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Neurologists’ skull session held in isles

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The third-largest convention on the books for Hawaii this year kicks off today.

More than 9,000 participants are expected to attend the American Academy of Neurology’s 63rd annual conference, which runs through next Saturday at the Hawaii Convention Center. The conference is projected to generate more than $42 million in state revenue, with hotels benefiting from 72,360 room nights, according to convention center officials.

Participation is expected from 93 countries.

"This major conference helps us realize a benefit both in Ho­nolulu and for our neighbor island partners," Joe Davis, SMG general manager of the Hawaii Convention Center, said in a press release.

Neurologists and other medical workers will learn about the latest research on diagnosing, treating and managing brain and nervous system disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy and autism. More than 2,500 scientific studies will be presented.

The American Academy of Neurology Foundation is hosting a free Brain Health Fair today, open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa. The event includes free food for the first 1,000 attendees. Register online at

The organization also is hosting a Neuroimaging Conference, with international experts presenting the latest in technology, at the Big Island’s Hilton Waikoloa Village next Saturday and the following day.

The American Academy of Neurology comprises more than 22,500 neurologists and neuroscience professionals. Neurologists from around the country will teach students at Farrington and McKinley high schools about how the brain works on Monday from noon to 3:30 p.m.

The 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which is scheduled to bring representatives of its 21 member economies to the islands Nov. 7-13, including a Leaders Meeting Nov. 12-13, will be the largest convention this year and is expected to generate some $120 million in economic impact for Hawaii.

The APEC event is expected to bring 15,000 to 20,000 government and business leaders, their families and support staff, including 2,000 to 2,500 media members, to the islands. The state estimates the event could fill as many as 120,600 Hawaii hotel room nights during the tourism offseason.

The American Psychiatric Association’s 164th annual meeting at the Hawaii Convention Center, is slated to be the second-largest event, drawing nearly 12,000 attendees May 14-18.

"The (Hawaii Tourism Authority), together with the (Hawaii Convention Center), remain committed to marketing Hawaii as a global meeting destination and will continue to capitalize on the interest in our state as we prepare to host the 2011 APEC Leaders’ meetings in November," said HTA President and CEO Mike McCartney.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed a proclamation declaring next week Brain Health Week to coincide with the weeklong meeting.


The top conventions in Hawaii in 2011 for attendance and economic impact:

Name of convention Number of attendees Economic Impact (revenue)
APEC (November) 20,000 (projected) $94 million
American Psychiatric Association 12,000 (projected) $56 million
American Academy of Neurology 9,000 (projected) $42 million
American College of Chest Physicians 5,000 (projected) $24 million
Association for Asian Studies & International Convention of Asia Scholars 4,400 (actual) $20 million

Source: Hawaii Convention Center

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