IICN Meetings

Neurology Update Meeting 2018 - October 19th

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Friday, 19th October saw a great turnout for our Annual Neurology Update Meeting at The Davenport Hotel, Dublin.  The 2018 Annual Update was directed by Dr Raeburn Forbes, IICN Board Member and Consultant Neurologist, County Armagh.  Delegates from all over Ireland (even one from Norway!) heard updates on clinical assessment, advances in pathophysiology, genetics, investigation and therapy of neurological diseases.  

Dr. Raeburn Forbes, Director, Neurology Update Meeting 2018 and Consultant Neurologist, Craigavon Area Hospital, Armagh





Dr. Manjit Matharu, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, University College London

Programme and Lectures

Dr Douglas Duffy of The Balance Centre Dublin opened with a video-based presentation on the assessment of dizziness, reminding us of the value of careful eye examination including the gems revealed with removing fixation.  From his extensive movements disorders practice in Tallaght Hospital, Dr Richard Walsh provided a masterclass on the assessment of tremor with an informative multi-media presentation - invaluable for novice and seasoned clinicians.   The final clinical assessment lecture was from Dr Daniel Costello of University Hospital Cork, who shared an evidence-rich perspective to help us make a rational assessment of transient loss of consciousness.

Two modern-day leaders in Irish Clinical Neuroscience proved their world-class reputations with overviews on Motor Neurone Disease and Epilepsy.  Professor Orla Hardiman was unanimously appreciated for her in-depth overview of the last 20 years of MND/ALS research, making the important point that MND/ALS involves entire brain networks, including cognition, and not just the primary motor pathways. Professor Norman Delanty looked into the future of precision medicine and the role genetic testing in refractory epilepsy.  Genetics may offer insights that allow better targeting of existing drug treatments, but also help explain the pathophysiology of rare, refractory epilepsy which are not all ion channelopathies.  He also reviewed the genetic abnormalities and phenotypes which may offer valuable information in clinical practice today.

 Dr. Debarata Bhattacharya, Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast
Dr. Kirti Ranchod, Trinity College Dublin
Professor Norman Delanty, Beaumont Hospital and RCSI, Dublin

       Dr. Luke O'Donnell, Tallaght University Hospital

Professor Orla Hardiman, Beaumont Hospital and
Trinity College Dublin
Dr. Jorge Mario Leon Salas, Trinity College Dublin

A common diagnostic problem in clinical practice are people with white matter disorders identified on MRI.  Dr Debs Bhattacharya, Consultant Neuroradiologist from The Belfast HSC Trust, outlined his own approach to demyelinating disorders, and showed us the pitfalls of relying solely on pattern recognition without thinking about the pathophysiology of demyelination itself.

The field of emerging and newly established therapies fell to Mr Danny Rawluk, Consultant Neurosurgeon from The Hermitage Clinic, who presented his experience on indications and outcomes of stereotactic radiosurgery, including its use in Trigeminal Neuralgia.  In correctly selected patients, this technique can avoid morbidity from open surgery and does offer a 'very minimally invasive' option in many cases.

Guest Lecturer

The IICN was honoured to welcome as guest lecturer Dr Manjit Matharu, lead clinician of The Headache Group at University College London's National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.  His overview examined the scientific basis and evidence for novel therapies in Migraine including newly approved CGRP and CGRP-receptor monoclonal antibodies.  The 'Ditan' drugs for acute migraine and 'Gepant' drugs for prophylaxis - are in advanced stages in clinical trials and are likely to become additional options in the near future too.  Dr Matharu also presented his data on when to opt for occipital nerve stimulation and what outcomes to expect.

Acknowledgement of Sponsors

The Annual Update Meeting could not happen without generous sponsorship and the IICN wish to thank all their sponsors:

▶ Roche Products (Ireland) Limited                            ▶ Sanofi Genzyme                 ▶ Pfizer Healthcare                            ▶ Allergan                   
▶ Novartis Ireland                                                        ▶ Fannin                                 ▶ Merck Serono (Ireland) Ltd.            ▶   Alnylam                              
▶ Teva Pharmaceuticals.                                            ▶ Biogen Ireland                     ▶Eisai Limited  

Feedback from delegates at the Davenport Hotel indicates that next year's Neurology Update meeting in Belfast will have a lot to live up to if this year's high standard is to be preserved.

- Dr Raeburn Forbes MD(Hons) FRCP Ed FRCP Lond
Consultant Neurologist


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