Baby with cap

Global Neurology Research Group

The Global Neurology Research Group, part of the Department of Neurology and the Neurological Clinical Research Institute, finds innovative solutions to improve the quality of neurological care in low- and middle-income countries.


The Global Neurology Research Group is dedicated to finding practical and cost-effective solutions to meet the neurological needs of individuals in developing countries.

Neurological disorders such as epilepsy, stroke, dementia and traumatic brain injuries are more common in low- and middle income countries, where 86% of the world’s population is concentrated.

These neurological disorders can be disabling both physically and mentally, and there is a high human and economic cost associated with them. Many of these diseases come with a stigma attached since they are often misunderstood.

Compounding this problem is that many of these diseases are not well diagnosed or treated due to a lack of trained neurologists and limited access to medical care in these settings.

When last studied, there were 12 African countries with no neurologists, and an additional 23 countries with a ratio of one neurologist to more than five million people in the population.

The Global Neurology Research Group at Mass General works on projects designed to improve the diagnosis, care and treatment of neurological diseases in these resource-limited settings.


Thank you for supporting Dr. Mateen in the McCourt Fun Run for Multiple Sclerosis and Neuromyelitis Optica

As many of you know, my clinical practice is dedicated to the care of people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and neuromyelitis optica (NMO). It has been a great pleasure to take care of so many amazing people as a neurologist and researcher. Much of my time has been dedicated to academic research, aiming to improve the situation for people living with these complex diseases.

Each year, I take part in a charitable fun run with the hope of raising awareness and funding for neurological research. This year, as in years past, the run has been critical to the success of my team at Mass General Hospital to work on research when we are not in clinic. Even though there has been a lot of progress, there is still a lot more to be done. Some of our work to date has included research into non-medication options for fatigue, blood based biomarkers, and disparities in care.

Thank you to everyone who contributed this year. Together, we were able to raise nearly $700 for MS and NMO research!

Presentation at the NIH

MAMBO Project Presented at the NIH

Congratulations to Dr. Kigocha Okeng’o, who presented the MAMBO project to an audience of NIH-funded researchers at the National Library of Medicine in June, 2019!

Bhutan Epilepsy Video

Congratulations to Graduates!

The GNRG is proud to offer congratulations to our collaborators, Dr. Pria Anand, Dr. Robbie Regenhardt, Dr. Jenny Williams, and Dr. Whitney Fitts, on their recent graduations!

Dr. Anand, Dr. Regenhardt, and Dr. Williams all graduated this month from fellowship programs in the department of neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Fitts graduated from Harvard Medical School with honors and is heading to the University of Pennsylvania to complete a residency in pediatric neurology. We wish them all success in their future careers.

Profile of Smartphone EEG Epilepsy Project (French language)

The Global Neurology Research Group presents at AAN 2019: The American Academy of Neurology’s annual conference

Members of the Global Neurology Research Group traveled to Philadelphia in early May to present the results of the Group’s research at the 2019 American Academy of Neurology conference.

Dr. Pria Anand presented the results of her study on traditional healing among people with epilepsy in the Republic of Guinea and gave a platform presentation on NMDA encephalitis and potential implications in reproductive health.

Brittany Gazdag presented the results of the Group’s global survey of neuromyelitis optica testing and treatment and Dr. Jennifer Williams the results of the Group’s most recent completed study on the smartphone EEG technology among a cohort of pediatric epilepsy patients in Guinea.


Mambo Study

Acute Stroke Training


Rare Disease Day 2019: Neuromyelitis Optica

For Rare Disease Day we are highlighting neuromyelitis optica (NMO) and Farrah Mateen, PhD, the Mass General neurologist dedicated NMO research.

Group Travels to West Africa to Consult with Epilepsy Patients

The Global Neurology Research Group in collaboration with neurology resident physicians at the Ignace Deen Hospital in Conakry, the capital city of the Republic of Guinea in West Africa, consulted on >130 new patients with epilepsy this month. Guinea is a low-income country, recently publicized for surviving a large Ebola outbreak. 

Radio Television Guinea covered our epilepsy research endeavor and announced the free consultations and medicines to people with epilepsy, bringing in patients from throughout the country. Several patients came from far away (as far as 800 kilometers, or more than one day's travel). Many patients had seizure related burns and injuries and reported >100 seizures each. Traditional medicines were as common as antiepileptic drug provision.

This new partnership with the neurology team in Guinea—including residents from Niger, Benin, Chad, Cameroon, and Guinea itself—is meant to de-stigmatize epilepsy, provide care and support to patients and practitioners, promote medication treatment, and ultimately bring epilepsy "out of the shadows" in one of the world's lowest income countries.

Group Members

Principal Investigator

Farrah Mateen, MD, PhD

Farrah Mateen, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Neurology,
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Research Staff

Aissatou Kenda Bah

Aissatou Kenda Bah, MD
Project Manager,
Ignace Deen Teaching Hospital
Conakry, Republic of Guinea

Abdoul Bashir Djibo Hamani

Abdoul Bashir Djibo Hamani, MD
Project Manager
Ignace Deen Teaching Hospital
Conakry, Republic of Guinea

Seif Ismail

Seif Ismail, MBBS
Research Coordinator
Muhimibili National Hospital
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Lhab Tshering, BSc

Lhab Tshering, BSc
Research Coordinator
Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital Thimphu, Bhutan

Andre Vogel

Andre Vogel, BA
Clinical Research Coordinator 
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA, USA

Graduate Students

Gladia Hotan

Gladia Hotan, PhD candidate
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA, USA

Mike Shaekermann

Mike Schaekermann, PhD candidate
Computer Science
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, ON, Canada


Whitney Fitts, BA

Jenna Brownrout, AB
Harvard Extension School, Post-Baccalaureate Program, 2020

Andrew Siyoon Ham

Andrew Siyoon Ham
Harvard College, Class of 2022
A.B. candidate in Neuroscience
Secondary in Global Health and Health Policy

Dylan Rice

Dylan Rice
Harvard College, Class of 2020
A.B. candidate in Cognitive Neuroscience and Evolutionary Psychology
Secondary in Global Health and Health Policy

EEG Technicians


Joe Cohen

Joe Cohen, BSc
Chief EEG Technician 
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA, USA


Neishay Ayub

Neishay Ayub, MD
Epilepsy Fellow
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Jeffrey Gluckstein, MD

Jeffrey Gluckstein, MD
Neurology Resident
Partners HealthCare/Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA, USA

Katie Holroyd

Katie Holroyd, MD
Neurology Resident
Partners HealthCare/Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA, USA


Michael Stanley, MD

Michael P.H. Stanley, MD
Neurology Resident 
Partners HealthCare/Harvard Medical School 
Boston, MA, USA

Leah Wibecan, MD, MPH

Leah Wibecan, MD, MPH
Pediatric Neurology Resident, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA




Fode Abass Cisse

Fode Abass Cisse
Associate Professor, Neurology,
Ignace Deen Teaching Hospital
Conakry, Republic of Guinea

Foksuna Sadaki

Foksouna Sakadi (Chad)
Neurology Resident 
Ignance Deen Teaching Hospital
Conakry, Republic of Guinea


Mahmoud AbdelRazek, MD
Neurology Fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, US

Pria Anand, MD
Advanced General and Autoimmune Neurology Fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Kate Brizzi, MD
Advanced General Neurology Fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Veronica Bruno, MD
MPH student, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA

Sarah Clark, BSc
Project Manager, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, US

Maggie Cochran, BSc
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Sonam Deki, BComm
Research Coordinator, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital, Thimphu, Bhutan

Megan Diamond, SM
Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Whitney Fitts, BA
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Sara Grundy, BA
Project Manager, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Melissa Houghton
Summer Intern, Duke University, Undergraduate Student

Aline Herlopian, MD
Clinical Neurophysiology/Epilepsy Fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Geetha Iyer, MBBS, SCM, PhD candidate
T. H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA

Minnie Jang, AB Candidate
Harvard College, Cambridge, MA, USA

Diederik Koelman, BSc
Master's Student, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Alice Lam, MD
Epilepsy Fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Tullia Leib
Co-op Student, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA

Natalie Cornay Manalo, MD
Advanced General and Autoimmune Neurology Fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Jo Mantia
EEG Technician, Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto, Canada

Erica McKenzie, BSc
Medical Student, Queen's University, Ontario, Canada

Bryan Patenaude, MA
PhD Candidate, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA

Robert Regenhardt, MD, PhD
Stroke Fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Altaf Saadi, MD
Neurology Resident, Brigham and Women's Hospital & Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Lance Shaull, BA
Associate Coordinator, Massachusetts General Hospital, Division of Global Health and Human Rights

Tali Sorets
High School Student, Buckingham, Brown & Nichols, Cambridge, MA, USA

Michael P.H. Stanley, BA
Medical Student, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA

Nana Rahamatou Tassiou
Neurology Resident, Ignace Deen Teaching Hospital, Conakry, Republic of Guinea

Stanley Wanjala, MA
Sagam Community Hospital, Sagam, Kenya

Jennifer Williams, MD, MRCPI
Epilepsy Fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Emma Wolper, BA
Research Assistant, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA, USA

Brian Wong, MD
Pediatric Neurology Fellow, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Janice Wong, MD
Neurology Resident, Brigham and Women's Hospital & Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Rodrigo Zepeda, MD
Epilepsy Fellow, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Jason Zhao
High School Student, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA, USA

Global Neurology Staff Working in Bhutan

Damber and Farrah Erica and Tali
Dr. Damber Nirola and Dr. Farrah Mateen Erica McKenzie and Tali Sorets enrolling patients.
Sonam and Lhab Jo in the clinic
Research coordinators Sonam and Lhab in Thimphu, Bhutan. EEG Technician Jo Mantia performs a stationary EEG in the clinic in Bhutan. 

Research Projects

Electronic Pill Bottle Monitoring to Promote Medication Adherence for People With Multiple Sclerosis

It can be difficult for people with MS to adhere to their pill regimens. Electronic pill bottles have been developed that can record pill dosing, timing, and can set reminders through a mobile app. We are conducting a trial of an electronic pill bottle to determine if it can improve medication adherence for MS patients who take pills.

We will begin recruiting MS patients for this 90-day study soon!

Light Therapy for Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis

Fatigue is the most commonly reported symptom among people living with MS, and more than a quarter report fatigue as their most disabling symptom. We are conducting a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to determine whether light therapy can be used as a treatment for MS-related fatigue

Resources for the multiple sclerosis light therapy study:

MAMBO: Treating Post-Stroke Disability in Tanzania with Fluoxetine

Fluoxetine has shown promise as a pharmacological treatment for motor recovery after stroke, but its use for such indications has not been tested in the low-income countries that bear the greatest burden of stroke disability and mortality.

In the MAMBO (Kiswahili for “Hello”) clinical trial, we will test the safety and tolerability of fluoxetine for post-stroke motor recovery in Tanzania. We will also investigate post-stroke dementia in Tanzanian patients. Funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Smartphone EEG in Bhutan and Guinea

Testing the EEG system in Bhutan

The group is conducting a clinical study to test the feasibility of using a smartphone-based electroencephalograph (EEG) system to diagnose patients with epilepsy in Bhutan, a small, land-locked country between China and India, and Guinea, a country on the Atlantic coast of Africa bordered by Mali and Sierra Leone. Funded by the Charles Hood Foundation, the Harvard University Asia Center and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Resources for the Smartphone EEG project:

Previous Research Projects:

  • Platelet Signatures in Multiple Sclerosis
  • Post-Stroke Disability, Mortality and Depression in Tanzania
  • Optical Coherence Tomography to Assess Infant Brain Development in Sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia
  • A Global Atlas of NMO Diagnosis and Treatment Practices

Educational Resources

The Global Neurology Research Group at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), which Dr. Mateen (PI) lead, has a list of free educational resources for patients and investigators including survey instruments and links to publications. The survey instruments will also be included as appendices in any published papers.

American Neurological Association 2017 Presidential Symposium

The emphasis of the 2017 Presidential Symposium is translational neuroscience research focused on conditions of high prevalence or greater relevance in low- and middle-income countries worldwide.

2018 Epilepsy Survey

This is the clinical and demographic survey form we have developed for the continuation of the epilepsy study in Bhutan and Guinea. The survey is designed to collect important data for those with epilepsy in resource-limited settings including questions about seizure frequency, diagnosis, treatment, social networks, depression, and sleep quality. Please feel free to download the survey and modify for use in other countries as needed.

Women's Health and Epilepsy Survey: Bhutan Epilepsy Project

Download a PDF version of the women's health and epilepsy survey.

The Curse, Bhutan Epilepsy Project


Please see our short feature documentary on epilepsy in Bhutan, which received the 2015 American Academy of Neurology Film Festival Award.

World Maps

My Thinking Cap is a coloring book about epilepsy, a brain disorder that affects people of any age. It is a fun and easy way to help kids and their families begin to understand more about epilepsy. This book can be especially useful for children in countries where epilepsy remains misunderstood. Stigma towards people with epilepsy persists everywhere.

Download by Language



Anand P, Hotan GC, Vogel A, Venna N, Mateen FJ. Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy: A 25-year retrospective cohort study. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2019 Sep 25;6(6). pii: e618. doi: 10.1212/NXI.0000000000000618. Print 2019 Nov. PMID: 31554669

Mateen F. A cascade of care for people with epilepsy: learning from “HIV/AIDS 90-90-90” [version 1; peer review: 1 approved with reservations]. Gates Open Res 2019, 3:1502

Wong B, Grundy S, Tshering L et al. Assessment of a neuro-developmental screening tool in children in Bhutan [version 1; peer review: awaiting peer review]. Gates Open Res 2019, 3:1496

Williams JA, Cisse FA, Schaekermann M, Sakadi F, Tassiou NR, Hotan GC, Bah AK, Hamani ABD, Lim A, Leung ECW, Fantaneanu TA, Milligan TA, Khatri V, Hoch DB, Vyas MV, Lam AD, Cohen JM, Vogel AC, Law E, Mateen FJ; Smartphone EEG and remote online interpretation for children with epilepsy in the Republic of Guinea: Quality, characteristics, and practice implications. Guinea Epilepsy Project. Seizure. 2019 May 31;71:93-99. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2019.05.025. [Epub ahead of print]

Fitts W, Rahamatou NT, Abass CF, Vogel AC, Ghislain AH, Sakadi F, Hongxiang Q, Conde ML, Baldé AT, Hamani ABD, Bah AK, Anand P, Patenaude B, Mateen FJ. School status and its associations among children with epilepsy in the Republic of Guinea. Epilepsy Behav. 2019 Aug;97:275-281. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2019.05.040. Epub 2019 Jun 28 PMID: 31260925

Anand P, Othon GC, Sakadi F, Tassiou NR, Hamani ABD, Bah AK, Allaramadji BT, Barry DN, Vogel A, Cisse FA, Mateen FJ, Guinea Epilespy Project. Epilepsy and Traditional Healers in the Republic of Guinea: A Mixed Methods Study. Epilepsy Behav. 2019 Mar;92:276-282. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2019.01.017. Epub 2019 Feb 12. PMID: 30731293

Holroyd K, Vogel A, Lynch K, Gazdag B, Voghel M, Alakel N, Patenaude BN, Chiong-Rivero H, Mateen FJ. Neuromyelitis optica testing and treatment: Availability and affordability in 60 countries. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2019 May 22;33:44-50. doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2019.05.013. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 31154260

RW, Biseko MR, Shayo AF, Mbando TN, Grundy SJ, Xu A, Saadi A, Wibecan L, Kharal GA, Parker R, Klein JP, Mateen FJ, Okeng'o K. Opportunities for intervention: stroke treatments, disability and mortality in urban Tanzania International Journal of Quality Health Care. 2018 August 28

 Jang M, Sakadi F, Tassiou NR, Abass CF, Grundy SJ, Woga A, Kenda BA, Lamine CM, Talibe BA, Qui H, Cohen JM, Carone M, Mateen FJ. Impact of Poorly Controlled Epilepsy in the Republic of Guinea. Seizure. 2018 October

Saadi A, Okeng'o K, Biseko MR, Shayo AF, Mmbando TN, Grundy SJ, Xu A, Parker RA, Wibecan L, Iyer G, Onesmo PM, Kapina BN, Regenhardt RW, Mateen FJ. Post-stroke social networks, depressive symptoms, and disability in Tanzania: A prospective study.Int J Stroke. 2018 Jan 1:1747493018772788.

AbdelRazek MA, Gutierrez J, Mampre D, Cervantes-Arslanian A, Ormseth C, Haussen D, Thakur KT, Lyons JL, Smith BR, O'Connor O, Willey JZ, Mateen FJ. Intravenous Thrombolysis for Stroke and Presumed Stroke in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Adults. Stroke. 2018; 49:228-231

Mateen FJ, Manalo NC, Grundy SJ, Houghton MA, Hotan GC, Erickson H, Videnovic A. Light therapy for multiple sclerosis-associated fatigue: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Medicine (Baltimore) 2017;96(36):e8037.

Mateen FJ, Carone M, Tshering L, Dorji C, Dema U, Grundy SJ, Pokhrel DR, Nirola DK. Areca catechu (palm tree) nut chewing and seizures: An observational study. Epilepsy & Behavior 74 (2017) 76-80.

Bruno V, Klein JP, Nidup D, Nirola D, Tshering L, Deki S, Clark SJ, Linn KA, Shinohara RT, Dorji C, Pokhrel DR, Dema U, Mateen FJ. Yield of Brain MRI in Clinically Diagnosed Epilepsy in the Kingdom of Bhutan: A Prospective Study. Annals of Global Health. 7 April 2017

McKenzie ED, Lim AS, Leung EC, Cole AJ, Lam AD, Eloyan A, Nirola DK, Tshering L, Thibert R, Garcia RZ, Bui E, Deki S, Lee L, Clark SJ, Cohen JM, Mantia J, Brizzi KT, Sorets TR, Wahlster S, Borzello M, Stopczynski A, Cash SS, Mateen FJ. Validation of a smartphone-based EEG among people with epilepsy: A prospective study. Sci Rep 2017;7:45567.

Koelman DL, Benkeser DC, Xu Y, Neo SX, Tan K, Katsuno M, Sobue G, Natsume J, Chahin S, Mar SS, Venkatesan A, Chitnis T, Hoganson GM, Yeshokumar AK, Barreras P, Majmudar B, Carone M, Mateen FJ. Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis in China, Singapore and Japan: a comparison with the USA. Eur J Neurol. 2016 Eur J Neurol 2017;24(2):391-396.

Saadi A, Patenaude B, Mateen FJ. Quality of life in epilepsy-31 inventory (QOLIE-31) scores: A global comparison. Epilepsy Behav. 2016 Dec;65:13-17 Review.

Brizzi K, Pelden S, Tshokey T, Nirola DK, Diamond MB, Klein JP, Tshering L, Deki S, Nidup D, Bruno V, Dorny P, Garcia HH, Mateen FJ; Bhutan Epilepsy Project. Neurocysticercosis in Bhutan: a cross-sectional study in people with epilepsy.Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2016 Sep;110(9):517-526.

Saadi A, Patenaude B, Nirola DK, Deki S, Tshering L, Clark S, Shuall L, Sorets T, Fink G, Mateen F. Quality of life in epilepsy in Bhutan. Seizure. 2016 Jul;39:44-8.

Koelman DL, Chahin S, Mar SS, Venkatesan A, Hoganson GM, Yeshokumar AK, Barreras P, Majmudar B, Klein JP, Chitnis T, Benkeser DC, Carone M, Mateen FJ. Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis in 228 patients: A retrospective, multicenter US study. Neurology. 2016 May;86(22):2085-93.

Brizzi K, Deki S, Tshering L, Clark SJ, Nirola DK, Patenaude BN, McKenzie ED, McLane HC, Cash SS, Dorji C, Mateen FJ. Knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding epilepsy in the Kingdom of Bhutan. Int Health. 2016 Jul;8(4):286-91.

McKenzie ED, Nirola DK, Deki S, Tshering L, Patenaude B, Clark SJ, Cash SS, Thibert R, Zepeda R, Leung EC, Lam AD, Lim AS, Mantia J, Cohen J, Cole AJ, Mateen FJ. Medication prescribing and patient-reported outcome measures in people with epilepsy in Bhutan. Epilepsy Behav. 2016;59:122–7.  

McLane HC, Berkowitz AL, Patenaude BN, McKenzie ED, Wolper E, Wahlster S, Fink G, Mateen FJ. Availability, accessibility, and affordability of neurodiagnostic tests in 37 countries. Neurology. 2015;85(18):1614–22.

Koelman DLH, Mateen FJ. Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis: current controversies in diagnosis and outcome. J Neurol. 2015 Sep;262(9):2013–24.

Sorets TR, Mateen FJ. Mandatory CPR Training in US High Schools. Mayo Clin Proc. 2015 Jun;90(6):710–2.

Saadi A, Mateen FJ. The internationalization of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology. 2015 Feb;84(8):856–8.

McKenzie ED, Spiegel P, Khalifa A, Mateen FJ. Neuropsychiatric disorders among Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Jordan: a retrospective cohort study 2012-2013. Confl Health. 2015;9:10.

In the News

More Highlights

Live Global Virtual Conference on MS

Dr. Mateen took part in a Live Global Virtual Conference on Multiple Sclerosis in June of 2019. The scientific program featured a discussion of the latest research and clinical insights in pediatric MS, and a "hot topic" debate on the motion, "Clinical trials in paediatric MS should be conducted only for study drugs with established efficacy in adult MS."

Dr. Mateen's Story: A Global Perspective of Neuromyelitis Optica

"The science of NMO is fascinating to me and I have been very excited to see how much the field has changed over the past decade. I have been inspired by many patients along the way, and I consider each of them essential in the fight to understand, treat, and one day cure NMO."

Respondent MapsNeuromyelitis Optica Testing and Treatment: Availability and Affordability in 60 Countries

(Click on the image above for a closer view)

Between July and November of 2018, the Global Neurology Research Group surveyed physicians in over 140 across the globe about diagnosis and treatment practices for neuromyelitis optica (NMO). We received complete responses from 60 countries spanning a range of geographic regions and income levels. These responses helped us understand the extent to which income level and geographic region may affect a physician’s ability to treat and even diagnose the disease.

Disparities in access to state-of-the-art diagnostic tests

In one of our key results, we found that physicians in lower-income countries appear to have a markedly reduced access to the newest generation of NMO diagnostic tests. This especially holds true for countries in Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. This is important because NMO is often confused with another, similar disease – multiple sclerosis – but the treatments for the two diseases are different. Without access to the best diagnostic tools, patients in low-income countries might not receive the best care possible.

Group photo from team dinner in Guinea

A team photo from the Global Neurology Research Group's recent trip to Guinea.

Mateen symposium

2018 Regional RNDS

Dr. Mateen spoke at the Regional Rare Neuro-Immune Disorders Symposium in Boston on Oct. 27. The event offered education and advocacy for families, caregivers and patients with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), MOG antibody-associated disease (MOG-Ab disease), neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), optic neuritis (ON), and transverse myelitis (TM) (including the subtype acute flaccid myelitis). Learn more.

Thanks to Sumaira Foundation

Sincere thanks to Sumaira Ahmed, of the Boston-based Sumaira Foundation, for her Foundation's support of the Mass General Global Neurology Research Group. We are now conducting a worldwide survey of neuromyelitis optica diagnosis and treatment through a grant from the Sumaira Foundation.

First conference a success

The first Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis online ( conference was completed successfully on November 27, 2018. This conference was steered by a diverse committee of scientists, including Dr. Mateen, from five continents. The conference, which included a debate on cognition monitoring in MS care, enabled MS specialists from across the globe to learn and debate the clinical practice of MS treatment without the time and expense of international travel

Radio Interview with Global Neurology Research Group

Listen to the Interview with Le Grand Direct Radio Espace

Patenaude Defends Doctoral Work

Congratulations to Bryan Patenaude, who defended his doctoral work ("Health, Behavior & Economic Analysis: Preference Elicitation Biases and the Welfare Consequences of Health Interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa") on April 11, 2017.

Special Event: Medical Care Under Siege

This event, held in the Etherdome at Massachusetts General Hospital, provided attendees with the opportunity to learn firsthand about the struggles of medical providers working in Aleppo, Syria. The presentation was sponsored by the Massachusetts General Hospital Global Neurology Research Group and the Syrian-American Medical Society. Download the program

Study Investigating Light Therapy as a Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

Dr. Mateeen is the co-leader on a research study that is currently recruiting participants 18+ years old with multiple sclerosis-related fatigue. Download flyer

Study Suggests a Significant Amount of Epilespy in Bhutan is Preventable and Treatable

Congratulations to Kate Brizzi, Sonam Paydon, Tshokey, Damber Nirola, Lhab Tshering, and colleagues on their publication on neurocysticercosis among people with epilepsy in Bhutan. This study suggests a significant proportion of epilepsy in Bhutan is treatable and preventable.

It also guides the use of diagnostic tests for Taenia solium, a parasitic tapeworm, through research performed by the Neurocysticercosis Working Group referral lab in Lima with Professor Hugo Garcia and the Bhutanese medical laboratories in Thimphu.



Funding Partners

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