Course Report: Bridges and Boundaries in Movement Disorders: The Role of Neuroimaging

Course participants gather for a photo in Pisa, Italy.

The Bridges and Boundaries in Movement Disorders: The Role of Neuroimaging took place at the University of Pisa, in Pisa, Italy, November 11-12, 2015.

The course was directed by Roberto Ceravolo, MD, from the University of Pisa in Pisa, Italy, and included the following faculty members: Angelo Antonini, MD, PhD (Venice, Italy), Ubaldo Bonuccelli, MD (Pisa, Italy), Mirco Cosottini, MD (Pisa, Italy), Rick Helmich, MD (Nijmegen, Netherlands), Nicola Pavese, MD, PhD (London, United Kingdom), Patrice Peran, PhD (Toulouse, France), Christoph Scherfler, MD (Innsbruck, Austria), Andrea Pilotto, MD (Tübingen, Germany).

Day one of the course included the topics:

  • The clinical dilemmas in parkinsonisms: How can neuroimaging help in the differential diagnosis?
  • Conventional MRI in parkinsonisms
  • Advanced MRI in parkinsonisms: diffusion and tensor imaging
  • Multimodal MRI in Parkinson’s disease and parkinsonian syndromes
  • The role of SPECT in the differential diagnosis of parkinsonisms
  • PET studies in parkinsonisms
  • Mapping amyloid and protein aggregation in parkinsonisms

Day 1 concluded with a presentation of various patient case studies presented by Dr. Roberto Ceravolo and Prof. Ubaldo Bonuccelli.

Day 2 of the course included the topics:

  • Compensatory mechanisms in “pre-motor” Parkinson’s disease: can neuroimaging unveil the mystery?
  • Focus on substantia nigra: The transcranic ultrasound experience
  • Focus on substantia nigra: The 7 Tesla “adventure”
  • The pathophysiology of essential tremor and parkinsonian tremor
  • The cognitive spectrum in Parkinson’s disease: clinical predictors versus imaging biomarkers
  • Dopamine receptors: which implications for cognitive and psychiatric complications in Parkinson’s disease?
  • Molecular imaging in dementia-Parkinson
  • Huntington’s disease: what did we learn from neuroimaging?

The course concluded with additional case studies presented by all faculty and course director, Dr. Ceravolo.

The course was attended by 49 participants from 17 countries, including: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.  The MDS-ES section awarded five travel bursaries for attendees from underserved areas in Europe to participate in the course. 

Overall the participant evaluations were positive: 79% of participants felt that the content of the program was relevant to their practice; 76% felt that the activity enhanced their professional effectiveness; 95% of participants would like to see MDS continue to offer educational activities on this topic.