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Letter from the President
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
Welcome to ECTRIMS. At the beginning of this colourful season, I am honoured to introduce the contents of our spring 2015 quarterly newsletter also with quite varied contents in the way to our annual conference in Barcelona in early October. May is the month in which we send our collective call to the world through the World MS Day. On Wednesday 27th May hundreds of associations and the MSIF at the helm will tell the world about access in all spheres of daily living and how this is also a most important way to improve the lives of those living with MS.
We start with the mark of ECTRIMS 30th anniversary. This happy occasion is a hallmark for all those of us working in and living with MS. I am certain a few of us will still remember the initial years of ECTRIMS, a new born association of neurologists who were not timid at addressing the needs of people with MS and clearly focused on prospective or newly available treatments for MS which were the shining result of often painstaking research efforts. Today, ECTRIMS is a grown-up association that does an excellent job of leading many research, education and advocacy activities.
As mentioned above, everything is coming quickly and effectively together for the annual meeting in Barcelona. Be sure to register soon and benefit from the early bird fees and secure your participation in the teaching courses.
Please make sure to read about the upcoming highlights of ECTRIMS, namely, the focused workshop and summer school. The two activities have accrued a great degree of success and are much sought after. The ECTRIMS fellowship program calls will roll out in the next few weeks, stay tuned and take every opportunity for research exchanges and education experiences.
Finally, an account of all those organizations and events that ECTRIMS supports through direct support and endorsement. We are proud to be a part in many useful events and projects.
So, hats off to ECTRIMS on its momentous 30th anniversary!
In 2015, ECTRIMS celebrates its 30th anniversary. Since its inception, ECTRIMS has become an influential and major international organisation within Europe and worldwide.
The European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) was founded in 1985 by Otto Hommes. The main aim was to strengthen communication and to promote and enhance research and learning among professionals for the ultimate benefit of people affected by MS.
The Founding Committee, succeeded in inviting around 50 European neurologist to Nijmegan for a two-day symposium on MS. This meeting proceeded successfully in a very fruitful, personable, friendly atmosphere and marked the beginning of ECTRIMS.
It was agreed that ECTRIMS should serve as a loose association of physicians and scientists with an interest in MS. Meetings would be held annually with the venue rotating through different European countries. Due to a rapidly increasing number of participants and abstracts submitted for presentation at the annual congress, the formerly ‘loose’ association quickly developed into a professional society. The ECTRIMS Council was established as the governing membership body of the organisation, with 2-3 representative members from all European countries. From the Council, an Executive Committee of 7 members is elected to help manage the organisation’s affairs.
30 years later ECTRIMS has evolved into Europe’s and the world’s largest professional organisation dedicated to the understanding and treatment of multiple sclerosis. At the annual ECTRIMS congress, up to 10’000 people with an interest and expertise in MS meet and discuss the latest scientific and clinical trial research. Every 3 years, the annual congress is held jointly by ECTRIMS and ACTRIMS.
ECTRIMS also supports progress in MS research and care through the award of several annual fellowship schemes and by holding annual focused workshops and summer schools. It promotes a vision of enhancing teaching, research and communication amongst professionals with an interest in MS, in order to benefit people living with the disease.
World MS Day 2015
What is World MS Day?
World MS Day, which will occur on May 27th this year, brings the global MS community together to share stories, raise awareness and campaign with and for everyone affected by multiple sclerosis. World MS Day is the only global awareness raising campaign for MS. Every year, the MS movement comes together to provide the public with information about MS and to raise awareness on how it affects the lives of more than 2.3 million people around the world.
Since its inception in 2009, World MS Day has grown from strength to strength, reaching hundreds of thousands of people in more than 78 countries worldwide and continuing to grow every year.
sharing a thank you, sending a photo or e-card to help celebrate how people across the world are breaking down the barriers to living with MS,
joining on of the World MS Day events that are happening all over the globe,
reading about access success stories
ECTRIMS 2015 Meeting in Barcelona
The 31st ECTRIMS meeting will take place from 7-10 October 2015 in Barcelona, Spain.
This yearly meeting is one of the most important and powerful concentrations of MS professionals worldwide and constitutes a chance for bottomline networking and collaboration opportunities.
The 2015 congress programme is designed to tackle the main topics signaling the path to future MS management. We will see what is in store for diagnosis and differential diagnosis, what for early MS, what is the next step in treating patients and, more importantly, how we can shape treatment to suit each individual’s profile – maximizing efficacy and safety of complex therapies – and how the environment continues to condition MS evolution. Read more…
Update on ECTRIMS Focused Workshop and Summer School 2015 & 2016
ECTRIMS Focused Workshop 2015
The ECTRIMS Focused Workshop on ‘Immunology of Multiple Sclerosis – from a human point of view’ took place from 5-6 March 2015 in Larnaca, Cyprus. The workshop’s aim was to improve understanding of the role of the immune system in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. Many studies pertaining to this subject have been conducted in animal models of the human disease. However, the results of many animal studies did not translate well in human multiple sclerosis. This may relate to lack of appropriate models or species differences. A group of leading experts in the immunology of multiple sclerosis was therefore invited to give a series of presentations on this issue. Please click here for the programme of the ECTRIMS Focused Workshop 2015.
ECTRIMS Focused Workshop 2016
The next ECTRIMS Focused Workshop will take place from 3-4 March 2016 in Florence, Italy. The topic will be ‘Environmental, modifiable risk factors for multiple sclerosis: what have we learned, where are we headed?’, and is organised by Maria Pia Amato and others. The idea of this workshop is to gather experts in the fields of immunology, epidemiology, virology and neurology to summarize current available data on different environmental factors and their impact on the disease course of MS. The goal of this workshop is to help designing new research efforts to identify new and to better characterize known environmental factors and to enhance our understanding of the interplay between environmental factors and disease pathogenesis.
ECTRIMS Summer School 2015
The ECTRIMS Summer School 2015 will take place from 16-18 June 2015 in Nice, France. The topic will be ‘Remyelination: from mechanisms to medicines’, organisers are Catherine Lubetzki and Robin Franklin. This Summer School is mainly dedicated to young neurologists and scientists in the field of neurobiology. It will cover all aspects of remyelination starting from the neurobiology background to the possible applications in clinics. Since recent years saw an immense progress in our understanding of the mechnisms of myelination it can be expected that this Summer School will of great benefit for all who want to get the latest update on this important topic.
ECTRIMS Summer School 2016
For 2016, an ECTRIMS Summer School on ‚Use of MR imaging in diagnosis and management of multiple sclerosis‘ is planned to take place from 28-30 June 2016 in Graz, Austria. This workshop is being jointly coordinated by MAGNIMS and ECTRIMS (Organisers: Alex Rovira, Nicola De Stefano, Xavier Montalban, David Miller).
ECTRIMS Fellowship 2015
ECTRIMS offers a comprehensive range of fellowship programmes for different target groups.
Dr. Ana Luisa Falcao (Portugal): 2-year fellowship at Karolinska Institute, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Stockholm, Sweden under mentorship of Dr. Gonçalo Caselo-Branco. Project: Epigenetic states underlying oligodendrocyte precursor differentiation in MS
Dr. Carmen Tur (Spain): 2-year fellowship at UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, under the mentorship of Prof. Olga Ciccarelli and Prof. Alan Thompson. Project: What is the role of brain structural and functional connectivity in clinically isolated syndrome?
Dr. Arman Eshaghi (Iran): 1-year fellowship at the UCL Institute of Neurology, National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London, UK, under the mentorship of Prof. Olga Ciccarelli. Project: To explore imaging phenotypes of patients with multiple sclerosis using 4-dimensional voxel-based morphometry
Dr. Mohammad Aboulwafa (Egypt): 1 year fellowship at the Neuroimaging Research Unit, INSPE, Division of Neuroscience, San Raffaele Scientific Institute and Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy, under the mentorship of Prof. Massimo Filippi. Project: Whole-cord and voxel-based assessment of cervical cord atrophy in MS patients with different clinical phenotypes: a multi-centre assessment
ECTRIMS has decided to establish a regular annual meeting with its fellowship awardees, Executive Committee and Council members, including presentations and a reception. The aim is to promote exchange of information as well as research and networking opportunities among its fellowship alumni, the Executive Committee and ECTRIMS Council.
The Multiple Sclerosis International Foundation (MSIF) has been organizing a similar programme since 2007, and ECTRIMS and MSIF have decided to work together and organise joint ECTRIMS/MSIF fellowship alumni meetings in the future, starting with the first meeting during ECTRIMS 2015 in Barcelona.
The first joint ECTRIMS/MSIF Fellowship Alumni Reception will take place during the ECTRIMS 2015 conference, on Friday, 9 October 2015, from 19-21 pm.
ECTRIMS support of other societies/events
ECTRIMS supports the following event with 50’000 EUR:
15th European School of Neuroimmunology Course 1-4 June 2015, Prague, Czech Republic
ECTRIMS has endorsed the following events:
EXCEMED – Excellence in Medical Education – MS Academia – Multiple Sclerosis advanced course 6 October 2015, Barcelona, Spain
EXCEMED – Excellence in Medical Education – 17th MS Nurse International Workshop 2015 6 October 2015, Barcelona, Spain
MSc. in diagnosis and management of multiple sclerosis
*** Application still open until 31 May 2015 ***
EXCEMED has launched its first Master of Science degree programme in partnership with several European universities and European centres of excellence in multiple sclerosis. The MSc. in multiple sclerosis diagnosis and management is now open for applications with a deadline of 31 May 2015. This Masters programme will be taught at the Università Vita-Salute, San Raffaele (UniSR) in Milan, Italy. One scholarship is available to a deserving applicant. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.