Website Edition: August/September 2012

Record attendance numbers reached in Dublin

The 16th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders, held in Dublin, Ireland on June 17-21, 2012, was the most successful and highest attended MDS Congress thus far! Filled with history and tradition, beautiful scenery, vibrant night life, flourishing culture and warm and friendly people, Dublin proved to be a perfect setting for 5,100 people to come together to network and to learn about the latest research and perspectives in the field of Movement Disorders. Everyone’s participation made for several highlights during the week:

  • 5,100 total people registered (including press and exhibitors)
  • 82 countries represented
  • 151 Travel Grants awarded
  • 182 faculty members participated in the Scientific Sessions
  • 1,598 posters and 38 late-breaking posters accepted
  • 4 Therapeutic Plenary Sessions
  • 9 Plenary Sessions
  • 19 Parallel Sessions
  • 8 Teaching Courses
  • 7 Video Sessions
  • 15 Skills Workshops
  • 16 Guided Poster Tours
  • 41 companies exhibited
  • 22 representatives from the press attended

Prof. David John Burn led the Congress Scientific Program Committee (CSPC) to make every effort to ensure that the science for the 16th International Congress was diverse and educational. The 2012 Scientific Program incorporated Therapeutic Plenary Sessions, Corporate Therapeutic Symposia, Plenary and Parallel Sessions, Teaching Courses, Video Sessions, Skills Workshops, Controversies, Blue Ribbon Highlights, Poster Sessions and Guided Poster Tours. There were 13 sessions that were related to this year’s theme of “The perils and promises of genetics in movement disorders” which allowed participants to have an educational and comprehensive overview on this subject.

This year a record number of abstracts were accepted. Therefore, MDS built four marquee buildings for the posters next door to the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) to better accommodate a large amount of delegates in the poster viewing area. As well as being the highest attended meeting the CCD has had since it opened in 2010, this was also the first time that any group has put posters in self-built marquees before.

All eight Teaching Courses from the 16th International Congress are available on DVD-ROM for purchase which includes slides, audio, video and the accompanying syllabi. All 13 Themed Courses are also available on DVD-ROM for purchase which includes slides, audio and video. To order these DVDs, please visit www.mdscongress2012.org/.

The first official evening of the 16th International Congress commenced with the Welcome Ceremony on Sunday, June 17. The Chair of the Congress Local Organizing Committee, Prof. Timothy Lynch, opened the evening by introducing The Taoiseach (the prime minister of Ireland), Enda Kenny, who gave the official welcome address to the delegates. MDS President Günther Deuschl distributed the following awards during the Welcome Ceremony:

Honorary Member Awards
Mark Hallett, Bethesda, MD, USA
Eduardo Tolosa, Barcelona, Spain

President’s Distinguished Service Award
Hubert Fernandez, Cleveland, OH, USA
Marcelo Merello, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Stanley Fahn Award
Andrew Lees, London, United Kingdom

C. David Marsden Award
John Hardy, London, United Kingdom

Junior Awards
Marios Politis, London, United Kingdom
Norbert Brüggemann, Lübeck, Germany
Karin Tuschl, London, United Kingdom

Additionally, 151 Travel Grants were distributed.

The presentation of awards was followed by a performance by the famous Irish accordionist, Sharon Shannon and her band. Halfway into their performance, the Celtic Dance Fusion joined them on stage for an unforgettable concert that left everyone sitting at the edge of their seats, tapping their feet and wanting more. After the Ceremony, the band continued to play in the foyer while people enjoyed dancing, wine and good company.

For the first time ever, MDS hosted an event at The National Concert Hall on Tuesday, June 19 along with the RTÉ Orchestra. The evening was filled with discussion and a full concert performance with Irish traditional phenomenon Lúnasa. Professor Steven Frucht led the talk on the science of learning music and the effect this has on the brain.

This Congress introduced a unique new session to the Scientific Program called The Movement Disorders Grand Rounds Session which was held on Tuesday, June 19. The session invited six local patients to participate in a live-audience diagnostic question-and-answer session with a panel of MDS experts. The purpose of the session was for the audience to observe an on-the-spot examination and diagnosis of a patient by some of the top experts in the field of Movement Disorders.

The session was very well received by Congress delegates with over 700 in audience attendance. Special thanks go to the local doctors and chairs for their hard work and involvement in the development of this session, and to the volunteer patients for their enthusiasm and participation.

About 2,000 delegates gathered to watch unique Movement Disorder cases on the evening of Wednesday, June 20 during the 5th Annual MDS Video Games. The cases presented were selected from a large number of submissions by an international panel of reviewers. Led by the Masters of Ceremony Anthony Lang and Kapil Sethi, the world-renowned Panel of Experts engaged the audience by guiding them through the thought process of diagnosing challenging cases.

The ten cases that were presented to the Panel of Experts and the three short cases that were shown from the Masters of Ceremony came from Movement Disorder Centers around the world which offered an enjoyable spirit of competition to this event. The Gold medal was awarded to Tartu University Hospital in Estonia (presented by Liis Sabre; Neurosyphilis), the Silver medal was awarded to Centro Hospitalar de Porto in Portugal (presented Joana Damasio; NCL freezing) and the Bronze medal was awarded to Westmead Hospital (presented by Ainhi Ha; AV fistula).

The Movement Disorder Society would like to thank all of the institutions and national Movement Disorder groups who submitted a Letter of Intent at the start of this process and would especially like to thank those who were selected to present their case during the MDS Video Games. A DVD-ROM of the MDS Video Games is available for purchase by ordering from the MDS website. Please watch the 2013 Congress website for more information about upcoming deadlines if you are interested in participating in the 6th Annual MDS Video Games to be held in Sydney on June 19, 2013.

To claim CME credit for your participation in the MDS 16th International Congress, please visit www.mdscongress2012.org/cme/ and complete the on-screen instructions using your registration file number.

The Movement Disorder Society would also like to extend their gratitude to faculty, supporters, exhibitors and delegates for coming to Dublin and for helping make the 16th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders another successful meeting! As James Joyce said himself, “When I die, Dublin will be written in my heart.”

Mark your calendars! MDS is already planning for the 17th International Congress in Sydney, Australia on June 16-20, 2013. Please visit our dedicated Congress 2013 website for current details regarding this Congress or contact the International Secretariat at congress@movementdisorders.org with any questions.