Comments about the 2021 conference from clinician attendees

“Excellent and impressive conference!”
Dr. Shannon Delaney, MD
Neuropsychiatrist, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Assistant Clinical Professor, Columbia University, New York

“Very informative. High quality excellent speakers. Perfect balance between science and clinical at this conference.”
Kiran Belani, MD
Pediatric Infectious Disease, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Assistant Clinical Professor, Pediatrics, University of Minnesota

“Historically, Sydenham’s chorea has provided a demonstration of the impact of post-infectious immune reactions on CNS function.  This conference was an exciting update of scientific progress in dissecting the mechanism of these disorders.”
Nancy Kuntz, MD, FAAN
Attending Neurologist, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Illinois
Medical Director, Mazza Foundation Neuromuscular Disorders Program

“I found that the selection of speakers to be incredibly balanced. Not only was the growing “hot off the press” basic science behind autoimmune brain disorders discussed and done so with the attention to detail that it so deserves, but tips for the general practitioner were given for those practitioners who are just getting their feet wet with diagnosing and treating patients with these conditions. The primary responsibility of all clinicians is to be able to recognize common historical patterns, observe physical findings, and come up with a treatment plan. This conference provided that insight.  I cannot recommend this conference more highly.”
Karl Holtzer MD, MS, IFMCP
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pennsylvania

“Thank you. It was a pleasure to learn from these experts.”
Vidya Raj, MD
Assistant Professor, Psychiatry
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Tennessee

“The conference was an eye opener for me. As a pediatric Neurologist in a busy hospital-based practice, I have always been uneasy about the patients with abrupt onset of mental illness or movement disorder.  Now I heard at least some objective evidence about auto-immunity. I hope that the better testing became commercially available, so we do not need to treat empirically and fight with insurance companies.”
Tatyana Dubrovsky MD
Pediatric Neurologist, Joe Di Maggio Children’s Hospital, Florida

“Excellent conference. I found the speakers to be very informative and knowledgeable about their various areas of expertise.”
Linda Doberstein, MD
Pediatric Director, Medical Psychiatric Program
Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Rhode Island

“I was astounded by the amount of scientifically based data presented on encephalopathy, COVID and PANS/PANDAS at this conference. I thought all of the presenters at this conference did an excellent job explaining the pathophysiology involved in the various conditions that were highlighted in this conference.”
Urszula Kotlow, MD
Pediatric Psychiatrist, CPAE Clinic, Banner Desert Medical Center, Arizona

“The conference was excellent, including some cutting-edge research. I am very impressed.”
Dr. Lanping Yu, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Virginia Commonwealth University, Pediatrics, Virginia

“I feel more confident as THE consultant on many of these cases due to expanded knowledge I have acquired via this resource. Excellent presentations with fantastic evidence-based information. I hope to be involved in more conferences. Thanks to all!”
Sandra Lawrence, MD, FACR
Pediatric Rheumatology, Florida

“The neuroimmune conference transformed my thinking about the relationship between infection, neurobiology and psychiatric disorders. I learned so much.”
Melissa Aguirre, MD
Pediatrician, California

“This was an outstanding conference. I plan to attend annually, especially important since this is a very actively researched, rapidly evolving field. Clinical applications have profound life altering effects upon patients and their families, and we all owe it to them to be as current in our understanding and practices as possible. Thank you to all involved in putting this together. Well done! I am grateful.”
Deborah “Gaya” Milling, MD
Psychiatrist, South Carolina

“This conference was very well done. Anna orchestrated an exceptionally high-powered group. This was as good as any conference I have ever attended including national and international professional meetings. Pierre, as always asked relevant questions and is the ultimate professional. Keep up the great work!”
R. Craig Platenberg, MD
Neuroradiologist, Virginia

“Speakers on day one were particularly compelling. Prior to attending the conference, I was intrigued by the notion of PANDAS/PANS, but mostly skeptical as to whether it was real. After the evidence presented on day 1 of the conference, I am convinced that this entity genuinely exists — and excited to get a number of patients connected for appropriate investigations and treatment.”
Dr. Michelle Snyderman, MD
Development and Behavioral Pediatrician, Wisconsin

“This is the most comprehensive, well-organized, and current information on all topics I have encountered in such a long time. I plan to attend every conference moving forward. Thank you for such well-presented information. Armed with several screenshots of slides, I have already contacted several patients to complete a more thorough history for a more complete treatment plan. So grateful.”
Maria Del Sol, MD
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Florida

“This was a great symposium that all physicians/practitioners should be educated about, those topics are easily left less discussed among physicians, and the whole day it was an amazing gathering of brilliant people. Thank you!”
Gabriela Mihalache, MD
Pediatrician, Florida

“This conference had the highest scientific quality and rigor, and all the presenters and discussants were outstanding. The contribution of the foundation for children with neuroimmune disorders to society is incommensurable.”
Rosa Aurora Chavez, MD, PhD, FABP, Washington, DC

This was a conference with fantastic collaborators and speakers. As a physician I felt that it was clinically oriented and cutting edge. It was incredibly useful to gain knowledge in a field like neuroimmunology where so little is known.”
Anuja Vyas, MD, FACOG, Texas

As a clinical psychiatrist, it is crucial that I understand the potential origins of psychiatric symptoms.  This conference gave insight into infectious and immune mechanisms for Neuropsychiatric symptoms that I found truly valuable.  The speakers were of top quality.”
Matthew Bernstein, MD
Psychiatrist, Massachusetts

“I was so appreciative of the depth and breadth of quality information, both research and clinical, offered at the Neuroimmunology Conference. The information presented will help me in my clinical Pediatric Neurology practice to provide the most up-to-date care for children and teens with autoimmune encephalitis, PANS and PANDAS. There is so much misinformation about these diagnoses in lay literature and within the medical community. Hearing directly from physician leaders and researchers in the field was invaluable.”
Nevada Reed, MD
Child Neurologist, Ohio

“I felt this was an excellent educational event – to both basic research going on and clinical practice patterns. The speakers were very knowledgeable and mostly fabulous communicators about complex topics. Thank you very much – I look forward to future events. The multidisciplinary approach was perfect.”
Dr. Candida Fink, MD
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, New York

“I was totally impressed with the lectures. It was interesting to learn about the research studies in the ‘bench science research labs” but as a practicing clinician those items were not as valuable to me. I told one fellow watcher of the event by text. “This is very cutting edge research, it will be 10 years before they teach this in medical school.” Dr. Andrew Baumel’s presentation was absolutely golden. That should be required viewing for “boots on the ground” pediatricians and family medicine physicians who have to deal with PANDAS/PANS, and for those who are not even aware of the diagnostic entity of PANDAS/PANS.”
Dr. Jon Ahrendsen, MD
Family Medicine Specialist
Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Iowa

“It was far superior to most information about PANS/PANDAS.”
Christina Hift, MD, Infectious Disease, Pediatric Rheumatology, Consultant Pediatric Rheumatology
Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center, New York

“I am much more aware of the complexity and pervasiveness of these disorders, but at the same time feel that I have been given tools and encouragement to offer support for them as a physician.”
Patty DiBlasio, MD, MPH
Functional Medicine, New York

“This was incredible. Day one was a home run, especially. I knew we had more company in recent years in terms of people treating and researching. It was good to see their faces and hear their perspectives. Thank you Anna and Pierre from the bottom of my heart.”
Angela Tang, MD
Internal Medicine, California

“Increased my fluency with these topics. Better able to share this information and educate others. I thought this was a very effective line up of presenters.”
Dr. Peter Klinger, MD
Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Pediatrics
University of Arizona College of Medicine

“The presenters should be commended for the clarity provided on such a complex subject. It takes a great deal of skill, experience and common sense to distill and present such a murky subject as PANS/PANDAS in a clear fashion. A magnificent job well done.”
Michael Buch, MD, California

“This course is a must for family practitioners and pediatricians- so often this connection, from infection to PANS/PANDAS, is not even on the practitioner’s radar and is missed due to lack of awareness.”
Janine K Rimland, MD
Family Practice Physician, Pennsylvania

“I intend to be more thorough in evaluating pediatric patients with primarily psychiatric complaints who are admitted to my service as a pediatric hospitalist and be ready to assist with the treatment of patients with autoimmune encephalitis. Excellent conference, thank you!”
Destiny Gmelch, MD, Pediatrician, Oregon

“I found the conference both scientifically interesting and clinically very useful – presenters were excellent.  It was very interesting to hear about both cutting-edge research and from a variety of clinical experts who were able to shed light on different aspects of the PANS/PANDAS presentation, and offer practical guidance for treatment.”
Donna Kirchoff, MD, FAAP
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician, Oregon

“Great conference with terrific speakers.  I really enjoyed the variety of medical specialties and learned a lot about the vast amount of research being done.”
Robin Blitz, MD
Medical Director, Special Needs Initiative / Complex Health Solutions

“Excellent topics. I also really appreciated the ease of registration, the online/web format facilitating discussions with the presenter, and the quick turnaround time for the CME credits and web recordings. Very professionally done!”
Dr. Safi Shareef, MD
Pediatric Neurologist, Texas

“This conference helped provide me information and guidance on how to look for certain neuroinflammatory conditions and how to treat them. This was a very informative lecture series!”
Dr. Rita C. Silva-Leu, DO
Psychiatry, California

I am greatly appreciative of the opportunity to learn about the latest research and clinical practices in neuroimmune conditions, which we are learning more about every day. It is incredibly important that clinicians across disciplines are exposed to this information so that they can recognize neuroimmune illnesses early in their course and provide the best outcomes for patients and their families. This is an exciting time in the history of psychiatry, as I believe this research will revolutionize my field and my own personal practice by the end of my career.
Tara Richardson, M.D.
Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Kansas

“Thank you so much for putting this conference together!  This is such important work and I learned much from the great research and presentations!  I’m looking forward to the next event.”
Jillian Shellabarger, MD
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Ohio

“I intend to inform my colleagues including my fellows about this activity and hopefully they will participate in the future activities.” Dr. Sulaiman Mohammed Almayouf
Pediatric Rheumatologist, Saudi Arabia

“It was great! Amazing that it was free! Thanks so much!!”
Paula McEvoy, MD
Pediatrician, Massachusetts

“This was a fabulously interesting, cutting edge conference. Thank you.”
S. Michael Thompson, MD
Clinical Pathologist, Ohio

“Excellent research and useful clinical information for front line pediatrician. Learned a lot! Thank you very much.”
Bin Sung, MD, FAAP
Pediatrician, Texas

“Presentations are excellent and very informative”
Loida Reyes, MD
Psychiatrist, New York

“This conference will greatly enhance care of a small cohort of my patient population in a community mental health care setting; it will do the same for the care I provide in a first episode psychosis clinic setting.”
Tonya Lawrence, MD
Medical Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Pennsylvania

“I really enjoyed this conference, especially the talks relating to general pediatrics.”
Christiana Morganti, MD
Pediatrician, Pennsylvania

“Truly an excellent educational conference.”
Rosalie Greenberg, MD
Child Psychiatry, New Jersey

“I plan to evaluate and treat most of my patients for NI PANS and PANDAS instead of referring out. I will be able to do a better job at both of these tasks. Thank you for this opportunity!!”
Stacey Luetmer, MD
Family Medicine, Minnesota

“Great Conference! Learned a ton! Thank you so so much for putting this together!”
Kerry Newman, MD
Pediatrician, California

“Thank you so much to the sponsors for making this available for free to all clinicians. I am hoping that really helps to increase the awareness regarding this as well as the treatment. I am sorry that COVID-19 happened but I am excited about the awareness it is promoting regarding infectious neuropsychiatric disorders and post-infectious neuropsychiatric disorders. I am thankful to all the researchers and clinicians involved in this work!”
Vicki Copeland, MD

“This was a fascinating set of lectures. I am pleased to have joined and in fact I will be seeing a teen soon who may meet the criteria for PANS will be using this knowledge very soon.”
Victoria Crescenzi, MD
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician, Washington

“Well organized. Informative. Kept my interest throughout. And thank you.”
Linda Arzola, MD
Psychiatrist, New York

“The coverage for this conference was quite comprehensive.”
Jeffrey Lichtman, MD

“I deeply appreciate this conference. It has been extremely educational.”
Rebecca Pate, MD
Psychiatrist, Tennessee

This was a wonderful series of lectures which built on each other. I learned so much and have already applied what I learned to my practice.”
Rachel Workman, MD
Pediatrician, Colorado

The rising tide of evidence stemming from both the peer-reviewed literature, clinical observations and feedback from medical colleagues makes this conference imperative for professionals who will encounter individuals affected by these conditions. The conference offered the opportunity to become exposed to the requisite basic science, and it progressed to the clinical interface, a course with which medical professionals are familiar. The necessity of this conference cannot be overemphasized. Colleagues across a wide range of disciplines including pediatrics, head and neck surgery, psychiatry and the attendant subspecialties are seeing these patients, and they are appealing for help. My personal gratitude to the organizers of this conference, but my deepest thanks is for the parents who struggle to make their voices heard. No greater service can be offered than to provide help to those who need it the most.”
David Traver, MD, FAAP
Pediatrician, California

“As a Pediatrician caring for these children and young adults for more than 15 years, it is extremely helpful to receive continually updated information, data and colleagues’ input to improve care and outcomes.  The ability to discuss the Science with my patients gives them a measure of comfort and confidence that, although they will be treated overall as the individuals they are, their care will be based on years of data accumulation by highly regarded Researchers and Clinicians.”
Michele Deantonio MD
Pediatrician, New Jersey

“I appreciated very much the update on this topic and hope that this will continue as other information on the topics become available.” 
Tatjana Maric, MD
Psychiatrist, Michigan

“I am truly grateful for this opportunity to learn the latest research about PANS/PANDAS. As a functional pediatrician, I am seeing more and more of these cases come into my practice, thus hearing information from experts in this field was invaluable. Please continue more educational conferences like this!”
Jennifer T. Franklin, MD, FAAP, IFMCP
Pediatrician, Georgia

“Thank you so much to all the speakers, the organizers and the sponsors for providing this valuable opportunity for all of us and for all the great work you’re doing and sharing with us too!” 
Greg Johnson DO
Child Psychiatrist, Washington

This conference was very useful for my Integrative Medicine Practice. The grant provided allowed me to attend and enjoy the amazing content!”
Jenny Pfleghaar, DO, FACEP
Emergency Medicine Physician

Comments from other medical professionals
“This is the best conference I have been to on PANS/PANDAS and one of the best conferences I’ve ever attended. It gave me a ton of useful information that will allow me to better treat children with this condition.  I wish everyone who treats children had this information.”
Chris Kelley, PA-C, Emergency Medicine, Wisconsin

“The information presented over the past few days should be taught in medical school. Certainly ALL psychiatric health care clinicians would benefit from recognizing the root cause of some psychiatric disorders. This conference was one of the best I have attended. Thank you.”
Rebecca Keith, Nurse Practitioner, Wisconsin

I absolutely was astounded with the research and knowledge base provided. I am not sure how any clinician could defend that this disease is not a real disease! These families are utterly destroyed by PANS and PANDAS. I absolutely enjoyed all the presentations. It is wonderful to now have data with assessment and treatment recommended guidelines. Thank you!”
Sara Reichart, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Iowa

“The conference was great and I will follow this website closely for more classes.”
Melissa Anderson, ARNP, Family Practice and Psychiatry, Washington

“I feel more comfortable in seeing these types of patients in my practice and want to continue to learn more and see what outcomes I have in my population. Loved it overall. High quality presenters and information.”
Christie Potter, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Texas

“Thank you for offering this wonderful event for free. The speakers were outstanding!”
Stephanie Nemmers-Bello, MSN, ARNP, CPNP
Pediatric Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner, Iowa

“This was an excellent conference and I am grateful to have been able to attend.”
Kim Dolan, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, New Jersey

“This was a great educational offering. I don’t have any improvement recommendations.”
Denise Brewster, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Missouri

“I was extremely impressed by the quality of these presentations/presenters. I was also very moved by the acknowledgements given to whole research teams. I had never experienced that before. It was also very enlightening to see all the people necessary to make research happen.”
Carin Seadler, Family Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Maine

“I think it is helpful to include topics for seasoned clinicians interested in the latest research but also balance that with practical primary care practice lectures for the clinician just learning about these conditions. You did a great job with this during this conference.”
Sarah Barnett, PA-C, Family Medicine, Wisconsin

The conference was obviously very well planned, extremely thorough, and well executed. As a parent of kids with PANS and PANDAS, as well as a psychiatric nurse practitioner with patients that have (or that I suspect may have) an inflammatory brain disorder, I am incredibly appreciative and amazed by all of the work you all are doing to educate clinicians and the public on these issues. I believe the work you are doing is incredibly valuable and that it is changing the future of care for so many people and their families. Thank you.”
Sarah Bannister, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Tennessee

“I plan to consider PANS/PANDAS and related conditions far more frequently in my clinical practice, and investigate/refer as appropriate.  As this is evolving science, it would be great to get research updates/attend another conference in 1-2 years with updates. I was also able to attend because the conference was free. Those of us that work in nonprofit settings often struggle to afford the cost of attendance. It would be great if future conferences were free as well.”
Haydee Ortiz, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, California

“The talks helped me to understand better what initial work up is indicated before referring to specialists. I am a primary care NP who does get a lot of PANS/PANDAS kids. I appreciate all the studies and work presented that I can use to promote effective & timely treatment.”
Mary Margaret Burch, Family Nurse Practitioner, Georgia