Ichiro Nakashima
Tohoku Medical and Pharmaceutical University

Following the retirement of the former president, Professor Kazuo Fujihara, I have been honored with the responsibility of assuming the position of president. I consider this a privilege beyond measure. While I myself have only been a member of the board of this society for about four years, which makes me somewhat of a newcomer, I understand that being entrusted with the role of president and receiving the support of many esteemed colleagues carries significant expectations and aspirations.

Over the past twenty years, I have been devoted to fundamental and clinical research aimed at elucidating the pathogenesis of autoimmune neurological disorders, including multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica. The concepts and therapeutic approaches for immune-mediated neurologic diseases, including these two conditions, have undergone dramatic changes during this time. This transformation owes much to the substantial contributions of the esteemed members of this society, and I take pride in the fact that many experts affiliated with our society have been at the forefront of driving these changes.

Though our society may be small, with fewer than 700 members, its high level of specialization has allowed us to gather a select group of dedicated professionals. With a strong sense of camaraderie, we collectively turn our gaze to the world, engaging in collaborative research and fostering an environment where mutual improvement is valued. This atmosphere has undoubtedly contributed to our achievements and accomplishments.

The scope of our society encompasses neurological and muscular disorders primarily driven by autoimmune mechanisms. Specifically, this includes designated intractable diseases such as multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optica, myasthenia gravis, HTLV-1-associated myelopathy, Crow-Fukase syndrome, inflammatory myopathies, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, multifocal motor neuropathy, and atopic myelitis, as designated by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. Our research also encompasses neurological disorders associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome, autoimmune encephalitis, MOG antibody-related disorders, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, autoimmune autonomic neuropathy, and connective tissue disorders, as well as paraneoplastic syndrome.

Our mission is to facilitate fundamental research for understanding the pathogenesis of these disorders and to advance clinical research for therapeutic development, ultimately contributing to drug discovery.

In recent years, the potential for antibody therapies, anti-inflammatory treatments, and immunotherapies in modifying neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's has grown. The research methodologies honed through the study of immune-mediated neurological diseases could prove valuable in these contexts. Moreover, many currently unexplained neurologic disorders may become subjects of interest for our society in the future.

As the new Chairman, my aspiration is to increase the number of members during my tenure. With the approval of antibody therapeutics and targeted molecular drugs for various autoimmune diseases, the need for annual updates in knowledge for patient management has escalated, requiring a higher level of specialization. To ensure that patients with all types of autoimmune diseases receive optimal treatment regardless of their location in Japan, there's a pressing need to train a larger number of medical professionals with expertise in this field. By organizing appealing academic conferences not only for neurology specialists but also for early-career physicians and medical staff, I hope to foster interest in neuroimmunology and bolster our membership.

Lastly, our society's official journal is 'Clinical and Experimental Neuroimmunology.' I regard nurturing this journal into a leading publication as a crucial mission. To our partners in relevant industries, I kindly request your ongoing support for our society and encourage submissions to our journal. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.