Asian and Oceanian Section

AOPMC Congress debuts in India

Report of the 2nd Asian and Oceanian Parkinson’s Disease and Movement disorders Congress (AOPMC) and 7th Asian and Pacific Parkinson’s Association (APPA), New Delhi, February 15-17, 2009

By Dr. Tim Anderson, MD
Secretary-Elect, Asian Oceanian Section

The hardworking local organizing committee, led by Dr. Madhuri Behari.
Photo: The hardworking local organizing committee, led by Dr. Madhuri Behari.

The 2nd Asian and Oceanian Parkinson’s Disease and Movement disorders Congress (AOPMC) and 7th International symposium of Asian and Pacific Parkinson’s Association (7thAPPA) were held at New Delhi, February 15-17, 2009 hosted by the Department of Neurology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and The Movement Disorder Society (MDS) at India Habitat Center. They were also supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), Indian Academy of Neurology (IAN), Delhi Neurological Association (DNA), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The tragic events in Mumbai on November 29, 2008 had threatened the viability of the Congresses, but the international faculty and MDS-AOS executive committee members alike strongly endorsed the continuation of the meetings in support of the local organizing committee. The Congresses subsequently proved to be a tremendous success vindicating the decision to proceed.

The 2nd AOPMC was attended by 330 delegates: 255 were from India and 75 were from Australia, Bangladesh, Cairo, Canada, Greece, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Napier, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore,  Switzerland, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, U.K., USA, and Vietnam.

The 7th APPA was attended by 97 patients (and an equal number of caregivers)  and 189 allied health workers like nurses, physiotherapists, occupation therapists, speech therapists, social scientists and nutrition and diet specialists, of which 12 were from various parts of the world. In total there were 717 delegates in the two congresses. Another 37 physicians registered for the educational course. Additionally, 54 faculty members, consisting of the invited speakers and the chairpersons were derived from USA (9) and UK (5), 25 from the Asian – Oceanian region and 15 from India. 

It was the first time that a congress specially meant for neuroscientists, researchers, persons with Parkinson (PWP), caregivers of PWP and allied health workers had been held in India. It provided a unique opportunity to PWP to interact with specialists in the field and other health workers in the field and also vice versa.

The AOPMC Congress was inaugurated by Dr.. Anthony E Lang, President of MDS (Central) along with the Guest of Honour Dr.. Robert Iansek, President of MDS-AOS.  The program and abstract book for the 2nd Asian & Oceanian Parkinson’s disease and Movement disorders Congress (AOPMC) was released by the Guest of Honour. 

There were two industry-sponsored sessions covering two major areas of movement disorders, namely continuous dopamine stimulation including the basics, concepts and clinical applications, and Botulinum toxin. Experts covering these topics included Dr. Eduardo Tolosa (Spain), Per Odin (Germany), KR Chaudhury (UK), Dr.. Daniel Truong (Canada), Dr. Erle Lim ( Taiwan), Dr. Rupam Borgohain ( India) and Dr. Vinay Goyal (India). In addition, there were two breakfast sessions, two video sessions, two parallel sessions and seven plenary sessions and an industry-sponsored educational course. Since videos are an integral part of teaching of movement disorders, most sessions including the breakfast sessions were peppered with videos for better understanding and teaching. The sessions covered all types of movement disorders including chorea, tremors, PSP, MSA, Corticobasal degeneration, psychogenic movement disorders and dystonias.

Breakfast sessions provided updates on tremor, chorea MSA and PSP. Particular highlights were the plenary sessions dedicated to movement disorders in Asia, and which dealt with Lubag syndrome, which is very specific to the Philippines, dystonia in Asia, infections and movement disorders, and metals and movement disorders with particular emphasis on iron related disorders and Wilson’s disease (copper related) which is rather common in India.

The plenary session dedicated to interventions in Parkinson’s disease was received with a lot of enthusiasm as it covered very recent topics such as deep brain stimulation by Dr. Asha Kishore (India), cell based therapy in Parkinson’s disease by Dr. Shin Ichi Muramatsu (Japan) and recently published gene therapy in Parkinson’s disease by William Marks (USA). An Educational course on Management of Parkinson’s was presented by Dr. Yoshikuni Mizuno (President MDS-Japan), Dr. Oscar Gershanik Treasurer- MDS, Dr. Uday Muthane (India), Dr. Kapil Sethi (USA), Dr. SL Ho (Secretary Education Committee MDS-AOS Hong Kong), and Dr. Mark Stacy (USA) comprehensively covered all aspects of PD management.

The video sessions, the first chaired by Drs. Tan, Lang and Wali, and the second by Drs. Sethi and Thompson, proved as expected to be very popular and included discussion of videos brought in by the participants and evoked lots of interest among the participants.

A total of 76 free papers were accepted as poster presentations in the 2nd AOPMC & 7th APPA. Three best posters in AOPMC and one best paper in APPA received awards which were presented by Dr. Philip Thompson, President-elect of The Movement Disorder Society (Australia). Travel bursaries were awarded to 5 international and 10 Indian participants.

In the evening a special Village themed dinner was organized for the PWP and the delegates of APPA as part of the inaugural dinner.  PWP and their caregivers thoroughly enjoyed the evening with the Walking Puppets, approximately 8 feet high Stilt Walker, a person applying henna, village artisans selling their wares, in addition to fire-eaters.  A special magic show and Puppet Show was also organized for the guests.  The delegates were mesmerized by the magician’s act of lifting himself 6 feet high off of the ground. 

As part of the inaugural function for the 2nd AOPMC conference Dances of India was organized for the delegates.  The delegates enjoyed the dances from different states of India and needed little persuasion to join the dancers on stage and exhibit the full gamut of disorders of movement masquerading as dancing!  The weather was extremely equitable throughout the meeting, enhancing the enjoyment of having morning and afternoon tea and lunch (delicious Indian cuisine) outside on the lawn within the venue precinct.
The MDS-AOS executive looks forward to welcoming all MDS members, both within the region and elsewhere, to the 3rd AOPMC in March 2011 in Taipei, Taiwan.