Building Local Networks of Expertise

In June 2011, the World Federation of Neurology Research Group on Aphasia and Cognitive Disorders and the World Federation of Neurology Research Group on ALS and MND collaboratively organized workshops on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementias in China and Mongolia.

Financed by the World Federation of Neurology, Facundo Manes, Thomas Bak, Suvarna Alladi, John Ravits and Albert Ludolph held lectures on the relationship of these two diseases, both on the neuropathological and clinical levels. They were supported by colleagues from China and Mongolia, respectively.expertise

In China, more than 200 professionals attended the meeting, the program raised a lot of interest and finally the two groups together with their Chinese colleagues started to organize a local network of expertise. This includes the buildup of a registry for ALS/MND in Beijing (Professor Liying Cui) which is mirrored by a registry for ALS/MND in Germany and potentially in Scotland. Currently, financial support is requested by the Chinese and German governments.

Four days later, an educational course also was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. It was supported by our Mongolian colleagues and friends; the program was attended by more than 200 Mongolian neurologists. In the meantime, we have decided to also establish a local network of expertise in Ulaanbaatar, which mirrors the networks in Scotland and Germany. The local network of expertise in Ulaanbaatar was established on Jan. 1, 2013, and the World Federation of Neurology will make every effort to support this project financially.

These most successful meetings show that the concept of the WFN to establish international scientific relations among physicians and basic scientists, to hold teaching courses, to provide research groups a common bases and work together and finally establish local networks of expertise is a most interesting future direction of clinical and basic research which is doable and relevant for many fields.