by Miryam Carecchio and Amit Batla
The international Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders took place in Hong Kong from 5th to 9th October 2018. The conference is a yearly event organized by the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS).
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre provided an excellent venue with beautiful views overlooking the Hong Kong’s world-famous Victoria Harbour.
The conference attracted a wide number of registrants from across the world including clinicians, researchers, post-doctoral fellows, medical residents, medical students, allied health professionals with an interest in current clinical trends and approaches for diagnosis and treatment of movement disorders. This allowed ample opportunities to interact and network for all the delegates.
The first day was focused on therapeutics and Prof Olivier Rascol from France started off with Parkinson’s disease. Over the day the participants learned about the updates on medical and surgical management of all movement disorders.
The second day started with the Stanley Fahn Lecture which was delivered by a fellow of EAN Prof Marie Vidailhet who presented a very interesting perspective of dystonia or – as she prefers to call them – ‘dystonias’. This was followed by a session on Modulation of Gene Expression and Neurodegenerative Movement Disorder chaired by EAN member Christine Klein with a focus on non-coding genetic elements and epigenetic factors that might help understand and unravel the mysteries that underlie neurodegeneration. The conference theme this year was focused on technology and the session Novel Technology-Based Therapies on the Horizon was a highlight of this theme. The afternoon highlights included sessions on integrative medicine, multidisciplinary care and the very interesting session on movement disorders meets psychiatry chaired by Prof Mark Edwards and Jon Stone.
The highlight of day three was the Grand rounds led by Prof Kailash Bhatia from Queen square. This was quite a successful addition to the usual MDS conference with live patients who were examined by experts including Susan Fox, Yoshikuni Mizuno and Mayela Rodriguez Violante who successfully reach the final diagnosis in most cases and illustrated the clinical method to the audience. The interactive nature made this session very informative and valuable.
Day four was marked by several teaching sessions and skills workshop which were ticketed events. Notable updates were available in “Urogenital dysfunction in Parkinsons’s disease” and “Atypical Parkinson Disorders: Multiple System Atrophy and Corticobasal Degeneration / Progressive Supranuclear Palsy” co-chaired by EAN member Maria Stamelou.
It has become almost a tradition to attend MDS congress video challenge hosted by the celebrities Tony Lang and Kapil Sethi that happened on day five. The panel comprising of EAN members Roberto Erro and Bettina Balint was quite efficient this year in solving very challenging cases, a lot of which were contributed from Asia reflecting the emphatic local presence in the conference.
The last day was highlighted by a session on complimentary and alternative medicine in PD and for us it was interesting to hear about “How to Become a Successful Movement Disorder Specialist”.
In addition to the teaching program, the conference had a very welcoming pavilion area with several informal sessions that allowed a closer interaction among congress attendees. This was for us the area where we could just hang out with old friends and meet new ones.
The young members group hosted a successful reception that was attended by more than 100 young neurologists and neuroscientists who had a chance to meet up and share ideas and mutual experiences while enjoying good food, drinks and also the presence of several senior faculty members.
The visit to the conference would have been incomplete without the excellent dining experience that we had at the Sky bar with some old friends and the ride on the famous Star Ferry from Kowloon. Most of us enjoyed the famous night markets and street food of Hong Kong in the evenings to get the real Asian experience.
The conference was an excellent experience and we thank the organizers for this. We look forward to meeting again with the new and old friends in movement disorders in Nice, France for MDS congress next year.