Dear EAN members, friends and colleagues,
It is my pleasure to provide another update on behalf of the EAN Scientific Committee, not only to keep you all up to speed on our activities, but perhaps also to stimulate your interest in becoming involved in them. The wonderful thing about EAN’s scientific mission is that there is no shortage of opportunities to play a part – and our range of projects is frequently increasing.
The clearest path to having an influence on the EAN in a scientific sense is to join our EAN Scientific and Coordinating Panels. Often referred to as the organisation’s ‘scientific backbone’, the panels have a hand in everything the EAN does from a scientific point of view, including coordinating clinical research, disseminating good practice, assisting in planning the EAN annual congress, supporting the EAN’s educational efforts, and producing guidelines that assist neurologists in daily practice.
Members of the EAN Scientific & Coordinating Panels are currently working on the submission of topic proposals for the EAN Congress 2023, thus playing a significant role in the composition of our most significant annual event. If this sort of hands-on involvement in the direction of our society and congress appeals to you and you are an EAN Individual Member (FEAN, Full, Resident or Corresponding Individual member of the EAN) you can grasp the opportunity by joining the Scientific & Coordinating Panels. The personal benefit and satisfaction of being a direct part of so many exciting developments is something really worth considering and so I would urge anyone eligible to send in an application. All application information can be found on our website along with more detailed information about the panels aims and a full list of panels.
Soon to be added to that list is our new Coordinating Panel on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Neurology, for which EAN Individual Members with an interest in the field are strongly encouraged to hand in an application You can read more about the creation and goals of this important new panel here.
An important activity that has also seen involvement from the EAN Scientific Panels is the Medical Informatics Platform (MIP) project, in collaboration with the Human Brain Project and eBrains. A very successful joint EAN-EBRAINS Workshop on the Future of Medical Data Sharing in Clinical Neurosciences took place in December, with the aim of exposing and discussing all issues and challenges associated with data sharing in Europe (from ethics to data safety and privacy, including those specific to data federation, such as the development and validation of federated algorithms).
EAN Scientific Panels were involved in the brainstorming sessions on data sharing—with members discussing the status and prospects of data sharing within their panels—and participants were also offered hands-on session on the Medical Informatics Platform, an innovative tool for investigating, comparing and analysing large patient data sets in a federated manner. With more than 70 members of the EAN and more than 40 HBP researchers joining the workshop, it was an important collaborative encounter to discuss the future paths of medical data sharing—an issue of utmost importance to the EAN Scientific Committee.
Returning now to a longer-running theme within EAN’s scientific scope, I am pleased to say the EAN NEuro-covid ReGistrY (ENERGY) has hit a fresh milestone and published a new article. The registry has been progressing well over recent months, culminating in it breaching the 3000-patient mark, with a current total of 3047 patients entered into the system by 41 centres from 28 countries on four continents. Furthermore, the new article, on “Short- and long-term outcome and predictors in an international cohort of patients with neuro-COVID-19” was published on February 2022 in the European Journal of Neurology.
The next steps on the horizon for ENERGY include a face-to-face investigators’ meeting to be held during the EAN Congress 2022 in Vienna, providing a rare chance for some in-person exchange. The project is a shining example of how EAN members and their institutions have joined together, pooled resources and worked for the common good since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and we are looking to keep this ball rolling by establishing collaborations with other societies and universities. If your institution may be interested in joining the registry or you would like to receive further information about the project, please send an email to email@example.com or visit this webpage.
Finally, the EAN Scientific Committee is proud to report on the successful first iteration of the EAN Science School, which took place on 27-29 March in Salzburg, Austria. Interest was high, with 148 applications from 37 countries around the world (the first time application for an EAN school has been opened globally), and in the end, three days of lectures and workshops were soaked up by an enthusiastic group of 46 attendees from 21 countries.
The experience was a great one for both participants and the nine carefully chosen speakers, all renowned for expertise in their fields, and it was an honour and a pleasure for me personally to be a part of this auspicious occasion, especially to witness such lively discussions in the afternoon workshops. If these young participants are a representative sample of our future neurology workforce, then our specialty, our EAN Panels, and our patients will surely be in very good hands.
I wish you all a pleasant spring and look forward to seeing you at EAN 2022 in Vienna on 25-28 June!
Chair of the EAN Scientific Committee