Communications of the European Neurological Society

May 2008

Topics

I. Inauguration of Prof. Gustave Moonen as President of the European Neurological Society
II. Presidential Symposium at the 18th ENS Meeting in Nice, France
III. Agenda of the ENS Business Meeting
IV. Cutting-edge Workshops and Practical Courses at the 18th ENS Meeting in Nice
V. Workshop WS9: Training in neurology in the USA
VI. Deadline for Reduced Registration Fees for the 18th ENS Meeting is May 7, 2008
VII. ENS Fellowships 2009: 1st Deadline May 14, 2008
VIII. Topics and Schedules of the Pharmaceutical Industry Satellite Symposia at the 18th Meeting in Nice
Register now – next registration deadline is: 7. May 2008
 
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In Memoriam

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.

 

I. Inauguration of Prof. Gustave Moonen as President of the European Neurological Society
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.

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II. Presidential Symposium at the 18th ENS Meeting in Nice, France
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 Medical, Inc.

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 Clare Hall.

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 consciousness.

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.

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III. Agenda of the ENS Business Meeting
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

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IV. Cutting-edge Workshops and Practical Courses at the 18th ENS Meeting in Nice
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, register now!

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V. Workshop WS9: Training in neurology in the USA
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!

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VI. Deadline for Reduced Registration Fees for the 18th ENS Meeting is May 7, 2008
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 individual registrations.

Don’t forget your hotel booking; online: (www.ensinfo.com).

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VII. ENS Fellowships 2009: 1st Deadline May 14, 2008
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, 2008.

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 Europe.

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
Association House
P.O. Box
4002 Basel, Switzerland

First submission deadline: May 14, 2008

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VIII. Topics and Schedules of the Pharmaceutical Industry Satellite Symposia at the 18th Meeting in Nice
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 given below.

Pathophysiology and diagnosis of dementias: role of functional and structural techniques
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 choice
Bayer Schering
Monday, June 9, 2008 – lunch time

Immunomodulating therapies in Alzheimer’s disease
Baxter
Monday, June 9, 2008 – lunch time

Narcolepsy: a clinician approach review
UCB
Monday, June 9, 2008 – lunch time

Dopamine agonists – Recent advances in treating Parkinson’s disease and restless legs syndrome
Boehringer Ingelheim
Monday, June 9, 2008 – early evening

Next generation solutions in neurology: developing new treatments and better prospects
Merck Serono
Monday, June 9, 2008 – early evening

The multidimensions of vertigo and dizziness
Solvay
Monday, June 9, 2008 – early evening

Latest advances in the treatment of Friedreich’s Ataxia
Takeda / Santhera
Tuesday, June 10, 2008 – lunch time

New perspectives on the use of IVIG in neurological disorders
Talecris

Targeting the pathophysiology of MS: Transforming discovery into care
Biogen Idec / Elan
Tuesday, June 10, 2008 – lunch time

Towards a better management of advanced Parkinson’s disease
Solvay
Tuesday, June 10, 2008 – early evening

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Editor

Dr. Clay E. Reilly
Gstaltenrainweg 73
CH-4125 Riehen
Switzerland