Press Release


California Neurologist Receives AAN Michael S. Pessin Stroke Leadership Prize

SAN DIEGO – The American Academy of Neurology is awarding the 2013 Michael S. Pessin Stroke Leadership Prize to Amytis Towfighi, MD, with the University of Southern California and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center for her research in post-stroke preventive care. Towfighi will receive the award during the Academy’s 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego, March 16-23, 2013. The Annual Meeting is the world’s largest gathering of neurologists with more than 10,000 attendees and more than 2,300 scientific presentations on the latest research advance in brain disease. The Michael S. Pessin Stroke Leadership Prize is awarded to emerging neurologists who have a strong interest in and have demonstrated a passion for learning and expanding the field of stroke research. Towfighi is being recognized for her work investigating gender, race/ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in stroke occurrence and outcomes, and developing interventions—such as the SUCCEED (Secondary stroke prevention by Uniting Community and Chronic care model teams Early to End Disparities) trial—to address these disparities. “My research has focused on describing age, race/ethnic, and gender differences in stroke patients,” said Towfighi. “We have seen an increase in stroke among younger individuals, likely due to obesity. Despite the recent advances in inpatient stroke care, outpatient control of risk factors remains poor. Our interventions are designed to improve risk factor control after stroke among populations with poor access to care. I hope that our research will level the playing field for all stroke patients.” The Michael S. Pessin Stroke Leadership Prize is sponsored by the AAN and endowed by Dr. Michael Pessin's family, friends and colleagues. For more information, visit Learn more about stroke at

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 25,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

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