It is with great pride and gratitude that we thank everyone who took part in the 6th Annual Congress of the European Academy of Neurology last week. This was the first ever EAN Virtual Congress and truly a pioneering event in terms of neurology and academic conferences more widely.
Despite some positive slowing of new cases and deaths in some countries, the COVID-19 pandemic has infected until today over 3.5 million people, leading to more than 250,000 deaths across the globe. Without a doubt, the crisis sparked by this pandemic has also wreaked havoc on healthcare systems and economies while causing massive disruption to the everyday lives of people around the world.
Covid-19 has affected over 500,000 people and caused over 21,000 deaths. People from all over the world are making great sacrifices, from social distancing to sustaining economic loss. Healthcare workers are on the frontline, and neurologists are increasingly involved as well.
As a society aiming to promote excellence in neurology across Europe, one of the European Academy of Neurology’s greatest assets is undoubtedly the strong support from its National Neurological Society Members. As a region with a wide variety of languages, cultures, jurisdictions and needs, Europe certainly presents some challenges when it comes to coordinated action, but what we all have in common as neurologists is a strong desire to reach for excellence, ensure the best possible patient care and to work together to achieve it.
It is such a pleasure for me to see how EAN has been continuously growing in terms of members, activities, engagements, promotion, and impact on several important activities inside the European Community.
One of the main aims of the European Academy of Neurology is to establish common standards of diagnosis, treatment and care within the various subfields of neurology across Europe. As a region of diverse jurisdictions, languages, markets and healthcare challenges, European neurology needs to establish not only guidelines for the diagnosis and the treatment of neurological disorders, but also in order to maintain and enhance the discipline and practice of neurology.
First of all, I would like to wish you a very happy holiday season and every success in the New Year! As we approach the end of 2019, we can look back on another highly productive year for EAN with yet another successful congress. The number of delegates was an all-time high and we can boast on eminent keynote speakers, and well-attended scientific sessions and teaching courses. As our main mission is to promote excellence in neurology across Europe, we aim to continue this success and hard work into the future. With that in mind, I would like to tell you a little about some recent changes and plans that EAN has in order to support this important mission to the benefit of neurologists and patients throughout Europe.
In a recent article published in the August 2019 issue of the EAN Pages, we presented the framework based on which the collaboration between the EAN and the EFNR is currently unfolding. The Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations, signed in 2017, is the guiding document that formally governs this partnership, which focuses on three key pillars for development: facilitating evidence-based clinical guideline production, promoting multidisciplinary education, and hosting joint sessions within the main scientific events organized annualy by these institutions. This article will focus on the latter priority for our collaboration, with the goal of disseminating relevant updates how our community benefits from the interaction between the EAN and the EFNR.
I am happy to share with you that Prof. Franz Fazekas’s health has greatly improved. We are in regular contact with him and his wife and expect (and wish) further recovery. Unfortunately, his current condition does not allow him to resume his function as President of our Society. As a consequence, the board has decided to ask me to take over his duties from September 1, 2019. To support the board and in accord with our bylaws, Prof. D. Vodusek, who already served in the EAN board, was appointed as member at large (until the next elections in Paris). I am very thankful to the entire board, the office, and particularly to Prof. G. Deuschl for their trust, support and advice in this delicate transition period.
It is my pleasure to introduce the backbone of our society, the Scientific Panels, to you in my role as the Scientific Committee Chair.
EAN Scientific Panels cover a wide range of subspecialties and play a significant role in the EAN everyday activities. These member-led groups are a perfect opportunity to network with colleagues
The 5th EAN Congress held in Oslo from June 29 to July 2 is now over and it’s time to look back. The Congress was a great success for EAN and for us in the local organising committee in Norway. Number of participants was the highest ever with 6919 registered delegates, and the number of submitted abstracts was all-time high at 2250. Number of applications for the tournament for young investigators was up about 40% for basic and more than 20% for clinical research. These figures illustrate the high and rapidly increasing activity in our society. At the same time, EAN definitely managed to make its mark on the city of Oslo with 24 EAN banners on both sides of Karl Johan, the main street of the city.
It is my great pleasure to be invited to introduce myself to you in my new role as editor of EAN Pages, starting at our Congress in Oslo. I am a neurologist based in Sheffield in the UK, running busy general and neuromuscular clinics, with a research interest in motor neuron disease. First of all, I want to thank my predecessor and friend, Professor Elena Moro, for leading us to our current position of strength at EAN Pages.