Elena Moro (EM): As incoming co-chair of the Scientific Panel “Neuropathies” can you briefly introduce yourself and your specific field of expertise to the Neuropenews readers.
Davide Pareyson (DP): It is a great pleasure and honour to co-chair the Panel. I am a clinical neurologist working at the Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico C.Besta of Milan, Italy, where I am Head of the Functional Department on Rare Neurological Diseases and Chief of the Unit of Clinic of Central and Peripheral Degenerative Neuropathies. My main field of interest is clinical research on hereditary peripheral neuropathies, particularly Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and related neuropathies. I have been working on the development of outcome measures for hereditary neuropathies and other rare diseases and have coordinated and participated in clinical trials and natural history studies in inherited and acquired neuropathies.
EM: Can you outline the strategic work plan you foresee for the Scientific Panel that you co-chair?
DP: In the novel EAN society, the scientific panels have the possibility to play a more relevant role, with an efficient and supported organization and a closer interaction with the board.
The main aims of our panel include promotion of education and research in the field of peripheral neuropathies. We want to favour the constitution and extension of networks across Europe to study and treat peripheral neuropathies, and to harmonize diagnosis and management of peripheral neuropathies among European countries. The panel can have a fundamental role in disseminating scientific knowledge and proposing teaching activities, not only during the annual EAN meeting, but also in other courses in Europe as well as in developing countries outside Europe. We will increase interactions and common activities with the Peripheral Nerve Society (PNS), and contact scientific panels similar to ours in the AAN and other international societies. Guidelines have always been a main objective of the panels and our intent is to implement this task according to the novel EAN flowchart and whenever possible in collaboration with the PNS. Moreover, the panel can be a source of important advice to the board in specific issues of international relevance where official statements by the EAN may be important in driving the public opinion and the debate in the scientific community and in the media. Eventually the panel may have an important role for Advocacy Groups, Patients’ Associations, by hosting them in the panel meetings and by linking them to clinicians, researchers and the EAN itself.
EM: What is the main “deliverable” that you want to achieve for the work the Scientific Panel will address during your term of office?
DP: Good teaching is still probably the major task of the panel and it is important to achieve all the other objectives I have mentioned before. We wish that young researchers learn and appreciate the great advances obtained in the field of peripheral neuropathies, which although neglected are among the most prevalent neurological disorders, and hope that they in turn will contribute to increase and disseminate knowledge. Delivery of guidelines is another important achievement I would like to reach: their preparation and update is demanding, nonetheless they are very important for all of us to treat patients in the best way.