Norway’s Riks, Ullevål and National Epilepsy Center

Marieme Soda Diop-Sene
Neurologist, Fann University Hospital

Marième Soda Diop-Sene with Professor Espen Dietrichs, the Head of the Department of Neurology, Oslo University Hospital

From Oct. 22 to Nov. 19, 2016, we had a study trip in Oslo. We arrived on Saturday, Oct. 22, and stayed in the researcher house in Blindern. It was a comfortable house with all of the amenities, located between Riks Hospital and Ullevål Hospital.

We spent the first two weeks at Riks Hospital, the third week at Ullevål Hospital, and the last week at the National Epilepsy Center.

At Riks Hospital, we met Prof. Espen Dietrich and all of the teaching staff of the neurology department. We participated in morning staff meetings at the neurology ward and at the radiology ward, where we learned a lot about neuroradiology. We also visited patients.

At the clinical ward, we participated in the consultation of movement disorders with Prof. Inger Marie Skogseid, whose patients had severe dystonia and Parkinson’s disease. Some of them had deep brain stimulation (DBS), and others received botulinum toxin injections. It was the first time we saw patients who had DBS and botulinum toxin for movement disorders.

We attended headache consultation and neurovascular disease consultation with Prof. Anne Hege Aamodt. We saw patients with vascular disease (classical stroke) as well as a rare case of middle cerebral artery vasospasm in a young woman.

With Prof. Aamodt, we attended headache consultations and saw patients with migraines and occipital headaches. We also witnessed the administration of botulinum toxin and local anaesthetic injections for headaches.

Even if sometimes such cases are found in our daily practice, the management (exploration and treatment) is totally different. The main fact we learned is to use alternative treatment, such as botulinum toxin or local anaesthetic injection, for the treatment of headache and movement disorders.

We also had a great interest in attending neurophysiology interventions. We performed EEGs and EMGs, and we had really interesting cases, including diabetic amyotrophy and severe peripheral polyneuropathies of different etiologies.

The third week, we visited Ullevål Hospital, where the daily routine is different from Riks Hospital; indeed it’s mostly an emergency hospital. We met Prof. Sigrud Kierulf Braekken and her team. We witnessed some cases of refractory epilepsy, myasthenia gravis, and trigeminal neuralgia at the emergency unit, but no cases of acute stroke and thrombolysis.

We also met Dr. Angelina Maniaol, whose principal interest is myasthenia gravis, and discussed juvenile myasthenia gravis, which is one of our main research subjects.

The last week, we visited the National Epilepsy Center, a really amazing experience. We met Prof. Rune Markhus and Prof. Ellen Molteberg, and their teams.

We had some rich exchanges about research topics we could do together. We discussed research methodology with Prof. Morten Lossius and Prof. Cecilie Johanssen Landmark.

At the morning staff meeting, we discussed polysomnography recordings in a patient with a parasomnia; we read and discussed EEG recordings of children with epilepsy.

With Prof. Anette Ramm Pettersen, we also exchanged information about neurophysiology and neuropsychological comorbidities in children with epilepsy.

We shared our daily experience in Senegal through two talks: “Neurology in Senegal” and “Two Clinical Cases of Tropical Neurology.” The first one was about a stroke in a patient with HIV-1 and HIV-2 co-infection, and the second case was about Pott’s disease in an HIV-1 patient.

We attended a meeting on deep brain stimulation at the congress center with Prof. Skogseid, organized by the Norwegian Neurological Association.

We focused on movement disorders, neurophysiology and epileptology, and myasthenia gravis because those topics are our main interests.

On the social part of the stay, we visited Oslo with Prof. Geir Slapø and his wife. We had a social evening at Prof. Aamodt’s House, where we met the members of the Norwegian Neurological Association.

We saw snow for the first time, and all of this made our trip unforgettable.

We acknowledge all of the members of the Norwegian Neurological Association and the WFN for having made this trip possible.

We are thankful for the precious moments we shared at work and in their family lives. •