Communications of the European Neurological Society
Prior to the commencement of the Presidential Symposium of the 18th
Meeting of the European Neurological Society, memorial speeches will be given in
honour of Professor PK Thomas (1928-2008) and
Professor John Newsom-Davis (1932-2007).
Garreth Llewellyn, London, will deliver the eulogy to Professor PK Thomas, and
Alastair Compston, Cambridge, the eulogy to Professor John Newsom-Davis.
Prof. Gustave Moonen, President-elect of the ENS, will assume office as President in a ceremony to be
conducted before the Presidential Symposium takes place on Monday, June 9, 2008, during the
18th ENS Meeting in Nice, France. He succeeds Prof. Giancarlo Comi of Milan,
Italy. Prof. Moonen’s term of office will extend to next year’s meeting of the
Society, which will convene in Milan, Italy, from June 20-24, 2009.
The Presidential Symposium of the 18th ENS in Nice, France, which will take place
on Monday, June 9, 2008, from 9.00 to 11.00, is entitled: Coma and locked-in
syndrome. Prof. Gustave Moonen, Liège, Chair of the Symposium, will
deliver the first lecture of the series, which is entitled Coma and locked-in syndrome
– Disorders of consciousness. Dr. Nicholas Schiff, New York, will continue
the Symposium by presenting scientific results on the topic Multimodal
neuroimaging studies in coma and related disorders. Dr. Adrian Owen, Cambridge,
will pursue with his presentation concerning Detecting awareness in non-communicative
patients using fMRI. The closing lecture of the Presidential Symposium
will be delivered by Dr. Andrea Kübler, Tübingen, on the application of Thought
translation devices in the locked-in syndrome. Biosketches of the Presidential
Symposium speakers are given below.
Biosketches of Presidential Symposium Speakers
Prof. Gustave Moonen
Prof. Gustave Moonen is a
citizen of Belgium, and the city of Liège, located in the south-east of that country,
has played a central role in his academic and research career. He studied medicine at the
University of Liège, receiving his MD degree in 1971. Neurology and neuroscience
fascinated him from the very beginning of his scientific and medical career, inspiring his
choice to train in neurology under the direction of Professor G. Franck – a former
President of the European Society for Neurology (ESN). The encounter with neurology prompted
him to explore further into neurobiology, which led to a PhD degree in 1980. The title of
his thesis is: Electrophysiology of Cultured Cerebellar Neurons and
Astroglia. During this phase of medical and scientific education, Dr. Gustave
Moonen also trained at the Centre de Neurochimie du CNRS in Strasbourg, France, under Prof.
P. Mandel, in 1973. From 1976 to 1977, he delved into biology at the Developmental
Neurobiology Branch of the National Institutes of Health (NICHD-NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland,
USA, which was headed by Dr. P.G. Nelson. In 1981, he continued this line of research under
Prof. S. Varon at the University of California at San Diego, Department of Biology.
The positions he occupied during the course of his career reflect his concern to combine
clinical neurology with the approaching advances in neuroscience. He was a research fellow,
research associate and senior research associate of the Belgian fund for scientific research
from 1971 to 1986. He subsequently became Professor and Head of the Department of Human
Physiology and Pathophysiology of the University of Liège, a position which he
occupied from 1986 to 1999. Intending to continue his work in clinical neurology, he
accepted the position of Professor and Head of the Department of Neurology of the University
of Liège in 1999. Prof. Moonen holds this post to date. Basic research in the
neurosciences, though, remained a driving force in his professional interests, and for this
reason he assumed the position of President of the Centre of Cellular and Molecular
Neuroscience and of the Cyclotron Research Unit, University of Liège.
In summary, Prof. Moonen’s research interests focus on developmental neuroscience. The
biology of neuronal migration and radial glia, as well as the biology of stem cells and
oligodendrocyte lineage, are the areas in which he concentrates his research activities.
This is followed by investigations concerning the protection and repair of the nervous
system and of Corti’s organ. Prof. Moonen’s research in clinical neurology
involves functional imaging of the vegetative state of minimally conscious patients and of
locked in syndromes. These research activities have led him to write 35 book chapters,
mostly in the field of basic neuroscience. Moreover, Prof. Moonen he has authored 180 papers
published in both clinical and basic research journals (refer to Pubmed).
Awards for outstanding research have also come his way, and Prof. Moonen has been recognised
by various societies and organisations for his investigations in neuroscience and
experimental neurology, such as from the American Physiology Society, Belgian Royal Academy
of Medicine, Belgian Royal Academy of Sciences, Queen Elisabeth Medical Foundation and the
Princess Joséphine Charlotte Foundation. Prof. Moonen is Titular Member of the
Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine.
Membership in the ENS
Prof. Gustave Moonen is a long-standing member of the European Neurological Society. His
close relationship to the Society led to his election to its Executive Committee, which took
place at the Business Meeting in Berlin on Tuesday, June 25, 2002, during the Twelfth
assembly. As a member of the Executive Committee, Prof. Moonen has played a key role in
shaping the future direction of the ENS, and in maintaining its high scientific standards.
Moreover, as chairman of the ENS By-Laws Subcommittee, he guided the discussions to create
novel structures within the organisation, innovations directed to advance its leadership
within European neurology. Prof. Moonen will continue to serve the Society as one of its
most prominent members, i.e. President of the ENS.
Dr. Nicholas Schiff
Dr. Schiff is
physician-scientist with expertise in the area of neurological disorders of consciousness.
His unique research efforts bridge basic neuroscience and clinical investigative studies of
the pathophysiology of impaired consciousness. His research has provided new understanding
of cerebral activity in severely brain-patients using state-of-the art neuroimaging and
neurophysiologic techniques. He has trained broadly in the neurosciences with a primary
emphasis on bringing quantitative system neurophysiology approaches into the field of
disorders of consciousness. Most recently, he and colleagues have taken insights into the
neurophysiological mechanisms of arousal regulation and of deep brain electrical stimulation
techniques to demonstrate for the first time that long-lasting, severe cognitive disability
may be influenced by modulation of the central thalamus. This work is an important
foundation for developing further understanding of both the mechanisms of recovery of
consciousness and basic mechanisms underlying consciousness in the human brain.
Dr. Schiff is Director of the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuromodulation at Weill Cornell
Medical Center, Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neuroscience and
Department of Public Health of Weill Cornell Medical College, and Associate Professor in the
Graduate Program in Neuroscience at the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Graduate School of
Sciences, and Adjunct Faculty at Sanford I. Weill Graduate School of Sciences, and Adjunct
Faculty at the Rockefeller University. Dr. Schiff is also Associate Attending Neurologist at
the New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. A diplomat of the American Board
of Psychiatry and Neurology, Dr. Schiff is an honors graduate of Stanford University and the
Cornell University Medical College. He completed his residency in neurology at the New York
Hospital where he trained with Drs. Fred Plum and Jerome Posner, and developed his
subspecialty interests in the field of impaired consciousness. Dr. Schiff is a co-author of
the 4th Edition of Dr. Plum and Posner's classic textbook The Diagnosis of
Stupor and Coma. He has authored over 50 peer reviewed publications, 20 book
chapters, and multiple international patents. He is active in organising national and
international meetings in fields of disorders of consciousness and application of deep brain
stimulation to traumatic brain injury. He is an ad hoc reviewer for prominent
scientific and medical journals and serves on the scientific advisory board of IntElect
Dr. Schiff is an elected member of the American Neurological Association and has received
several awards, most recently the 2007 Research Award for Innovation in Neuroscience from
the Society for Neuroscience. His long-range goals are to develop neuromodulation strategies
and improved diagnostics for the rational therapy of chronic cognitive disabilities
resulting from brain injuries. Dr. Schiff's present research efforts are supported by
federal grants from the NIH (with current and past support from NINDS, NICHD, and NIMH),
NEI-NIDDR, private foundations (The Jerold B. Katz Foundation, Charles A. Dana Foundation,
James S. McDonnell Foundation, Swartz Foundation, Lounsbery Foundation), and industry
(IntElect Medical, Inc).
Dr. Adrian Owen
Adrian M. Owen received his
PhD from the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London in 1992. He trained
post-doctorally in neuroimaging at the Montreal Neurological Institute, Canada between 1992
and 1996 and was then awarded a Pinsent-Darwin Research Fellowship at the University of
Cambridge, U.K. Since 1997 he has been at the Medical Research Council’s Cognition and
Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge, where he is currently Assistant Director. He is also an
Associate Lecturer in the University of Cambridge Department of Psychiatry and a Fellow of
Dr. Owen has played multiple editorial roles including 8 years as Deputy Editor of The
European Journal of Neuroscience and a recent appointment to the editorial board of
The Journal of Neuroscience. Dr Owen’s research combines functional
neuroimaging (fMRI, PET, MEG) with neuropsychological studies in brain-injured patients.
Specific areas of interest include localisation of function within the human frontostriatal
system, assessing cognitive deficits in patients with Parkinson’s disease and
detecting residual cognitive function in the vegetative state and in related disorders of
Dr. Owen’s recent work, reported in the journal Science, was the first to show
that fMRI can reveal conscious awareness in patients who are diagnosed as vegetative, when
existing clinical methods have been unable to provide that information. This finding
attracted widespread media attention on TV, radio, in print and online and has been the
subject of several TV and radio documentaries. Since 1990, Dr Owen has published over 160
articles and chapters in scientific journals and books.
Dr. Andrea Kübler
Dr. Andrea Kübler is a
biologist and psychologist, and has been working in the field of brain-computer interfacing
(BCI) since the beginning of her PhD studies in 1996. Her biological experience is in
cellular biology and physiology; in psychology her expertise covers biological and clinical
psychology. She has been involved in the development of brain-computer interfaces on the
basis of neuro-feedback and operant conditioning. Her research efforts focus on providing
people with severe motor impairment with a means of communication using different components
of the electrical activity of the brain. Most of the patients she worked with had
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease leading to progressive loss
of motor control. As part of her PhD project she could show – for the first time
– that patients in the locked-in state were able to communicate messages of
considerable length without any muscular involvement using a brain-computer interface. The
psychological aspects of brain-computer interface performance, and the locked-in state, has
been another aspect of her research. Through the work with locked-in patients, she became
interested in how such patients cope with their disorder, that is how they can maintain
quality of life and what factors determine the possible development of depression. Her
involvement in consciousness research was triggered by a collaboration with Prof. J Allan
Hobson on sleep and dreaming in ALS patients. Her current research efforts in the BCI field
are to find out more about the influence of emotion and motivation on BCI performance, to
find reliable psychological and physiological predictors of BCI performance, and to test the
feasibility of brain-computer interfaces for patients with disorders of consciousness.
Following her studies in biology, Dr. Kübler carried out her PhD studies on the
development of brain-computer interfaces for communication in the locked-in state under the
supervision of Prof. Niels Birbaumer at the Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioural
Neurobiology, University of Tübingen, Germany. At the same time she also studied
psychology in Tübingen. During her PhD investigations she temporarily worked with Prof.
John Gruzelier at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine in London. From
2001-2003 she collaborated with Prof. Hugh Garavan and Prof. Ian Robertson at the Department
of Psychology and Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, as
postdoctoral fellow. During this period, she investigated executive function in addiction
using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Back to Tübingen, she received her Habilitation
in psychology in 2005, following supervision by Prof. Niels Birbaumer and Prof. Martin
Hautzinger. Currently, Dr. Kübler works as Senior Lecturer at the School of Human and
Life Sciences, Roehampton University, London, in the group of Prof. Claus Vögele, where
she is continuing her brain-computer interface research and extending her research from
substance related addiction to behavioural addiction, such as eating disorders.
Dr. Kübler published numerous papers on brain-computer interfacing, some of which in
prestigious journals such as Nature and Psychological Bulletin. She headed
the Tübingen part of an NIH funded BRP project, and recently received a grant from the
German Research Society in collaboration with Prof. Klaus-Robert Müller and PD Dr.
Benjamin Blankertz from the Fraunhofer Institute FIRST and the Technical University of
Berlin. She is now part of a large scale integrating project, i.e. an EU funded
collaboration between the leading European brain-computer interfacing groups.
The annual Business Meeting of the ENS is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, June 10, 2008,
11.00 – 12.00 h in Room H of the congress venue, Nice Acropolis Congress Centre in
Nice, France. The topics of the agenda are given below.
- Welcome and introduction: G. Said / G. Moonen
- Young neurologists in training programme: G. Said
- Travel grants: G. Said / G. Moonen
- Teaching Courses: C. Krarup
- Finances and fellowships: A. Steck
- Journal of Neurology: T. Brandt /D. Miller
- Joint Membership AAN / ENS: C. Krarup
- New Bylaws / transition process: G. Moonen
- Activities of the Subcommittees: C. Bassetti
- Certification process: G. Moonen
- Future meetings: C. Comi
Questions from the floor
New to the Annual Meeting of the Society are 18 Workshops organised by the recently
established Subcommittees of the ENS Executive Committee. These Workshops deliver cutting
edge advancements in clinical neurology, diagnostic approaches, with links to neuroscience.
An active involvement of the participants is a key aspect of the Workshops. Members of the
faculty are renown experts in their fields, and in teaching advanced neurology. Register now since
participation in the Workshops is on a first come, first serve basis!
Moreover, practical courses, such as the Teaching Courses and the
Practical Breakfast Sessions in Clinical Neurophysiology,
offer participant access to advanced methods neurology, procedures which can be
immediately implemented. In order to profit from these opportunities,
This Workshop takes place on: Saturday, June, 7, 2008, 10.15 to 11.45 h.
A workshop of particular interest for young neurologists, and those in training, as well as
established neurologists who are interested in educational procedures in neurology in the
USA, is WS9, Training in neurology in the USA. Stephen Sergay, current President of
the AAN, will give an outline of US rules and regulations, and how these can influence
neurology training in Europe. The current President of the ENS, Gustave Moonen, will
subsequently draw an overview of the possibilities of attaining European certification in
neurology. Cristian Falup-Pecurariu, former President of the organisation ‘Young
Neurologists in Training’ (YNT) will sketch the interest of young neurologists in
training in Europe.
The Workshop (WS9) represents an ideal synthesis of American (AAN) and European
(ENS) concepts in education in neurology, as well as the ideas of those directly involved in
being trained (YNT), as to what can be expected and what is needed in order to optimise advanced
learning in neurology. Register now in
order to participate!
Register now for the Eighteenth Meeting of the
European Neurological Society, June 7-11, 2008, in Nice, France, in order to profit from a
reduced fee for the Scientific Programme; Teaching Courses; Practical Breakfast
Sessions in Clinical Neurophysiology and the Workshops. By registering
by May 7, 2008, you will also be able to save in the cost of these fees.
Online booking: registration is possible via the ENS website: (www.ensinfo.com). For online
congress payment, please use your credit card. Online booking is only available for
Don’t forget your hotel booking; online: (www.ensinfo.com).
A research opportunity is waiting to be taken if you have an experimental or clinical project in
neurology of your own design, and would like to carry it out during the year 2009.
Capitalise on this unique chance by applying for a scholarship granted by the programme ENS
Fellowship Stipends 2009. The first deadline for application is May 14,
Fellowship terms: The European Neurological Society will support the scholarship holder for a
period between 3 and 6 months. The monthly stipend amounts to EUR 2,000. The scholarship is
to be held at a host institution in Europe during the year 2009. ENS sponsors this programme
to provide an opportunity for talented neurologists to participate in an exchange of
scientific activities between home and host institutions. It is aimed primarily at young
neurologists contributing actively at ENS Meetings.
Eligibility: Applicants must be less than 40 years of age, and affiliated with an academic
neurological department. Applicants and/or home or host institution must be active at ENS
meetings. The ENS invites applicants from European nations, as well as those outside
Application: The following documents are required:
- a project description according to the format described in the application form;
- a letter of acceptance from the host institution (chairperson or senior staff under
whose supervision the fellowship will be carried out);
- the applicant’s curriculum vitae, including publications;
- a list of scientific papers presented at ENS meetings by the applicant and/or
originating or host institution.
- copy of valid passport.
Application forms: Forms can be obtained online at (www.ensinfo.com).
An original and 5 copies of each application must be sent to:
Prof. A. Steck
European Neurological Society
4002 Basel, Switzerland
First submission deadline: May 14, 2008
Advancements in novel drug developments and treatments by the pharmaceutical industry for a wide
spectrum of neurological disorders has now taken on a breathtaking pace. Progress is so
rapid that there is an increasing need to schedule comprehensive Satellite Symposia by the
pharmaceutical industry at the Annual Meetings of the ENS. Participants will be informed as
to advancements currently taking place in the pharmaceutical industry, along with insights
as to the possibilities of future innovations. Topics and schedules of these Symposia are
Pathophysiology and diagnosis of dementias: role of functional and
Serono Symposia Foundation
Sunday, June 8, 2008 – lunch time
Treating Alzheimer's Disease: Is time on our side?
Eisai / Pfizer
Sunday, June 8, 2008 – early evening
Advancing early treatment in MS – new insights into a proven
Monday, June 9, 2008 – lunch time
Immunomodulating therapies in Alzheimer’s disease
Monday, June 9, 2008 – lunch time
Narcolepsy: a clinician approach review
Monday, June 9, 2008 – lunch time
Dopamine agonists – Recent advances in treating Parkinson’s
disease and restless legs syndrome
Monday, June 9, 2008 – early evening
Next generation solutions in neurology: developing new treatments and
Monday, June 9, 2008 – early evening
The multidimensions of vertigo and dizziness
Monday, June 9, 2008 – early evening
Latest advances in the treatment of Friedreich’s
Takeda / Santhera
Tuesday, June 10, 2008 – lunch time
New perspectives on the use of IVIG in neurological
Targeting the pathophysiology of MS: Transforming discovery into
Biogen Idec / Elan
Tuesday, June 10, 2008 – lunch time
Towards a better management of advanced Parkinson’s
Tuesday, June 10, 2008 – early evening
Dr. Clay E. Reilly