Yale Neurons

Highlights of Resident Activities


Yale Neurons Dropping Knowledge Bombs in the City of Brotherly Love!

Congratulations to all of the Yale Neurology Residents who had abstracts accepted for the upcoming American Academy of Neurology annual meeting in Philadelphia this coming May. Below are some of the awesome presentations we can look forward to from our awesome residents:

  • Idaira Aguilar, PGY4
    • Neurological symptoms in a patient diagnosed with adrenal oncocytic cortical carcinoma (poster)
  • Priyanka Chilakamarri, PGY3
    • Suicidal Behavior in Parkinson Disease (poster)
  • Vanessa Cooper, PGY3
    • A Survey Comparing Neurology and Internal Medicine Residents’ Approaches to Headache Management (poster)
  • Justine Cormier, PGY4
    • A Case of Paraneoplastic Myasthenia Gravis as the Initial Presentation in a Patient with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (poster)
    •  The Impact of a Novel Clinic Block System on Resident and Faculty Satisfaction, Work-Life Balance, and Subspecialty Exposure (Platform Presentation)
  • Paul Sanmartin, PGY4
    • Brainstem Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome (poster)
    • West Nile encephalitis in a patient with initially negative CSF serology (poster)
  • Jens Witsch, PGY3
    • Validation of the original FRESH score in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage (poster)
  • Teng Peng Zhao, PGY2
    • Potassium Bromide: The First Successful Treatment of Epilepsy (poster)


Representing Yale Neurons Across the Globe- feat. Razaz Mageid

A huge congratulations to Dr. Razaz Mageid for her acceptance as a Yale/Stanford Johnson & Johnson Global Health Scholar. Razaz will be carrying the torch of residents working to promote international Neurology by traveling to Uganda during the 2019-2020 academic year. As part of her training in the Yale Neurology Global Health Track, Razaz will spend 6 weeks at Mulago Hospital in Uganda rotating with physicians and medical staff there and learning about health care delivery in a resource limited setting.

She will be our third resident in recent years to travel to Uganda as part of the Global Health Track. Adeel Zubair, current PGY3, is finishing up his time in Uganda now (stay tuned for updates on his experiences there), and before him Monica Diaz (now a neuro-infectious disease fellow in San Diego) traveled there. See more about her experiences in this post. Congrats again, Razaz!


Yale Neurons Sculpting Future Neuro Minds, feat Adeel Zubair

A huge congratulations to Dr. Adeel Zubair on his recent acceptance to the Master of Health Science Medical Education Program! Adeel is one of our PGY3 residents currently rotating in Uganda as a Yale/Stanford Johnson and Johnson Global Health School as part of his grander experience on the Yale Neurology Global Health Track (stay tuned for a post on his experiences once he gets back!). He is also a rising Scheduling Chief. In addition to his global health interests, Adeel has shown a clear dedication to medical education, and his acceptance to the two-year MHS Med-Ed program will be a huge stepping stone in his career. Before long, Adeel will be sculpting the future of Neurology both at Yale and abroad. We couldn’t be more proud!


Advancing the Knowledge of our Collective Brain- Feat. Anna Deforest

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A huge shout out to one of our awesome PGY2’s, Dr. Anna Deforest, for her recent publication in NEJM, Better Words for Better DeathsHer beautifully-written piece discusses the language that we, as health care providers, use to discuss end-of-life care and how the words we choose can influence our relationships with patients and their families and can also subconsciously affect the quality of the care we provide to our patients as they near end of life. She encourages us to be as thoughtful surrounding the way we discuss end of life care and decision making as we are in discussing life-sustaining measures. Her piece was recently featured in a writing symposium at Yale (see here for details), and not surprisingly she went on to have her manuscript picked up by NEJM. Outstanding work, Anna!



Advancing the knowledge of our collective brain, feat. Razaz Mageid, PGY2

Razaz is starting PGY2 year off with a bang by showing us the importance of sharing our experiences with the neurology community to help us all learn. She recently published a case report on a patient she saw presenting with headaches and a seizure who was found to have a Vein of Labbe thrombosis. What a great case! Congrats, Razaz! The article will be published in the next print of Brain Circulation, but here is the title and abstract for your early perusal!


Vein of Labbe thrombosis, a near‑miss.                         Razaz Mageid, Yuchuan Ding1 , Paul Fu

Emergency department visits for a headache are relatively common, and in most cases, the etiologies of the headache are typically benign. We present a case of a patient who presented to the emergency room for new onset of unremitting unilateral headache. She subsequently had two hospital visits and three separate imaging modalities to identify vein of Labbe thrombosis. The vein of Labbe is a relatively smaller vein which runs superficially and laterally. In our patient, a cerebral venous thrombosis (CTV) was unable to identify vein of Labbe thrombosis, requiring eventually a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with and without contrast to identify the culprit etiology. CTV is frequently used in the acute setting due to its speed of acquisition and shorter wait times in the hospital. For  patients that fit criteria for venous sinus thrombosis, we caution the use of CTV in identifying the causative etiology, and would consider the MRI as a better imaging modality for these patients. 



Developing the future of headache medicine, feat. Vanessa Cooper, PGY3!

Congratulations to Vanessa Cooper, PGY3, for being selected to participate in the International Headache Academy, sponsored by the American Headache Society. The International Headache Academy is designed to inspire a long-term commitment to headache medicine in young neurologists and research scientists via an educational program focused on clinical and research aspects of the field. Vanessa will be attending this incredible course on January 17-19th 2019 at UCLCA. Congrats, V!


Congratulations to Jens Witsch, PGY3, on winning an award for stroke research!

Congrats, Jens, on winning the 2018 Hentschel Award for stroke research with therapeutic implication. Safe travels to Jens as he travels back to give a talk and accept the award. Proud of you, buddy!


Delayed Props to Idaira Aguilar on the J. Kiffin Penry Mini-Fellowship in Epilepsy!

Earlier this year, Idaira Aguilar, PGY4, was selected to attend the J. Kiffin Penry Epilepsy Program in North Carolina. This program is geared specifically toward Neurology Residents interested in Epilepsy and is an intensive 4 day course in clinical management of epilepsy. Idaira was selected from our program to go, and we are super proud of her!


Anna DeForest, PGY2 Carries on the Legacy of Yale Neurons as Literary Masters!

Our program has seen a number of talented and accomplished poets and writers come through, and our very own Anna DeForest has picked up the torch this year. Anna was amongst a pool of very competitive applicants to attend an intensive two-day writing symposium sponsored by the Department of Medicine. She will be sharing her own writing and learning from her peers under the guidance of Dr. Anna Reisman, an accomplished author whose pieces can be found in the New York Times, Slate, Los Angeles Times, Discover Magazine, NEJM, JAMA, and Heath Affairs; and Lisa Sanders, the Diagnosis columnist for the New York Times Magazine, the author of the New York Times bestseller Every Patient Tells a Story: Medical Mysteries and the Art of Diagnosis, and current writer on a series of documentaries for Netflix.

What an incredible opportunity and honor. Congratulations, Anna! Don’t forget the little people when you become a famous writer!


Yale Neurons Seeking out Extracurricular Learning Opportunities

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Our residents are always traveling here and there in search of new, cool knowledge, from large societal conferences like AAN, AES and SFN to smaller conferences like NCS, AHS Annual Headache Conference, and Yale School of Medicine-Hosted Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Conference.


Tara Kimbrough and Justine Cormier, two of our PGY4’s attended the Neurocritical Care Society conference this September in Boca Raton, Florida. They attended a variety of talks and debates on a variety of topics such as current ethical issues in NCC, multimodal monitoring and critical care EEG, NORSE (new-onset refractory status epilepticus, TBI (traumatic brain injury), and international neurocritical care, to name a few. They also attending interactive workshops on airway and bronchoscopy and creating quality improvement projects in the ICU setting.


Chindhuri Selvadurai, PGY3 also attended a subspecialty conference this September, the Yale School of Medicine-Sponsored conference on Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders. Chindhuri attending many talks and workshops on various movement disorders and their varied treatments from medications to botox to deep brain stimulation. These talks were put on by both local faculty and visiting leaders in the field.,



Vanessa Cooper, PGY3, also recently attended the American Headache Society 60th Annual Conference in Philadelphia. She attended lectures on various headache and pain syndromes and their treatments, including cutting edge new treatments coming down the pipeline. She networked with leaders in the field and participated in an interactive botox and trigger point injection simulation.

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