Course Report: Third Annual Winter School - Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade, Serbia
February 28 – March 2, 2014

Winter School participants and faculty gather in Belgrade, Serbia, 2014.The 3rd annual MDS-ES Winter School for Young Neurologists was held in Belgrade, Serbia, on February 28th to March 2nd, 2014.  With only 48 places available and a total of 138 submitted applications, acceptance into the program was quite competitive.  Those who were not able to attend the 2014 Winter School are welcome to apply again for a future MDS course.

The course was held at the School of Medicine Institute of Neurology in Belgrade.  Vladimir Kostiæ (Belgrade, Serbia), Angelo Antonini (Venice, Italy), and Kailash Bhatia (London, United Kingdom) served as the Course Directors. An additional 13 faculty participated in the course: Alberto Albanese (Milano, Italy), Paolo Barone (Naples, Italy), Vincenzo Bonifati (Rotterdam, The Netherlands),  Carlo Colosimo (Rome, Italy), Nataša Dragaševiæ Miškoviæ (Belgrade, Serbia), Nir Giladi (Tel Aviv, Israel), Olivier Rascol (Tolouse, France), Evžen Růžička (Prague, Czech Republic), Elka Stefanova (Belgrade, Serbia), Pille Taba (Tartu, Estonia),  Eduardo Tolosa (Barcelona, Spain), and Marie Vidailhet (Paris, France).

The first day focused on Parkinson’s and the basics of movement disorders and included seven plenary lectures. In addition, expert-guided patient examinations were conducted in the afternoon. The participants were led by expert faculty members in examining 10 patients. The day concluded with a dinner featuring a selection of interesting patient videos shown by faculty with a round-table discussion facilitated by engaging participants through questions.

The second day included plenary lectures on hyperkinetic movement disorders and complex issues like dystonia, chorea, tremor, gait, and DBS in movement disorders. In the afternoon the participants had the opportunity to interact with five patients in examination sessions guided by expert faculty members. Later, the participants were divided into ten groups of four to five participants each to share their video cases. This “Bring Your Own Video Case” session was designed in order to give the chance for participants to share their own patient videos with fellow participants. The faculty then met privately to discuss the student presentations and select the best case from each group. The evening concluded with the group dinner in a traditional Serbian restaurant, and as a result of a tie, 11 top student presentations were announced instead of 10.

The third day addressed ataxia, myoclonus, secondary movement disorders, and psychogenic movement disorders.  Eleven finalists then presented their cases to the other participants, who chose their top three cases. Congratulations were issued to Panagiota Tsitsi (Greece), Miguel Grilo (Portugal), and Alessandro Capuano (Italy) who received first, second, and third place, respectively. The winner was awarded with free registration to the 18th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders in Stockholm, Sweden.

Evaluations showed marked improvement in participants’ confidence in examining a patient with a movement disorder, making a diagnosis on straightforward movement disorders cases, and presenting a movement disorders case history. All participants agreed that the course was relevant to their practice and would enhance their professional effectiveness and their care of patients. Overall, the course was a great success. Thank you to all who participated and come back to Belgrade soon!