European Section

First Annual MDS-ES Summer School a Resounding Success!

MarburgThe inaugural MDS-ES Summer School for Young Neurologists was held on July 11-13, 2008 in Marburg, Germany. Course Directors Wolfgang Oertel and Niall Quinn led ten additional faculty and 47 students from 21 countries through an interactive three-day course. The Summer School began with a half-day of "Ten Minute Topics," presented by expert faculty from throughout Europe. Students were presented with a basic overview of the epidemiology and phenomenology of a wide range of Movement Disorder cases.

"The lectures were presented by eminent Movement Disorders specialists in a passionate and intelligible way, and provided the principles upon which to evaluate the phenomenology of Movement Disorders," recounted Brunilda Zlami of Tirana, Albania.

On the second day, students were divided into small groups and rotated among twelve rooms, with the opportunity to examine a total of 20 Movement Disorder patients under the supervision of one of the twelve faculty members. Students were given the opportunity to ask questions of each patient's case history and perform clinical examinations/tests to determine the diagnosis, which was unknown to them.

In the afternoon of the second day, 35 students presented their own videos of Movement Disorder patients to their peers and faculty, from which the faculty selected eight videos to go forwards for presentation the following day. Saturday concluded with a Video Dinner, in which Niall Quinn, Angelo Antonini, Evzen Ruzicka and Bastiaan Bloem shared their most unusual cases with the students, describing the importance of certain characteristics and clues in diagnosing Movement Disorder patients.

summer school class
Faculty and student participants of the MDS-ES Summer School in Marburg.

"The combination between the lectures and the practical sessions made this school unique," commented Danjela Ndoja of Tirana, Albania.

Day three began with an overview of treatment strategies. Students then voted on the most instructional videos from day two, with the four presenters receiving complimentary registration to the MDS 13th International Congress in Paris. These students were Irene Martinez-Torres of London, United Kingdom, Katrin Sikk of Tallinn, Estonia, Anas Jouhar of Damascus, Syria and Carola Seifried of Frankfurt, Germany.

"At the close of the Marburg Summer School, students were asked to suggest improvements for future years. In testimony to the enthusiasm generated there and despite an ambitiously packed program, there was only one unanimous suggestion: 'We would have liked it to have been longer,'" commented Mary Docherty of York, United Kingdom.

"Hopefully this is to be an annual event, with the second Summer School, in 2009, also taking place in Marburg, and thereafter rotating through other European centers. Prof Oertel's team in Marburg is to be congratulated on their thorough and excellent planning and organization, and the patients for their generous participation, and also for their very positive appreciation of the value of the exercise both for the students and also for the patients themselves," recounted Co-Director Niall Quinn of London, United Kingdom.

Alumni of the first MDS-ES Summer School can look forward to a reunion at the MDS 13th International Congress in Paris.

MDS-ES would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous support: Boehringer Ingelheim, Novartis, Roche, Solvay, Teva and UCB.