ASNA is an acronym for the ASEAN Neurological Association. ASEAN, in turn, is the abbreviation for the Association of South East Asian Nations. The idea of neurologists in South East Asia forming an association has been mooted since the mid-seventies. The reasons are: attending scientific meetings in Europe or North America take a heavy toll on time and money, it is thus logical for the South East Asian neurologists to work together and to organize medical meetings within the region. There is also a need for the neurology fraternity within the region to meet and communicate more frequently in order to learn from one another, together solve the common problems and develop neurology in the region.
On the 17th of November, 1994, in the beautiful Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines, the ASEAN Neurological Association (ASNA) was inaugurated. The first biennial scientific meeting was successfully held in Manila in December, 1995. Since then there has been rapid growth of ASNA related activities. The first ASEAN Symposium and Workshop on Stroke was held in Jakarta in July 1996 and the first ASEAN Epilepsy Conference was held in December, 1996 in Singapore. The second ASNA biennial convention was held in July 1997 in Singapore and the third ASNA biennial convention was held in March 1999 in Chiangmai, Thailand. The meeting in Chiangmai was attended by about 500 delegates. In April 2000, the first Epilepsy Workshop was held in Hanoi, Vietnam. ASNA membership presently consists of Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It is expected that ASNA will eventually include Kampuchea and Timor Leste, making it an organization that represents 11 nation states. Other than conferences and workshops, other ASNA activities are: journal (Neurology Asia - formerly known as the Neurological Journal of South East Asia), subspecialty chapters such as stroke and CNS infection, joint research and exchange fellowship. The official website of ASNA is www.aseanneurology.org.