On the occasion of the 2017 Amsterdam conference the EAN Autonomic Nervous Disorders panel gave an overview of their activities and set future goals.
After welcoming words by the panels chair Professor Max Hilz, the panel members reviewed the steps taken towards future EAN guidelines for diagnostics and therapy of autonomic nervous disorders. It was particularly highlighted that the autonomic nervous system is of interest for medical specialists from a wide variety of disciplines. Topics as for instance, cardioautonomic neuropathy in diabetes, dysreflexia after spinal trauma, the autonomic dysfunction syndrome after head injury, orthostatic intolerance and syncope, neurogenic bladder and bowel dysfunction are reaching beyond the field of neurology. Members of the EAN autonomic disorders panel hence, hold close ties with specialists of various medical disciplines as cardiology, neurosurgery, urology, diabetology, rheumatology, intensive care medicine, pain medicine who also run highly specialized laboratories for testing of autonomic functions at clinics and hospitals. In the past, updates on the topics mentioned above and on several others were provided by Prof. Christina Haubrich and published on the EAN website.
As a first step towards guidelines for diagnostics of autonomic disorders it is important to get an updated and accurate coverage of the diagnostic tests of autonomic nervous functions currently applied in European laboratories. For this, Dr. Mojca Kirbis MD, PhD, Lubljana Medical Center, Institute of Neurophysiology, Slovenia, opened the following survey which will be collecting this information till EAN 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal.
How do you test the Autonomic Nervous System? Please follow this link and take 3 minutes of your time to let us know: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DY2CX36
Please forward this link to your medical colleagues with clinical and or scientific interest in autonomic nervous diseases within Neurology and beyond.
The panel sees an important task in providing education and training about autonomic nervous disorders in the field of Neurology. Whereas specialization in Autonomic Nervous Disorders has been established within the American Academy of Neurology for almost 10 years there is no subspecialty training or certification in diagnostics and therapy of autonomic nervous disorders available yet for European neurologists. Though, opportunities for teaching and training in autonomic nervous disorders are already provided. For many years, the European Federation of Autonomic Societies (EFAS) has been organizing summer and winter schools on diagnostics and therapy of autonomic nervous disorders as well as hands on experience for young neurologists. A huge success was the Innsbruck EFAS school and meeting organized by Prof. Walther Struhal in February 2017. The EAN autonomic disorders panel and EFAS hold strong ties with each other and joins forces in teaching and training.
Thinking and talking future activities, Dr. Ellen Merete Hagen, consultant neurologist in the Autonomic Unit at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery made the panel aware of the 5th EAN conference in Oslo in 2019 and the timeline for preparation of the scientific program. As the activities in Autonomic Neuroscience yield a multitude of clinically relevant information the topics of highest priority for presentation at the EAN 2019 conference were discussed in Amsterdam.
The EAN Autonomic Nervous Disorders panelists see their task in providing Europe’s neurologists with good standards of care for autonomic nervous disorders as well as in providing comprehensive and updated information about the Autonomic Neuroscience.