European Section

MDS-ES Chair

European Section

Evžen Růžička, MD, DSc, FCMA
Charles University Prague
Prague, Czech Republic
MDS-ES Chair


January 2018

It is my pleasure to address my colleagues for the first time in the position of Chair of the MDS-ES. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my predecessor Joaquim Ferreira, the outgoing MDS-ES Officers and the Executive and Education Committees for their excellent work and devoted service for the MDS. Thanks also to Sabine Gifford that provided excellent service as MDS-ES secretariat in the previous period, and let me wish an equally successful continuation to Heather Vitale who follows on.

Over the past period, the membership and all educational and scientific activities of the section have been significantly expanded and also all other MDS-ES plans have been implemented with an admirable success. It is a great commitment to follow on such an excellent period.

In June 2017, the MDS-ES contributed significantly to the program of the Third EAN Congress in Amsterdam. MDS-ES has played pivotal role in preparation and conduction of eleven sessions on movement disorders topics presented in a variety of course formats including teaching courses, workshops, hands on and interactive sessions, symposia and a controversies session. In addition, the tradition of the Basal Ganglia Club continued with a lecture on Clinical Pharmacology in Parkinson’s disease: lessons and perspectives, from Olivier Rascol. With more than 6,000 attendees of the Congress, our sessions have traditionally been among the most visited and highest rated. Meanwhile, the preparations for the 2018 Congress, which will take place in Lisbon, Portugal, have already been done.  Please watch for the call for session proposals for the 2019 EAN Congress in Oslo, Norway.

Prof. Wolfgang Oertel (left) receives an award from Prof. Evžen Růžička to commemorate the 10-year aniversary of the Summer and Winter Schools for Young Neurologists.In late July 2017, we had an exceptional opportunity to commemorate 10 years since the launch of the trailblazing educational project of MDS-ES, the MDS-ES Summer and Winter Schools for Young Neurologists. Since 2008, MDS-ES has held 10 Summer Schools and 6 Winter Schools which have educated over 700 young neurologists from the European Section, many of whom have become movement disorder specialists. Several school alumni are already spreading education themselves by serving as faculty and course directors on subsequent MDS-ES course programs. This year's 10th anniversary school returned to Marburg, Germany where Wolfgang Oertel launched this incredibly successful program 10 years ago. I was especially honored to hand over to him the MDS plaque commemorating the program’s success.

In September, MDS-ES presented three educational events for our allied health colleagues: the already successful Physiotherapy Summer School was continued in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom (Lynn Rochester and Alice Nieuwboer – course directors); and two new allied health education programs began in 2017: the 1st Speech and Swallowing in Parkinson’s Disease School in Aix-en-Provence, France (Serge Pinto – course director); and the 1st MDS-ES Summer School for Nurses was held in Torres Vedras, Portugal (Joaquim Ferreira and Louise Ebenezer – course directors).  MDS-ES educated a total of 88 allied health professionals at these programs.

In the final months of 2017, a variety of new and continuing MDS-ES educational programs took place. In October, Angelo Antonini led a continuation of the Management of Advanced Parkinson’s Disease with Infusion Therapies course series in Venice, Italy; and Robert Jech organized the first course on Diagnostics and Treatment of Spastic Paresis in Prague, Czech Republic.  Elena Moro led a continuation of the Advanced DBS for Movement Disorders course in Grenoble, France. This course was a great success with over 80 participants and a number of interested individuals on a registration waiting list. Earlier in 2017, Elena Moro also established a new MDS-ES Summer School on Neuromodulation for Movement Disorders expanding the portfolio of MDS-ES schools to include a surgical topic.

It was especially gratifying to see our young colleagues, Gertrúd Tamás and Matěj Škorvánek to contribute by staging a very successful symposium on Tremor: from Basic Science to Clinical Diagnosis and Therapy in Budapest, Hungary, with local and international speakers and over 100 participants.

These diverse programs all certainly deserve a continuation. In total, MDS-ES live educational programs educated 885 doctors, young neurologists, basic scientists and allied health professionals in 2017. 

The MDS Outreach Program helped to further disseminate knowledge about movement disorders in Europe and in neighboring culturally and linguistically close areas. MDS-ES speakers attended the Russian congress on movement disorders in Moscow, including a separate MDS-ES educational program. Further outreach courses included a program on Botulinum Toxin in Neurological Practice in Sofia, Bulgaria. Earlier in the year, DWEP programs were held in Cairo, Egypt; Yerevan, Armenia; and Kazan, Russia.  In 2017, over 900 people were educated through the MDS-ES Outreach programs.

These were at least in short the MDS-ES educational activities since June 2017. I would like to conclude by saying that it is a great honor and pleasure for me to contribute to these activities with benefiting a hardworking and friendly atmosphere that lies between MDS-ES Officers, supported by the MDS-ES Executive and Educational Committees, in conformity and close collaboration with the MDS Chair, Officers and committees. However most prominent and significant contribution depends on our individual members.

Let me finally wish all members of MDS successful launch of the New Year, good health and lots of professional success and personal joy in 2018.