by Paul Boon, EAN President
Dear EAN members, friends, and colleagues,
If there is one thing that exemplifies the spirit and dedication of the European neurology community, it is surely the incredible atmosphere at our annual congress. Every year I am grateful for this powerful reminder of the strength, diversity and enthusiasm within our field, and the 9th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology was no exception.
Individual membership of the EAN has been growing steeply over recent years, especially within our younger ranks, and this was notable onsite in Budapest. The presence of so many students, residents, research fellows, and other young colleagues among nearly 6000 onsite attendees was unmistakeable, bringing an energy to our congress that permeated throughout. It is more than just a source of satisfaction that our medical discipline, our society, and our events, are attracting a steady influx from among the younger generations; it is a benefit for the whole of society. With the prospect of an increasing burden of neurological diseases, an aging population, and other increasing health problems, a boost to the ranks of the neurology workforce is urgently needed.
In this respect, it is also a great advantage that we can provide virtual participation for our congress, increasing the opportunities to engage with our scientific and educational content for those who are unable to join us in-person. This year, almost 2000 virtual participants made the most of this option.
It was a great personal privilege to preside over a meeting with scientific content of such an outstanding quality. The EAN Programme Committee, chaired by Ulf Kallweit, assembled a truly fantastic array of sessions. With the help of 460 invited lecturers and 1,912 presenters of work based on accepted abstracts, this exciting and comprehensive programme looked into every corner of neurology, catering to the needs of participants at all career stages and covering every subspecialty.
Among the invited lecturers were some extraordinary guests. Like me, I am sure you revelled in the chance to hear from Nobel Laureate, Thomas C Südhof in his fascinating Opening Lecture; and the selection of Named Lectures, given by Silvia Arber, Mary Reilly, Josep Dalmau, and Mark Hallett made for a Presidential Symposium that will live long in the memory.
I wish to thank Ulf Kallweit and the EAN Programme Committee, the Teaching Course sub-Committee, in charge of the complete educational programme of the congress, the EAN Scientific Committee, the EAN Scientific Panels and their co-chairs, the Education Committee, the Communication Committee, our Resident and Research Fellow Section and the staff at the EAN Head Office, for the enormous amount of work that has been poured into creating this scientific and educational programme, and an extremely successful congress overall.
On top of the traditional scientific and educational congress content, we were also afforded numerous opportunities to dig deep into issues surrounding brain health, public awareness, and advocacy, along with several partner organisations. The involvement of the European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA), whose representatives contributed to many crucial discussions in these areas, was particularly fruitful, and I am delighted that we had the chance to consolidate our relationship with the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and exchange knowledge on these and many other matters. We also had the most welcome opportunity to discuss our future collaboration with the African Academy of Neurology (AFAN) and the World Federation of Neurology (WFN).
All of these organisations were among the many guests who took part in Special Studio Sessions at the congress. which were filmed at our studio set-up onsite at the congress venue and broadcast to a wider audience via EAN TV, embedded on the front page of our congress website, enabling any curious visitors to watch these discussion-based sessions. All of these sessions will remain available to watch indefinitely. And for those of you who are EAN individual or RRFS members, all of the congress content from every recorded session is also available to you via your myEAN account, until May 2024.
Finally, it remains for me to thank everyone who contributed to our latest annual congress. Thank you to our industry partners, for their commitment and support, a huge and vibrant exhibition, and the many fantastic industry sessions. Thank you to the EAN Congress 2023 Local Organising Committee, headed by László Csiba, for their hard work and valuable expertise; as we all expected, Budapest proved to be an excellent host city. And thank you to all of you who participated. Whether you were a speaker, an author, a viewer, one of our 7,722 registered participants, or any of the many other roles at EAN 2023, you played a part in an event that we are truly proud of.
I am already looking forward to welcoming you to EAN 2024 in Helsinki, on 29 June to 2 July.
Best wishes for a long and relaxing summer,