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November 2012


Dear Colleague,

This is the third ECTRIMS newsletter for 2012. It follows shortly after a highly
successful Annual Meeting in Lyon, France, which is described further below. It also
provides updates on planning for the 2013 Annual Meeting in Copenhagen (2-5
October 2013), the current ECTRIMS Strategic Review and Business Plan, ECTRIMS
fellowships, other meetings and other news.S.



ECTRIMS 2012 Meeting


This year’s Annual Meeting was held in Lyon on October 10-13. It was the second
largest Annual Meeting ever, with over 6800 delegates. The scientific and social
programmes were both very successful. Warm thanks go to the local organising
committee lead by Christian Confavreux, who did an outstanding job of designing the
scientific programme and the special events around the Congress. The atmosphere of
Lyon and France was evident throughout with an enjoyable Welcome Reception at
the Halles de Lyon – Paul Bocuse and conference dinner at La Sucrière.


Teaching course


Thirteen teaching courses were held on Wednesday morning this year. There were
good numbers of attendees at the courses with 2448 participants in 13 courses. A
questionnaire has provided generally positive feedback on the participants’
perception of general organisation and educational value of the courses; some
feedback suggested that the extent of interaction between presenters and audience
could be increased. The feedback will be useful in planning teaching courses in future


Scientific programme


There were excellent plenary lectures from Prof Hans-Peter Hartung (“Biotherapies
in MS; hopes and threats”) and Dr Brian Weinshenker (“Devic’s neuromyelitis
optica: What it is, what it isn’t and why it’s hard to be sure”). The scientific
programme was a very full one, including platform sessions with state-of-the-art
topical reviews followed by presentations of original new research. Platform sessions
were very well attended as were the poster sessions held during Thursday and Friday
afternoons. The final plenary session on Saturday morning was attended by over1000 people, a record for ECTRIMS Congresses for the last day. During this,
summaries of scientific and treatment highlights presented at the Congress were
given by Drs. Alberto Ascherio (Boston USA) and Gavin Giovannoni (London UK);
their presentations identified many important and exciting new research findings
from the Congress and emphasised the rapid generation of new knowledge on many
fronts that promises more benefits to people with MS in coming years. The Congress
Planning Committee is always looking for ways to enhance future meetings and the
participant survey – which was completed by 800 attendees – will be helpful in this


Satellite symposia


7 satellite symposia organised by pharmaceutical company partners were well


Prizes and Awards


For the first time the new category of Honorary Membership of ECTRIMS was
awarded during the 2012 meeting. The Award is reserved for individuals who have
made exceptional contributions in the field of MS and who have also supported
ECTRIMS in a major capacity. The Honorary Members announced during the 2012
meeting are Profs. Oded Abramsky (Israel) and Alan Thompson (United Kingdom).
The Young Investigator Awards went to

  • K. Bjørnevik, Bergen, Norway
    Prog. Nr. 64 “An age at exposure effect in the association between sun
    exposure and the risk of MS in Norway and Italy. The EnvlMS study”
  • E. Leray, Rennes, France
    Prog. Nr. 134 “The SURVIMUS study, a large multicentre study on long-term
    mortality of multiple sclerosis patients in France”

Prizes for the Best Posters were awarded to

  • 1st Poster Prize:
    • M. Matiello (P637)
    • L.A.E. Matthews (P832)
  • 2nd Poster Prize:
    • R. Dutta (P316)
  • 3rd Poster Prize:
    • N. Collongues (P674)
    • D. Paling (P693)
    • E.S. Sotirchos (P657)

Communication of conference proceedings
In addition to paper and electronic versions of the Congress programme and
abstracts, a webcast of platform presentations is now available on-line
( A twitter site for ECTRIMS 2012 was also
established and has been well used before, during and after the meeting.



ECTRIMS 2013 Meeting

The 29th Congress of ECTRIMS will take place in Copenhagen on October 2nd to 5th .
The meeting will be held jointly with the 18th Annual Congress of Rehabilitation in
MS (RIMS). Scientific themes include:

  • Inflammation and demyelination in MS
  • Gene-environment interactions in MS
  • Triggers in MS
  • Early treatment of MS and window of opportunity in MS treatment
  • Monitoring MS evolutionRemyelination in MS
  • Cognitive disturbances in MS
  • Progressive MS
  • Seeing inside the brain
  • Looking into the future: experimental studies of new therapies

The Preliminary Programme will be available in spring 2013



ECTRIMS Strategic Review and Business Plan

The Strategic Review of ECTRIMS is now reaching its final stages and was discussed
with the ECTRIMS Executive Committee and Council in Lyon. A Business Plan to
support implementation of the Strategic Plan has also been drafted. The new
Strategic Plan includes an on-going commitment to use ECTRIMS funds to support its
aims and visions. We will plan for an increase in the number and type of fellowships
(see below), and expanded funding of new educational and scientific initiatives. As
new initiatives, ECTRIMS will hold a focused workshop and Summer School during
2013. The focused workshop in London March 8-9th 2013 will focus on Pregnancy
and Hormonal Factors in MS; the Summer School in Bari, Italy on June 25-28th
will address Phase IV studies: New methods in Pharmaco-Vigilance and
Monitoring Drug Effectiveness in Multiple Sclerosis.
To reinforce our partnerships with others focused on MS, ECTRIMS has also initiated
a regular dialogue between ECTRIMS and key stakeholders and will emphasise
strategies to maintain an Annual Congress that continues to be the largest and most



ECTRIMS Executive Committee

The Lyon meeting saw the departure of 3 members of the Executive Committee: Prof.
Michel Clanet (France), the outgoing President, who has served on the committee for
9 years, and Profs. Ralf Gold (Germany) and Franz Fazekas (Austria) who served on
the committee for 3 and 2 years respectively. All 3 were thanked for their excellent
work on behalf of ECTRIMS. Prof. Maria Trojano (Italy) became the new President
and Prof. Xavier Montalban (Spain) the Vice President and President- Elect. Prof.
David Miller (United Kingdom) became the Secretary and Prof. Per SoelbergSørensen (Denmark) remains the Treasurer. Three new members were elected to the
committee: Profs. Bernard Hemmer (Germany), Catherine Lubetzki (France) and
Tomas Olsson (Sweden).


ECTRIMS Fellowship Programmes

We have recently expanded our support for fellowship programmes. Three different
types of fellowship are now being offered:


ECTRIMS Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Exchange Programme


ECTRIMS offers a postdoctoral research fellowship exchange programme for young
neuroscientists to facilitate their conduct of and training in basic, clinical or applied
research related to multiple sclerosis (MS). The next deadline for proposal submission
is 1st December 2012 and the on-line proposal system can be accessed at:


MAGNIMS-ECTRIMS Fellowship in Magnetic Resonance Imaging in MS


The European MAGNIMS network (Magnetic Resonance Imaging in MS) and ECTRIMS
jointly support research fellowships for young European researchers in the
application of magnetic resonance studies to MS. The next deadline for proposal
submission is 1st February 2013. Details of the programme and the fellowshipproposal process can at: or


ECTRIMS Clinical Fellowship


ECTRIMS offers a new clinical training fellowship programme for neurologists and
other physicians who wish to enhance their skills in MS patient management and
care and foster their careers as MS physicians. The training programme, available for
3, 6 or 12 months, must be under the direction of a senior clinical mentor at a
European MS clinic and/or MS research centre. Fellows may come from any location
but priority will be given to candidates from developing countries. The deadline for
proposal submission is 1st December 2012. Further details and application forms at



Other Meeting Dates

ACTRIMS 2013, Orlando, USA, 29 May – 1 June 2013

ECTRIMS-ACTRIMS 2014, Boston, USA, 10-13 September 2014

ECTRIMS 2015, Barcelona, Spain, 7-10 October 2015

ECTRIMS 2016, London, UK, 14-17 September 2016



Other News

MS Diagnosis Aid

Dr Bernard Uitdehaag at the VU University MS left Amsterdam has developed a
user-friendly “smart phone” application to guide physicians through the MS diagnosis
process, based on the 2010 revisions to the McDonald Diagnostic Criteria for MS. The
App is available free of charge for IPhone/IPad users through the Apple App Store
and for Android users through the Google Play Store. To download the App, search
the relevant store for your system for “MS DIAGNOSIS” and look for the following
purple, gray and white logo for the MS Diagnosis App.




Join ECTRIMS on Twitter for up to date news on ECTRIMS and the 2013 conference!

ECTRIMS on Twitter



ECTRIMS Executive Committee

M. Trojano, Bari/IT, President
X. Montalban, Barcelona/ES, Vice-President
D. Miller, London/UK, Secretary & Newsletter Editor
P. Soelberg-Sørensen, Copenhagen/DK, Treasurer
B. Hemmer, Munich/DE
C. Lubetzki, Paris/FR
T. Olsson, Stockholm/SE


[fMRI during simple motor task; healthy volunteer (top) and PP MS subject (bottom) Photo M. Filippi, Ospedale San Raffaele, Milan
Pathology of SPMS Photo H. Lassmann, University of Vienna
MS t-cells Photo H. Lassmann, University of Vienna
Arcuate fasciculus impacted by MS lesion Photo M. Filippi, Ospedale San Rafaelle, Milan
Photo Congrex
optic disc palor after acute ON. Courtesy A. Toosy, London