Theme: Multi-System Proteinopathies: From Paradigm Shift to Therapy
Contributed by Victor Fung, MBBS, PhD, FRACP
Chair, Congress Scientific Program Committee
The new year has arrived and the 19th MDS International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders is fast approaching! We look forward to welcoming you to the beautiful harbour city of San Diego from June 14-18, 2015 to see our distinguished faculty deliver cutting edge updates on clinical and scientific topics across the field of Parkinson's disease and movement disorders, but just as importantly to form or renew friendships and collaborations with colleagues from around the globe. And when your mind needs some rest and rejuvenation, in the accompanying article Prof. Irene Litvan, Chair of the Congress Local Organizing Committee, has outlined some of the recreational highlights of San Diego.
At each annual MDS Congress, the Congress Scientific Program Committee selects a theme that is highlighted throughout the meeting. The discovery of protein misfolding as one of the key pathological features of neurodegenerative disease, and subsequent observations on the ability of abnormal proteins to self-propagate and transmit disease, has led to successful disease-modifying treatment in animal models and the hope of human trials. This year’s theme, “Multi-System Proteinopathies: From Paradigm Shift to Therapy” will be showcased in two Plenary Sessions, seven Parallel Sessions, one Skills Workshop, two Video Sessions and one Teaching Course.
The 2015 International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders is a very special event. It marks the 25th year anniversary of MDS Congresses, the first of which was held in Washington, D.C., in 1990. A number of sessions will contain highlights to commemorate this anniversary. The Therapeutic Plenary Sessions on Sunday will include historical perspectives on how changes in how we think about hypokinetic and hyperkinetic movement disorders over the last 25 years have shaped our treatment.
The Opening Plenary Session on Monday, June 15 will be the Presidential Lectures, which celebrate the contributions of Stanley Fahn (awarded to Guenther Deuschl) and C. David Marsden (awarded to Jose Obeso). This will be followed by a very special highlight, Movement Disorders Grand Rounds, where the four clinical experts assessing the patients and discussing their cases will be Stanley Fahn, Joseph Jankovic, Andrew Lees and Eduardo Tolosa, who together with the late C. David Marsden founded The Movement Disorder Society in 1985.
Wednesday evening, June 17, will mark the 8th year of the MDS Video Challenge. Interesting and challenging cases chosen from around the world will be presented by fellows or junior MDS members representing their countries, and awards given to the best presentations. The cases will be discussed by a senior Panel of Experts who will enlighten the audience by demonstrating their diagnostic reasoning.
On Wednesday morning, MDS will be showcasing a new Plenary Session: Breaking News in Movement Disorders. Don't miss this session which will highlight major clinical and scientific breakthroughs and news that are hot off the press, and which were too recent to have been included on the program when it was finalized.
On Thursday, June 18, the final day of the Congress, the Blue Ribbon Highlights session will review the most important basic and clinical research findings presented by delegates during the course of the meeting. There are of course many more highlights for which there is insufficient space to mention specifically, but which are available to review in detail in the Scientific Program.
The CSPC has again strived to devise a program with broad appeal to clinicians, basic scientists, allied health professionals and trainees and we firmly believe there is something for everyone at the San Diego Congress. The MDS Congress is one of the key raisons d'être of MDS. Ultimately, its success is measured by the engagement and participation of its delegates and speakers, not the program.
We hope though that the program will serve as an irresistible scientific temptation and I look forward to seeing you all in San Diego in June!