebanon, OH

“Being a clinician, this conference helps me to stay updated on translational research data and direction, providing direction on the mechanism of therapeutics that may be applicable in the management of PANS and PANDAS.”
Dr. Shirley Wang, MD, Rheumatology, Overland Park, KS

“This is wonderful information. Thrilled that it is being discussed more.”
Jill B Dickerson, MD, Pediatrician, Newnan, GA

“Wonderful information, great variety of speakers. The aspect of the parents’ viewpoint was an excellent presentation. The fee waiver allowed me to participate and learn in a conference that I would have otherwise been unable to attend.”
Jennifer Hubbard, APRN, CPNP-AC, Neurologist, Wilmington, DE

“Working with a patient population that consists primarily of nonverbal individuals with ASD and severe intellectual disability, I wanted to gain a better understanding so I can be through in my assessment for individuals with acute changes in their baseline mood/behaviors. Given their verbal and cognitive impairments, they are unable to communicate symptoms or describe how they’re feeling and therefore assessment relies heavily on objective findings and on interviewing those familiar with the individual’s baseline, and with the information I took away from the conference I will be able to include inflammatory brain conditions as part of their differential diagnoses.”
Taylor Thiel MSN, RN, APN, PMHNP-BC, Wenonah, NJ

“I appreciated that the course had a mix of research information and clinical information. I found Dr. Vaishnavi’s lecture on TMS and neuroplasticity and the treatment of depression and OCD to be very helpful and presented in an easy to follow way. I also appreciated the covid related information presented.”
Megan Webster, MD, Psychiatrist, Raleigh, NC

“It was so exciting to learn about current research in neuroimmunology and how this will shape patient care in the future.”
Priscilla Hidalgo, MD Psychiatrist, Raleigh, NC

“This is a rare conference that provides an engaging balance between fascinating cutting-age research, clinical pearls that deepen your practice and inspirational collegiality. It placed patients at the front and center of the conference, weaving together high caliber speakers in a very well-organized conference, thank you!”
Nathalie Paravicini ND, Naturopathic Medicine, Portland, OR

“Excellent conference! Grateful for the opportunity to attend virtually and hopeful that option will continue in the future.”
Ruth Baer, DO, Psychiatrist, East Lansing MI

“The speakers were engaging and the information presented an appropriate mix of neurology, radiology, psychiatry, pediatrics, rheumatology and pharmacology.”
Erin Duchan, MD, FAAP, Pediatrician, Huntington Woods, MI

“Attending the Neuroimmune Foundations conference really opens our world to neuropsychiatric inflammation and disorders. It has given me real world steps in how to recognize, evaluate and treat inflammation from many sources. Many times, these patients are just handed off to the next practitioner or listened to but we don’t know what to look for in terms of it they need treatment. Thank you for giving me the tools to know what to ask, what we can test and how to treat. I feel this is a step in the right direction for so many patients and practitioners looking for answers.”
Christina Parker, ARNP, Family Medicine, Venice, FL

“As a pediatrician working with PANDAS patients for 10 years, I found the conference both enlightening and morale boosting. I will be utilizing my new knowledge to benefit my patients and looking forward to the next conference.”
Robert M. Friedmeyer MD, Pediatrician, Oldsmar, FL

“Great topics and lecturers. This was fantastic.”
Christine L Saba , MD ,Pharm.D , F.A.A.P, Pediatrician, Rockville, MD

“I feel honored to have had this opportunity to learn from so many dedicated professionals that are doing their part to research and help educate other health care clinicians, who also strive to improve the lives of their patients and families whose lives have been turned upside down by Neuroimmune disorders!”
Sarah Pentz, FNP-C, Family Medicine, Hagerstown, MD

“This conference is not to be missed. Awareness to the medical community and insurance companies needs to be raised. Lifelong debilitating illness can be prevented and quality of life can be preserved for so many children and adults.”
Kimberly Theobald, NP, Pediatrician, Parker, CO

“I am so grateful to have received the scholarship to attend this conference. It was interesting, informational, and has encouraged me to seek more medically comprehensive information through collaboration with clinicians to better treat and refer the patients I see. I absolutely plan to attend this conference again next year. It was nothing less than amazing! Thank you so very much!”
Melissa Meyer DNP, PMHNP, Family Medicine, Gig Harbor, WA

“The information provided during this conference was cutting edge and clinically useful. More information is needed to bring awareness to the host of chronic difficult to treat conditions related to this theme.”
Chris A. Kleronomos, FNP, DAOM, MSc., Complex Pain And Autoimmunity, Beaverton, OR

“The conference provided me with new insights regarding the auto-immune driving forces behind a number of entities such as PANS and Autism. In addition to this, it also highlighted the importance of the gut-brain interaction and the potential of present diagnostic techniques as well as future therapeutic interventions.”
Dr. Pieter Rousseau Fourie BSc. Eng.(Electrical), M.B.Ch.B., PhD ( Medical Physiology ), M.Med. (Paediatrics), Pr. Eng., Senior Member IEEE, Fellow SAIEE, Pediatrician, South Africa