The 17th International Summer School of Neurology

By Ovidiu Selejan and Dafin Muresanu

The 17th International Summer School of Neurology took place July 8-10, 2022, and was organized as a hybrid event. This educational activity along with the Fifth Teaching Course on Rare Neurological Diseases, brought together a lively audience of over 1,400 participants in a hybrid format, both online and on-site. In addition, the 3-day event hosted an online parallel session, “Psychiatry Perspectives in Neurocognitive Disorders” and a satellite session (on-site, on the shores of the Black Sea in Romania), focused on clinical case studies. This session was coordinated by Prof. Raad Shakir (UK), CBE, former World Federation of Neurology (WFN) president. The event was organized by Prof. Dafin Muresanu (Romania) and presided over by well-established international specialists, such as WFN President Wolfgang Grisold (Austria), Natan Bornstein (Israel), Volker Homberg (Germany), and Raad Shakir (UK). In addition, the events featured strong collaboration and endorsement from the World Federation of Neurology (WFN), the World Federation of Neurorehabilitation (WFNR), the European Federation of Neurorehabilitation Societies (EFNR), and the European Academy of Neurology (EAN), among other institutions.

The EFNR, presided by Prof. Dafin F. Muresanu (Romania), represents a forum dedicated to creating an academic, scientific, and work environment with a focus on patient care. EFNR welcomes all professionals interested in neurorehabilitation across Europe to create a multidisciplinary hub for knowledge exchange. The EFNR stands out through projects such as “The young European Federation for Neurorehabilitation” (yEFNR), a group dedicated to connecting professionals in the early stage of their careers who share a common interest in neurorehabilitation; the annual European Teaching Course on Neurorehabilitation; a wide range of educational programs; and the newly developed blog acting as a platform for promoting education and awareness on neurorehabilitation matters to a broad and diverse audience.

Strongly endorsed by the WFNR, EFNR acts as the umbrella society for European societies centered on neurorehabilitation and focuses its activity on three pillars:

  1. Supporting the development of neurorehabilitation across European countries.
  2. Hosting a forum for all health professionals involved in the neurorehabilitation process across Europe.
  3. Enabling young professionals (scientists and clinicians) to work on a joint platform and support education and training.

During the The 17th International Summer School of Neurology, personalities from the world of neuroscience presided over the sessions and offered insight into inspiring topics from neurology and neurosciences.

Wolfgang Grisold (Austria), WFN president, discussed the educational activities of the WFN, showcasing the IGAP (Intersectoral Global Action Plan on Epilepsy and Other Neurological Disorders) and also presented the WFN mission and activities, along with the eLearningHub and the Young Neurologists program.

Dafin Muresanu (Romania), EFNR president, showcased updates in the post-stroke neurorecovery, underlining the need for more evidence-based approaches supported on three pillars: theory and basic research, evidence-based parameters, and external validity. In addition, Prof. Muresanu discussed the EAN guidelines, pinpointed the role of multimodal agents in neurorehabilitation, and underlined the relationship between microcirculation and stroke.

Natan Bornstein (Israel), director of the Brain Division and chair of the Israeli Stroke Society (ISS), offered a presentation on the topic of diabetes and stroke, showcasing the role of primary and tertiary prevention and the importance of neurologists in the management of patients with type-2 diabetes Mellitus.

Volker Homberg (Germany), WFNR president-elect, presented future perspectives on neurorehabilitation in the context of the WFNR pillars based on the improvement of science, services, and education in neurorehabilitation. In addition, Prof. Homberg discussed neurorehabilitation methods, including high-tech developments, enriched environments, and pharmacological options.

Michel Brainin (Austria), immediate past president of World Stroke Organization (WSO) and Emeritus Professor of Neurology and chair at the Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Preventive Medicine of Danube University in Krems (Austria), discussed vascular diseases leading to cognitive impairment, the risk and protective factors for dementia and stroke, and also touched upon subjects of small vessel disease and strategic infarct.

The presentations from the three days of the Summer School on Neurology centered on common themes in the world of neurology and neuroscience research, such as:

  • Stroke and cerebrovascular diseases
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Neuropathies
  • Neuroprotective and recovery-enhancing drugs, and many more.

Broader perspectives from public health and sociological points of view were showcased through presentations on the burden of neurological disorders in Europe and on the aspects of neurology and neurosciences in migrants and refugees. In addition, the learning process was enhanced through insightful clinical case studies on stroke, rare diseases, and headaches.

During the parallel psychiatry session, psychiatrists discussed inspiring case studies from their practice on various topics showcasing that addressing “brain health” through collaborative efforts among psychiatry and neurology represents a stepping stone to improving patient care and research outcomes worldwide.

The satellite session took place on the shores of the Black Sea, featuring Romanian speakers who approached various perspectives on Parkinson’s Disease (PD) – diagnostic challenges, guidelines, and recommendations, on-time optimization, patient journey, and life with PD – among other topics. Moreover, the session included a roundtable session on the opportunities and challenges in the multidisciplinary approach, featuring Romanian centers from Targu Mures, Constanta, Cluj, and Bucharest.

To further support and encourage the development of multimodal intersectoral approaches to the inspiring world of neurosciences, the organizers stated their wish for future on-site scientific events and hands-on programs.

More information on the event, including the complete program and list of speakers, can be accessed here. •