European Neurological Review is an important journal for medical doctors as well as for representatives of pharmaceutical companies and patient organisations. It provides periodic reviews on new developments in neurological disorders. This issue once again covers the main diseases of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s dementia, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy and epilepsy. In addition, new developments in neuroimaging and a new target for neurostimulation in the treatment of tremor are presented.
These periodic surveys are a useful tool, providing summarising updates for neurologists, who do not always have the time to consult all recent medical journals. However, every neurologist needs additional information and interactive discussion to remain up-to-date in the field. Therefore, attending congresses remains important. The European Federation of Neurological Societies (EFNS) offers this possibility each year. All of the recent discoveries in the most important diseases of the brain are presented over the couse of three days. In addition, more specific subjects are presented in smaller parallel focused workshops in the afternoons. Pharmaceutical companies also contribute to the success of the EFNS congresses by organising educational satellite symposia. The European Federation of Neurological Associations, representing patients suffering from neurological diseases, also participates with its own contribution to the success of the meeting. This intense collaboration between neurologists, pharmaceutical companies and patient associations is the key to the success of the EFNS congresses. More than 5,000 participants attended the 2008 congress in Madrid and the 2009 congress in Florence, and many more are expected in Geneva in September 2010.
However, not everybody is able to participate in the EFNS congresses. In order to help these neurologists, the EFNS organises regional teaching courses, mainly in eastern Europe. The same principles that we use in our congresses are applied, with the main topics being presented in the morning and workshops in the afternoon. Several hundred neurologists and trainees attend these teaching courses. Over the last two years, the EFNS has extended its teaching courses to sub-Saharan Africa, alternating between a French-speaking and an English-speaking country: in 2008 the course took place in Dakar, Senegal, and in 2009 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Disorders of the brain are becoming increasingly important in all European countries, where they represent 23% of the burden of disease. With the increased longevity of the population, the number of patients with disorders of the brain will further increase. Therefore, a joint effort of neurologists, pharmaceutical companies and patient organisations remains important to convince politicians of the importance of brain disorders. The European Brain Council is the perfect link with the political establishment of the EU in order to continue the ‘Decade of the Brain’.
European Neurological Review would like to thank everyone involved in this edition: our valued media partner associations and expert editorial board for their guidance and advice, and especially the individual authors for their time and effort and for producing an excellent selection of articles. We are certain that this collection of insightful reviews and expert discussion will be both a useful and an informative read.