foundation & conception of the asn (1976)
The ASN arose from the 1975 Ad-Hoc Committee on imaging of the AAN. Thirty neurologists attended the first Neurology Computed Tomography Symposium, organized by Dr. William Kinkel, in Buffalo, New York, September 24-25. One reason for calling this meeting was to implement the educational aspects of the American Academy of Neurology’s Ad-Hoc Committee on Imaging. During the meeting, there was unanimous agreement that the group should organize under some name and continue to hold meetings. Dr. William Kinkel belonged to a group that stressed CT, while Dr. William Oldendorf and others stressed other modalities of neuroimaging. As a compromise, the name Society for Computerized Tomography and Neuroimaging was chosen. The first meeting in Buffalo was to implement the educational aspects of the Ad-Hoc Committee, which turned out to be the nidus of the ASN. Ever since Kinkel started the Special Course in Neuroimaging at the AAN, the course director was a member of the AAN and the ASN. The original name for the organization was the Society for Computerized Tomography and Neuroimaging (SCTNI). Oldendorf was forceful in stating that CT was just the beginning and we should be more inclusive and add Neuroimaging to the Society’s name. Kinkel and Stuart organized the first meeting of SCTNI in the fall of 1977. The Executive Committee consisted of two neurosurgeons, two neuroradiologists, six neurologists (members at large), and four officers (all neurologists). In 1981, the name was changed tothe ASN again, with the prodding of Oldendorf.
Buffalo, NY, the home of the Dent Neurologic Institute and the site of the first Neurology Computed Tomography Symposium, organized by Dr. William Kinkel, September 24-25, 1976. Thirty neurologists attended this meeting that led to the founding of the ASN by this group one year later.
The primary function of the ASN was educational. It kept its members on the cutting edge of rapidly developing imaging techniques. In 1980 Oldendorf brought MRI to our attention by inviting Raymond Damadian M.D. and Paul Lauterbur, PhD to talk about their pioneer work in MR. It became obvious that MR would supplant CT in many areas of imaging. Another function was socioeconomic. Neurologists are still unable to do neuroimaging in many areas. The AAN could not fund their members in their legal battles so the ASN undertook this endeavor. Some ASN members appeared as expert witnesses before hospital committees and judges to try to help their colleagues. Functional imaging was also featured. The present President of the ASN, Dr. John Mazziotta, MD won the first Oldendorf Award given for the best paper in imaging by a young investigator. This was in 1981 and the modality was positron emission tomography (PET). Dr. Mazziotta has become one of the preeminent leaders in this field. Dr. Joseph Masdeu, the past President has advanced functional imaging with his expertise in SPECT scanning. Dr. William McKinney introduced Neurosonology to the ASN and a marriage between the MR/CT group and ultrasound was consummated. In 1991, the Journal of Neuroimaging was first published as the official journal of the Society. Leon Prockop, MD was named the editor, having been the sixth President of the ASN. Both the Journal and the Society are thriving in spite of turf issues, managed care and the contraction of the medical dollar. By 1998, the ASN had grown to 750 members.