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International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society
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        VOLUME 28, ISSUE 2 • JUNE 2024.  Full issue »

Society Updates: June 2024  

As we head toward September and the 2024 International Congress in Philadelphia, it is sobering to reflect that the current MDS Leadership are already 9 months into their 2-year term.  

I am pleased to report that the over 1,000 MDS members who volunteer in our more than 100 committees continue to work tirelessly in achieving our extremely varied but common goals that are spread across the globe. Our membership remains at over 10,000 (almost 1000 higher than the equivalent timepoint in 2023), and renewals typically increase incrementally through the calendar year. Please encourage others to join to gain access to the many offerings of the MDS, especially those who are eligible for no-fee membership — including all residents, fellows, those training in healthcare or scientific research from any country, and all residents of specified lower income countries. 

With respect to the three key goals that were set for the current term, I am pleased to report that the MDS Committee for Equality of Access to Care, chaired and co-chaired by Njideka Okubadejo and Priya Jagota, had their first meeting. The committee includes members from all of our 4 Regional Sections, as well as representation from WHO, the World Federation of Neurology, the Edmond J Safra Foundation, Michael J Fox Foundation, and the Transforming Parkinson's Care in Africa (TraPCAf) Global Health Project. One of the ultimate aims is to develop or participate and contribute to existing programs that will lead to actual delivery of health care, including medicines, to underserved communities. The goal of enhanced equality of regional representation in all MDS groups has been advanced by ensuring that there has been regional (as well as gender) balance in the makeup in the 2023-2025 leadership rosters. The goal of enhancing the engagement of MDS with patients and carers is still in active development. 

The 2024 International Congress in Philadelphia is of course imminent. The meeting promises to facilitate important and exciting conversations that will define our field moving forward. The theme for the Congress is “Movement Disorders in the Digital Age: Harnessing AI for Better Lives,” but there will be a complete lineup of all topics of importance for clinicians and researchers: 

  • The Scientific Program excellently captures the scientific momentum of the moment, including emerging technologies that could become applicable in infinite ways 
  • New at our international Congress in 2024, for the first time there will be an opportunity for groundbreaking clinical and basic science research to be presented in the keynote and breakthroughs plenary sessions. Our Congress should be the natural home for major Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorder clinical trials results to be presented for the first time. This promises to be a key educational offering from this year into the future 
  • All four Regional Sections will share more about their bold new Action Plans to implement our strategic plan around the globe during the Regional Assemblies 
  • Nearly 100 MDS groups will convene to advance key areas of work 

I urge you join us in Philadelphia to be part of the exchange. I would also welcome your thoughts and suggestions about how to take our Society forward, either via reaching out to me via email or in person at the Congress. 

Of course, if you can’t make it, there are other ways to make an impact:  

  • Join a Study Group to engage in ongoing research 
    MDS Study Groups have seen immense growth, since they are now open for all members to join. These collaborative research groups already produce a prolific body of work within the field, and with more voices and hands to help, we hope to continue and expand our meaningful contributions to the research landscape.  
  • Prepare election nominations 
    While it’s not an election year, the nomination process for the next slate of leaders begins soon. Learn how the process works, and the role you play, in an election overview article in this issue of Moving Along. Please consider nominating yourself or another individual that you think has strong leadership qualities and qualifications. 

I look forward to hopefully seeing you in Philadelphia. 


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