by Franz Fazekas,
Dear EAN members,
Dear colleagues and friends,
the political landscape across Europe and around the world is currently quite shaky and experiences a lot of turmoil, confrontation and egocentric behaviour. In this situation it is comforting that the “Neurological World“ does not follow this dissolution but rather moves in the opposite direction. There is increasing readiness for close collaboration and efforts to join forces among scientific societies and these synergies are critical for convincing decision makers of the benefits of supporting health research and other measures which help to assure the well-being of Europe’s population in the future. Under the umbrella of the Biomedical Alliance, in Europe EAN works together with 27 other scientific medical societies to raise awareness for the increasing needs of funding biomedical research, unbiased continuous education, and other common interests. Activities concern both basic and clinical research and the translation of research results into clinical practice and routine patient care. It is urgent right now to broadcast the necessity of stronger support of biomedical research as the next framework programme, ‘Horizon Europe’, is in discussion in the European Parliament. In parallel, the European Brain Council (with EAN as founding member) has just obtained funding to create an overview of the current landscape of the European brain research which has been funded in the EU framework programs and the funding initiatives of JPND, NEURON and Human Brain Project. These results are expected to identify overlaps but also gaps thus providing data for optimizing future research objectives and priorities. The project will underpin the development of a Shared European Brain Research Agenda. EAN will follow this process and provide input wherever needed.
The annual EAN congress is already a well-established flagship of our society. Our second flagship, the European Journal of Neurology, is on the rise as manifested not only by more submissions every year but also by an impact factor which has meanwhile increased to 4.6. The Editor-in-chief, Professor Anthony Schapira, the associate editors and the entire editorial Board have to be congratulated on this. In addition, it is very easy and convenient to access the Journal as this can be done directly via the EAN webpage. As an EAN member, this allows free and immediate access to the articles of interest whenever one has time. In the December issue, I would like to draw your attention especially to the Editorial of Professor Schapira as it summarises very elegantly and in a succinct manner the progress in Neurology over the past two years.
The registration for the EAN congress in Oslo is already open and please be aware of the approaching deadline for abstract submission to this congress which is January 23, 2019. We hope for another record number of abstracts to be received to allow the presentation of a wide range of high-quality research which is one of the attractions of a general neurological meeting. Especially young researchers are encouraged to use this opportunity also for presenting themselves to an international forum and to develop networks which may serve their career.
Educational activities of EAN meanwhile also extend well beyond the annual congress. This year, an “Autumn School” was held for the first time in Athens, Greece and you will read about this successful event in this edition of EAN pages. Together with the World Federation of Neurology and the American Academy of Neurology and several other specialty societies, EAN also has organized another Regional Teaching Course in sub-Saharan Africa, which this time took place in Madagascar and was again very well attended and highly valued by the participants.
In preparation for the holiday season, the EAN office has organize an Advent Calendar on EAN Pages and EAN Social Media, which means a surprise for every day starting from December 1st to 24th. Unfortunately, we cannot yet distribute any sweets by the web, but you can win some very nice goodies which are partly handmade by the EAN office team. In addition, every participant gets a promotion code for the Oslo congress which implies a 10% reduction off the congress registration fee. So be sure to have a regular look at EAN Pages and EAN Social Media accounts in December.
At last and on behalf of the EAN executive board and the EAN office, I wish you and your families a happy holiday season and I hope to see you at one of the many EAN events next year.
Prof. Franz Fazekas is President of EAN and head of the Department of Neurology and director of the Division of General Neurology at the Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria.