1. The members of the Scientific Committee (SC) at present are:
Michael Brainin (Chair) firstname.lastname@example.org
Antony Schapira email@example.com
Albert Ludolph firstname.lastname@example.org
Olivier Rascol email@example.com
Didier Leys firstname.lastname@example.org
Nils-Erik Gilhus (CPC) email@example.com
Paul Boon Paul.Boon@uzgent.be
Veronika Skvortsova firstname.lastname@example.org
Maurizio Leone email@example.com
László Csiba firstname.lastname@example.org
Heinz Reichmann email@example.com
Claudio Bassetti firstname.lastname@example.org
Duties: According to the bylaws of the EFNS and the proposed EAN bylaws the SC develops recommendations for policies and activities related to all issues of a scientific nature involving the EAN. Furthermore, it is responsible for the activities and maintenance of SSP that cover all major areas of clinical neurology.
When overseeing the activities of the SSPs consideration is given to their activities in coordination clinical research at the European level, to disseminate best neurological practice, to assist the Congress Programme Committee to support training of neurologists and CME as well as to produce scientific guidelines according to the latest scientific knowledge and levels of evidence.
Scientist Panels and subcommittees
We have discussed with members of the ENS and their Subcommittee leaders the need to bring together all activities of some congruence and – by merging – increase the power and range of our panel activities. We have encouraged the scientific panels to submit proposals for the forthcoming Berlin Congresses and the call for topic proposals for Copenhagen 2016 will be sent very shortly. The support for UEMS was continuing as well as for the UEMS Board exam (this year taking place in conjunction with the Istanbul Congress). For this, various panels worked on developing questions.
The e-Brain project has been supported by providing reviewers via the Subspecialty Scientist Panels, the progress of which will be reported separately by the e-learning SubCommittee.
Currently there are 31 Subscpecialty Scientific Panels formed out of the EFNS and ENS groups, and the attached table shows the progress of merging. There we can see that 17 panels have corresponding counterparts whereas 13 panels/subcommittees (now Subspecialty Scientific Panels) remain without a counterpart. In separate correspondences to the panel chairs we have communicated that the ongoing work should not be interrupted, especially the production of guidelines by task forces. Most panels with corresponding counterparts have merged or indicated they will be merged by the time of foundation of the EAN in Istanbul.
In addition, a special effort was made linking the panels up with representatives from the various groups and organisations that are EFNA members. Several panels already do co-operate with the patient groups, and others will start a co-operation more actively at the Istanbul Congress (at the panel business meetings). It is hoped that overall this co-operation will become a standard in the work of the panels and that the exchange between EAN and EFNA thereby be further strengthened.
The guideline production group has become the EFNS/ENS Guideline Production Group (GPG).
With regular teleconferences and meetings at the Vienna office, the flow of work for guidelines is carried forward.
Presently, there are 67 guidelines, most of them were published in the two volumes of our Handbooks as well as in the EJN. The SC has worked on a list of guidelines to be updated urgently and others that either do not need an update or should not be considered for an update version. Wherever needed, the first authors of the GL were consulted, this process is still ongoing. Currently, revisions for several guidelines are under review and being discussed. A decision will be made in the next weeks and all authors for GL to be updated will be contacted. There are 12 endorsed task forces actively working on the production of guidelines (they confirmed that there is progress). 10 task forces are pending, ie they announced that they are actively working on the official submission of proposals (they also confirmed that there is progress). It is hoped that these will be received soon. Finally, further 5 proposals are planned and a confirmation on submission is hoped for shortly.
The Guideline Production Group is advising SSPs to aim for the highest possible quality according to the guidance for GL recommendation published in the EJN in January 2013.
The distribution and dissemination of GL is considered an often neglected area. It is therefore suggested to make GL freely accessible to the largest possible audience. In addition, one could argue that restriction for the access could be upheld for the first 3-6 months after publication in the EJN.
Following the success of the previous congress session on guidelines, there will be a special guidelines session at the Joint EFNS-ENS Congress in Istanbul in 2014, and a proposal for another special guidelines session was submitted and accepted for the first Congress of the EAN in June 2015.
The international audit of awareness about and compliance to the EFNS/PNS guidelines on chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy and multifocal motor neuropathy is underway. An interim progress report is expected for now but was not received so far. A final report by the principal investigator Yusuf A. Rajabally from UK is expected for 2014.
Michael Brainin works at the Center of Neuroscience, Danube University Krems, Austria