Welcome from the Chair
Olivier Rascol, MD, PhD
Professor of Clinical Pharmacology at Toulouse University Hospital, Toulouse, France
MDS-European Section Chair
In the second half of 2014, MDS-ES has been working to strengthen partnerships within Europe through developing collaborations for scientific meetings, partnering with patient associations, developing the ES national research networks, and expanding the MDS-ES educational programs.
MDS-ES Leadership was involved in two large European neurology meetings in 2014: the Joint Congress of the EFNS-ENS, which was held in Istanbul, Turkey, May 31-June 3, and the 18th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders in Stockholm, Sweden, June 8-12, 2014.
Following these meetings, MDS-ES leadership began working with the newly formed European Academy of Neurology (EAN) on a future agreement. MDS-ES enjoyed a fruitful collaboration with the European Federation of Neurological Societies (EFNS) for over 10 years, and we aim to continue as a partner and leader in Movement Disorder education with the EAN.
In the meantime, MDS-ES is planning the movement disorders education for the 1st EAN Congress in Berlin, Germany, June 20-23, 2015, and for the 2nd EAN Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 28-31, 2016. Another exciting new collaboration is an agreement with the European Association of Nuclear Medicine for the MDS-ES to organize a joint symposium at their annual meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden, October 18-22, 2014.
Another segment that MDS-ES is working to develop collaborations with is patient groups. MDS-ES, under the direction of Dr. Anette Schrag, has been working with the European Parkinson’s Disease Association (EPDA) on their new project titled “My PD Journey”, and a second potential collaboration that MDS-ES will be working on, under the direction of Prof. Werner Poewe, is the 2015 World Parkinson’s Disease Day.
In addition to these initiatives, MDS-ES has been working to provide a forum for researchers in Europe to exchange network experience and projects. There may be future potential funding opportunities in European networking, and in order to better understand the organization of existing national PD networks within Europe the MDS-ES has been working to identify these networks and the available resources. I have appointed Prof. Huw Morris to lead the “MDS-ES National Research Networks” project, which met for the first time during the MDS Congress in Stockholm, Sweden. There is an unmet potential for sharing data and collaborating across countries, and our hope is to help facilitate future collaborations among MDS-ES members.
MDS-ES is also expanding this collaborative spirit into the educational initiatives; the section partnered with the MDS Task Force on Africa to help Sub-Saharan African residents participate in educational courses and the MDS-ES Visiting Trainee Grant program, and has increased the number of Developing World Educational Programs in the region from 1 in 2013, to 6 in 2014.
In fact, the Section has developed more courses in 2014 than any year prior, including orphan topic courses on PSP and MSA and a 3-year teaching course series in Morocco that will complete in Casablanca in 2015. By increasing our educational portfolio, MDS-ES has been able to reach more countries, including countries where programs have not been held previously. These countries include: Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova, Serbia, Slovenia, Udmurtia, and Ukraine.
In closing, it has been an active and collaborative year for MDS-ES. Looking forward, the 2015 MDS-ES Nominating Committee is in the process of forming to complete their task of defining the slate of candidates for MDS-ES leadership for the 2015-2017 term so that the work of the ES may continue to move forward.