New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, was the site for The Movement Disorder Society's (MDS) International Congress, held March 5-8 at the New Orleans Marriott and the Sheraton New Orleans hotels. Just steps away from the world-famous French Quarter, these two venues proved to be an extremely desirable location for delegates during their free time.
Due to the increased popularity of the International Congress, and the growth of the Society, 2005 marked the first year for an annual International Congress, shifting away from its traditional biennial Congress.
Similar to the last two International Congresses, Kickoff Seminars started off the week on Saturday, March 5. That evening, delegates gathered for the traditional Opening Ceremony at the New Orleans Marriott hotel. During the Welcome Reception that followed, delegates were entertained by the sounds of Preservation Hall, a popular and traditional jazz band local to the city, while sampling New Orleans cuisine and viewing the exhibit hall prior to the official opening.
The Scientific Program continued throughout the week with 221 faculty participating in a broad array of Plenary Sessions, Parallel Sessions, Skills Workshops and Video Sessions. Session highlights included the Hot Topics and Controversies session on Monday, March 7 and the Closing Session on Tuesday, March 8.
The Hot Topics Plenary Session included an update on basal ganglia-organization and physiology, surgical interventions and protein dysfunction and neurodegeneration. The Controversies Plenary Session, designed to provide both pro and con sides to several topics, was extremely well received. And finally, the Closing Session, titled "Lessons my patients taught me" provided valuable insight as to what physicians can learn from their patients.
New for this year's International Congress were Parallel Sessions and Skills Workshops. These sessions were designed to meet the need for smaller, more focused sessions attracting between 50-200 delegates for each session. Smaller audience size resulted in greater in-depth coverage of a specific topic and encouraged audience participation.
Several awards were also announced at the International Congress. Alim Benabid received the C. David Marsden lectureship award for his work with DBS in Parkinson's disease and Heiko Braak received the Stanley Fahn lectureship award for his work relating to brain pathology in sporadic Parkinson's disease.
Other award recipients included: Peter Novak, who received the Junior Award in the clinical category and Nutan Sharma who received the Junior Award in the basic science category. Peter Jenner and Thomas Chase received the Honorary Membership and Career Awards, and Stanley Fahn received the President's Distinguished Service Award.
Throughout the week, delegates were also able to view a spectacular history exhibit, organized by Christopher Goetz, MD, which honored the 250th anniversary of James Parkinson's birth, focusing on Parkinson himself and the early history of Parkinson's disease.
Thirty-three companies exhibited at this year's International Congress, including pharmaceutical companies, patient organizations, medical publishers and medical services/equipment companies. Supporters of the 9th International Congress, who greatly contributed to the success of this event, also exhibited.
The Movement Disorder Society would like to extend their appreciation to supporters, faculty, exhibitors and delegates for their contributions in making the 9th International Congress a resounding success.
Mark your calendars! MDS is already planning for the 10th International Congress in Kyoto, Japan from October 29-November 2, 2006. If you have any questions about the 2006 International Congress, please contact the MDS International Secretariat by e-mail at or visit the MDS website at www.movementdisorders.org.