By Anna Sauerbier
This year the World Parkinson Congress (WPC) was held in the beautiful city of Portland in Oregon, USA, on September 20-23.
The WPC is an international congress in which patients with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers actively participate and meet clinicians, researchers, charity representatives, and health professionals (clinicians, nurses, allied health professionals). The first ever WPC goes back to 2006 and took place in Washington, DC. The WPC is a very good platform to discuss and learn about basic as well as newly emerging knowledge in management of Parkinson’s disease (including alternative and medical treatments), on-going research in basic and clinical science, initiatives by patients as well as caregivers and opportunities provided by charity. During the congress a very constructive and lively discussions considering all different points of view lead to identify and discuss current unmet needs in the growing field of Parkinson’s disease.
This years’ programme offered an excellent spectrum for the wide audience, including hot topics summarizing some of the submitted poster abstracts, courses, plenary and parallel sessions, workshops, round table sessions, poster tours, wrap-up sessions and other activities. The congress programme was very well organised and presented; the delegates could choose the most appropriate session for them and have the best possible experience during the congress. The congress also offered the possibility to practice several physical activities such as yoga, chair yoga, face yoga, Tai Chi, dance and rock steady boxing, as well as laughter therapy ,and Alexander technique. Furthermore, during the breaks people had the unique possibility to enjoy a short massage or Reiki treatment in order to relax during the intense congress programme.
For the first time, WPC awards were given to honour outstanding and distinguished work in the Parkinson community. This year David Leventhal, Julie Carter and Tom Isaacs were honoured.
The WPC also offered an excellent social programme which included a wonderful opening ceremony followed by a welcome reception as well as a WPC film night and WPC music, movement and PD lounge during which work by the delegates of the WPC was celebrated.