Historical Overview

From advances in stroke and dementia to movement disorders and epilepsy, the American Neurological Association has been the vanguard of research since 1875 as the premier professional society of academic neurologists and neuroscientists devoted to understanding and treating diseases of the nervous system. 

Founded in December 1874

Founding the American Neurological Association was the inspiration of Dr. William Alexander Hammond. A Committee of Organization included Graeme Hammond, Meredith Clymer, T.M.B. Cross and Edward C. Seguin of New York; Roberts Bartholow of Cincinnati; James S. Jewell of Chicago; and James J. Putnam of Boston. The organizing group met in December 1874.

Twenty-eight physicians were invited to participate in the establishment of a "society to be called The American Neurological Association, devoted to the cultivation of Neurological Science, in its normal and pathological relations. The number of members not to exceed fifty."

The first meeting, June 1875

The first meeting of the American Neurological Association was held on June 2-4, 1875 at the Y.M.C.A. Hall on the corner of Fourth and Twenty-third Street in New York City. A constitution and by-laws were adopted and the slate of officers elected.

Original officers

J. S. Jewell, Chicago*

Second Vice-President
E. H. Clarke, Boston

Corresponding Secretary
J. J. Mason, New York

Recording Secretary and Treasurer
E. C. Seguin, New York

J. W. S. Arnold, New York

*The original slate of officers included S. Weir Mitchell as President and J.S. Jewell as First Vice-President. However, S. Weir Mitchell declined the office. As such, Dr. Jewell was unanimously declared President of the Association for the inaugural year 1875-1876 and was re-elected for three years following.

Transactions of the ANA

The meetings of the American Neurological Association have always centered around the presentation of original, scientific papers that in the past were followed by recorded discussions. The founding members, realizing the value of these papers and discussions, published the proceedings annually as the Transactions of the American Neurological Association, beginning with Vol. 1, 1875. In 1876, Dr. Jewell became the editor of the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease and began publishing the proceedings of the ANA meetings, until 1919 when the American Medical Association began publication of the Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry. The official publication was then transferred to the ANA journal. The Association also arranged for separately bound copies to be sent to members as well as medical schools in the United States and Europe.

In 1975 the Association founded the Annals of Neurology to produce its professional journal and the ANA Archives of Neurology was no longer offered. The Association ceased the separate publication of the Transactions in 1981.