With just under two weeks to go until our 2021 congress opens its virtual doors, I hope you are as excited as I am to catch up with the latest in our field and explore the innovations brought on board for this event. As Chair of the Programme Committee, I cannot wait to see the culmination of the hard work that has gone into putting this congress together, both in terms of content and organisation, building on the success of last year.
Our overarching theme this year is ‘Towards precision neurology’. Precision has always been an especially crucial quality in neurology, but the meaning of the word in a medical context has, of course, evolved. In medical terms, precision is now about bringing together multiple sources of knowledge—from technology like genomics and body fluid biomarkers, to basic information like clinical examination and family history—- and drawing on the most advanced technology to deliver specific, individualised approaches to diagnosis and treatment.
Not only is this theme woven deeply into the congress programme, forming the focus of numerous sessions suited to participants at all stages of their careers, but it also applies to how we approach the preparation of congresses. We bring together the most relevant and current content we can find from as many diverse contributors as possible, and we package it in a way that is suited as closely as possible to our target audience: you!
For example, this year’s virtual congress will boast three excellent new features to help audiences engage even better with our congress programme.
First, all lectures from seven Highlight Sessions will be translated into both Russian and Spanish, including three Symposia, two Plenary Sessions, and two Focussed Workshops (both on precision medicine).
Second, we have invited several international partners to organise special ‘time zone’ sessions. As usual, a range of international joint sessions will see EAN sharing the stage with neurology societies from throughout the world, reinforcing our intercontinental bonds. But this time, a number of them will take place live at times that fit local schedules, spanning the globe from South America to Asia.
And third, the congress will be supplemented for the very first time by a parallel feature: EAN TV, offering commentary, additional insights, and an extra level of entertainment. More details will be made revealed about this shortly.
Besides these exciting innovations, the congress will retain all the regular highlights, such as the ever-popular Plenary Symposia. Among these, is a particularly interesting Presidential Symposium, including four honorary lectures delivered by renowned speakers from the world and covering the core/penumbra model in stroke treatment, the history of prion science, the famous Romberg test, and the latest in Rett syndrome research.
The burning global issue of the past 18 months will also be addressed in detail, with some splendid Covid Sessions lined up to provide participants with a comprehensive neurological insight into the greatest healthcare challenge in a generation.
With so much to choose from and so little time left, I strongly urge you to make the most of the online Virtual Congress programme overview and start planning your schedule.
I look forward to welcoming you, virtually, to EAN 2021 on June 19!
Tony Marson, Programme Committee chair