The European Paediatric Neurology Society (EPNS) is a society for physicians committed to improving standards of care for children with neurological problems. With more than 1,300 members, it is one of the largest groups of paediatric neurologists around the world, playing an important role by promoting training, clinical care and scientific research in this field.
A new EPNS Board has recently been appointed with 28 members. Professor Sameer Zuberi, from the Glasgow Royal Hospital for Children is the new EPNS President, supported by Past President, Professor Lieven Lagae from the Leuven Univ. Children’s Hospital.
EPNS members enjoy many benefits including good value subscription fees with substantial discounts available for members from resource poor countries and all trainees. Fully paid up members of the EPNS are given access to the European Journal of Paediatric Neurology (EJPN), the official journal of the EPNS which is in either electronic or print & electronic format. Published 6 times a year by Elsevier Ltd. on behalf of the society, it accepts papers primarily of a clinical nature on the whole spectrum of paediatric neurological disease. In 2017 the impact factor rose to above 2.0 and an innovative special issue was released guest edited by Jean-Pierre Lin on Neuromodulation in Childhood. Early 2018 the EPNS, together with the Mariani Foundation, published a special issue on Movement Disorders in Childhood guest edited by Nardo Nardocci. Other planned Special Issues will cover the topics of Fetal Neurology and Epilepsy and Neurodevelopment.
For a nominal fee, members may order the ‘NeuroKids’ App and Workbook, which is an innovative answer to the clinical challenges in child neurology. This initiative will become a core instrument in the educational programme of the EPNS.
With a strong tradition for excellence, EPNS Congresses are held biennially. We were delighted that France hosted the 12th EPNS Congress 2017 in Lyon, together with the 2nd EPNS Satellite Symposium on Advances in Neuromodulation in children. All sessions of the Congress were designed to address, among other topics, the Lifelong course of diseases of the child’s nervous system. The 1st Aicardi Award (sponsored by MacKeith Press) was presented in Lyon for Excellence in Paediatric Neurology to Professor Alexis Arzimanoglou. We welcomed a total of 1,512 people to Lyon from 73 different countries! Our Lyon event exceeded all expectations offering an outstanding scientific programme and excellent networking opportunities.
We are thrilled that Greece will be hosting the 13th EPNS Congress 2019 in Athens on 18-21 September 2019 and this promises to be another calendar highlight for child neurologists around the world. The main theme will be Paediatric Neurology and Rare Diseases: Genetics & Environment, Progression & Transition. This prestigious congress will cover, in plenary and parallel sessions, the following major topics: Emergency & critical care neurology, rare neurogenetic & neurometabolic diseases, clinical trials & registries, sleep, but also epilepsy, movement & neuromuscular disorders, intellectual disability and autism, among them. For more information, please visit the congress website: http://www.epns2019.org/
The EPNS Research Meeting is held biennially in alternate years to the EPNS Congress. The 6th EPNS Research Meeting 2018 will be taking place in Alicante, Spain on 26–27 October 2018. There will be plenary sessions focusing on two topics together with 8 or 9 different working groups. This is a smaller meeting with usually about 180 participants.
Education is a primary focus of the EPNS and one aim is to cover most main topics in the syllabus over a three-year cycle, promote contact between paediatric neurology trainees and qualified paediatric neurologists to refresh their knowledge. The 2017 training course was the final year of the 3-year cycle in Budapest organised by Professor Katalin Hollody. The next cycle of training courses 2018-2020 will take place in Alicante, Spain organised by Professor Francisco Carratala with the first training course taking place 8-11 May 2018 covering the topics ‘Immune mediated diseases and infections’ and ‘Acute Neurology’. This event was fully booked in less than one week!
The 1st EPNS Teaching Course 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan took place 18-20 October 2017 organised by Dr Altynshash Jaxybayeva. 80 Participants from 5 countries participated with 10 Speakers from 4 countries. The course was based on the book by Professor Colin Kennedy: “Principles and Practice of neurology on the first year of life”. There are more plans for future training events in this region.
The EPNS’ Paediatric Neurology masterclasses were instituted in 2015 to address some of the dilemmas of practice in the 21st Century. Paediatric Neurology is a rapidly developing specialty. The 2nd EPNS Cambridge Masterclass took place 14-16 September 2017 under the title ‘Functional Disorders – Child Neurology meets Literature’. We are building on the unique features of first two Masterclasses, and 6 –8 September 2018 we will host the 3rd EPNS Cambridge Masterclass ‘ When to start; when to stop. The dilemmas of advanced medical technology in paediatric neurology‘. This will be a small, interactive meeting with delegates attending in “couples” of a senior mentoring clinician and the leaders of tomorrow: to share and learn from each other’s ideas in areas where there are no easy answers. We are privileged to have speakers from a wide range of backgrounds including parents, ethicists and senior lawyers, as well as experienced clinicians; and will draw on the Cambridge tradition of rigorous, respectful, intellectual exchange across the artificial boundaries of academic disciplines.
Since 2014, 26 EPNS Fellowships have been awarded to young paediatric neurologists. The aim is to create excellence by offering the opportunity for further qualification or experience in an area of paediatric neurology in terms of clinical practice or research. The scheme is targeted at those who are at the early stages of their training in the field of paediatric neurology.
The EPNS Visiting Teacher concept is that a volunteer distinguished member of the EPNS, who is a recognised expert in a certain field, visits a nominated host centre in a country in Europe which is classified by the World Bank per capita income group 1, 2 or 3 for a short stay of intense teaching supported by EPNS. Already the scheme has benefited child neurologists in Armenia, Georgia and Romania.
Probably the most important role of the EPNS is the opportunity to network. Together we are stronger, and the voice of paediatric neurology is louder. There has never been a better time to join the EPNS!
by Lieven Lagae, and Alexis Arzimanoglou,
Chairs of the EAN Child Neurology panel