The EFNS Scientist Panels and ENS Sub-committees aim at coordinating the different facets of clinical research and good neurological practice at the European level.
They will play a very important role in the European Academy of Neurology – EAN.
We invited the chairpersons of the EFNS Scientist Panels and ENS Sub-committees for their view on the future role of these panels/sub-committees within the EAN.
Interview with Peter Van den Bergh and Claudia Sommer
EFNS Scientist Panel Neuropathies/ ENS Sub-committee Peripheral neuropathy
Neuropenews (NN): Briefly outline the future role you see for your scientist panel/sub-committee within the European Academy of Neurology.
Peter Van den Bergh (PvB): The aims of the Scientist Panel on Peripheral Neuropathies of the EFNS include the preparation of proposals for main topic sessions, for teaching courses, and focused workshops at the annual EFNS congresses, the establishment of task forces for the development and revision of guidelines and to help coordinate clinical research to improve diagnosis, management and treatment of peripheral neuropathies. The fusion of the Panel with the Subcommittee on Peripheral Neuropathies of the ENS, which will result from the creation of the European Academy of Neurology, offers a unique opportunity to unite under one umbrella a wide range of clinical and laboratory peripheral neuropathy experts from all over Europe. This very likely will increase capacity and power to achieve the goals of teaching and research in the best possible way.
Claudia Sommer (CS): Peripheral neuropathies are disorders of high prevalence but great diversity, which makes it difficult even for specialists to be up-to-date in all the aspects involved. For example new information on hereditary neuropathies is published weekly, novel diagnostic methods are coming into the clinic, and basic science is contributing immensely to our understanding of axon and myelin biology. In our committee within the European Academy of Neurology, we will keep striving to provide the best education in our field of expertise to EAN members and congress participants, whether they are beginners in neurology or specialists themselves. We will always look out to get the best scientists involved, who really contribute to our understanding of the diseases in question. A related goal is to enhance the collaboration between clinicians and basic scientists in the field of peripheral neuropathy. Mutual education and sharing the most relevant questions will be suitable ways to implement this process with participation of the panel/committee. As already practiced in the past, we will collaborate with other committees to make use of converging themes. We will bring together our post-doctoral researchers and fellows to support their networking and to strengthen young researchers in the field. Also, we will involve young clinicians in the guideline work, so educate them about the process of judging and making use of evidence in the literature.
NN: How can Neuropenews contribute and enhance the work of your panel?
PvB: Neuropenews is an online monthly updated newsblog which was launched in January 2012, which is linked to modern social media like Facebook and Twitter. This newsblog offers numerous interesting opportunities for improving communication between neurologists interested in peripheral neuropathy and to make announcements. Examples are a calendar of upcoming events anywhere in Europe and presentation of didactic and interesting case reports (Grand Rounds). These include unsolved cases, which can be discussed by posting comments. One of the tasks of the Scientific Panel on Neuropathies/ Subcommittee on Peripheral Neuropathies is to promote the use of Neuropenews for peripheral neuropathy by its members and by European neurologists.
CS: Neuropenews can provide a low threshold forum to allow members to obtain access to novel important information and to communicate, whether with questions or with information and opinion statements. People interested in peripheral neuropathies can provide case reports which are discussed in the panel and which may be published in the grand rounds format. Neuropenews may also serve as a market place for clinicians and researchers looking out for patients with specific diseases for their studies or clinical trials, or for co-investigators for European or international projects. Furthermore, Neuropenews may help establish a visible network of training centers, offering their special expertise to interested fellows.
NN: Thank you for your time.
Peter Van den Bergh is Professor of Neurology at the University Clinic St. Luc in Brussels, Belgium and Co-chair of the EFNS Scientist Panel Neuropathies/ ENS Sub-committee Peripheral neuropathy.
Claudia Sommer is Professor of Neurology at the Universitätsklinikum Würzburg, Germany and Co-chairperson of the EFNS Scientist Panel Neuropathies/ ENS Sub-committee Peripheral Neuropathy.