Congress delegates flocked to the main auditorium last night to witness the official opening of the fifth congress of the European Academy of Neurology.
And they were rewarded with a special privilege, as the session began with the world premiere of the EAN’s Five-Year Anniversary movie, a moving and cinematic tribute to the discipline of neurology and its contribution to a better world.
Then it was time for Erik Tauboll, chair of the Local Organising Committee, to take the stage and proudly welcome the delegates to his home country for this year’s congress.
Prof. Günther Deuschl began the presidential address with a heartfelt thank you to Prof. Franz Fazekas, who as EAN President, has been pivotal in organising the congress but who could not attend the congress this year due to health reasons. The audience gave a stirring round of applause to Prof. Fazekas.
Acting on behalf of Prof. Fazekas, Prof. Deuschl then proceeded to give the attendees an illuminating account of EAN’s progress over the past five years, as well its role in helping neurology face the challenges ahead brought by an ageing population and a shortage of neurologists. Delegates could take pride in seeing the progress made by EAN in supporting neurology, with the development of educational courses, stakeholder partnership and closer exchange between neurologists all contributing to excellence in the field.
Following Prof. Deuschl’s well-received address, Prof. Tony Marson, chair of the Programme Committee took to the podium to introduce this year’s very special Opening Speaker, the renowned Nobel Laureate neuroscientist, Edvard Moser.
Prof. Moser gave the delegates a fascinating insight into the brain’s many different types of positioning cells, which includes cells monitoring direction, place, speed, local borders and even location relative to objects. He went on to illustrate that these cells, together with neural codes for time in the lateral entorhinal cortex, allow episodic memories in the hippocampus to be encoded and explained how deficiencies in relation to these systems are related to neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, where special-temporal orientation is affected.
To conclude the Opening Session, the delegates were treated to the elegant choreography of Norwegian contemporary dance group FRIKAR, who used their enigmatic dance moves to convey a vision of a sustainable future using traditional knowledge.
Afterwards, the delegates had the chance to get some food, pick up a drink while chatting and reflecting what was a very memorable session and only the start of an exciting 5th EAN congress.
By Mike Crean