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Philadelphia Hosts World's Largest Gathering Of Neurologists

By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) --- The world's largest gathering of neurologists is taking place in Philadelphia over the next seven days. A free brain health fair was held for the public on Saturday in conjunction with the conference.

When guitarist and composer Billy McLaughlin last performed in Philadelphia, he played right-handed. Now he plays with his left.

Several years ago he was diagnosed with Dystonia, involuntary muscle contractions that cause slow repetitive movements or abnormal postures. It took Billy about six and a half years with five hours of practice each day to relearn how to play.

Billy McLaughlin
Billy McLaughlin (Credit: John McDevitt)

"Early on that was hard for me to get my head around," says McLaughlin, "and I kept quitting. I kept giving up, and I'm not proud of that, but I do share that with people. So much of life is, 'What do you really truly believe in? And what can you bring as far as confidence towards the biggest challenges that you have in your life?'"

13,000 people are registered for the American Academy of Neurology conference going on through May 3rd at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The total economic impact for the Philadelphia region is estimated at $35 million.

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