European Section

Welcome from the Chair

European SectionJoaquim Ferreira, MD, PhD
Professor of Neurology
University of Lisbon
Lisbon, Portugal


April 2017

This marks my last update as Chair of the MDS European Section.

Over the past two years, I had the privilege and honor to serve our Society with the precious help of the MDS-ES officers, Executive Committee members, Education Committee members, MDS staff and all who have generously contributed to the multiple implemented initiatives.

A special word of thanks to my dear friends and colleagues Pille Taba, Carlo Colosimo (officers), Angelo Antonini (sub education committee chair) and Evžen Růžička (elected chair), who participated in regular weekly calls to manage the section’s issues and other more personal updates! A special word of thanks also to Sabine Gifford (Assistant Director of Education) for the discrete but very professional and efficient managing of the MDS-ES issues and for trying to keep us on the right track.

During these two years, we have managed to conduct 16 educational courses and supported seven Developing World Education Programs (DWEPs) in Europe and Africa. We were active partners in three European Academy of Neurology (EAN) Regional Teaching Courses (Sudan, Russia, Mozambique) and one EAN Spring School (Czech Republic).

We were able to continue the, now traditional, Summer and Winter MDS-ES Schools for Young Neurologists. This year we will be back in Marburg to commemorate the 10th year of our Summer schools, started by Wolfgang Oertel in 2008. In 2017, our portfolio of Allied Health Professionals Summer Schools will, for the first time, include a Speech Therapy (and swallowing) and a Nursing Summer School. These will be added to the previously held Physiotherapy schools. Several of the schools were able to extent offers to host African colleagues in collaboration with the Task Force on Africa. Each time the colleagues were provided with the opportunity to extend their stay and train at the host institute for additional days.

Further, a new collaboration with the European Huntington’s Disease Network (EHDN) was started to sponsor fellowships in the field of Huntington’s disease, providing additional opportunities to the already available trainings through the MDS-ES Visiting Trainee Grant Program in movement disorders.

The close collaboration with the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) was strengthened reinforcing our position as the leading Movement Disorder society in Europe.

A new effort was started with the translation of the MDS leaflets for patients to all possible European languages involving our young active members as voluntary translators.

In the last two years, membership steadily increased, giving the MDS-European Section around 400 more members at the end of 2016. Gender distribution of the members has also become more balanced (M: 49.7% / F: 46.3%). The last two years have also shown its highest growth in Europe of people taking advantage of the trial membership offered through the Associate Membership program. 

At the MDS Congress in Berlin, the MDS-European Section took the opportunity to meet with leaders of National Societies in Europe. The MDS Affiliated program, and its expansion to movement disorders subgroups of neurological societies, was part of the discussion. Two societies joined the program in the last two years (Israel and Portugal), with more currently going through the approval process.

Responding to the request to improve communication, a quarterly electronic newsletter to members was implemented with the first edition released in April 2016. Please email if you would like to be added to the distribution list.

We hope that these activities are in line with the expectation of our members and all who are involved in the field of Movement Disorders in Europe. We further hope that the initiatives contribute to the improvement of care and research.

I look forward to seeing you all in Vancouver and Amsterdam!

Best regards,

Joaquim Ferreira
Chair, MDS-ES