Queen Máxima attended a lecture by Bernard Uitdehaag (VUmc MS center Amsterdam) on “Outcome measures in neurology” – the overarching theme of the EAN 2017 Congress at the RAI on June 24-27. His lecture dealt with objective and patient reported indicators for the impact of neurological conditions on the patients’ well-being. It also helps to decide on the effectiveness of treatments. As he stated in an interview prior: “Outcome measures are extremely important in neurology. To define what you want to measure and how you want to do that is not only important in natural history studies but also in intervention studies. Moreover, outcome measures are crucial in the care for our patients. Are we doing the right things in daily practice? By which strategy can we improve the situation and prognosis of our patients in a clinically important way? What is the added value of our activities for our patients and the community? All these questions (and many more) depend on the way outcome measures are defined. As a neurologist, you want to make a difference in someone’s life. You can only try to do that if you know what to aim for.” The Queen also met with leading representatives of the EAN, the Dutch neurological community, as well as with patients suffering from neurological diseases. The EAN Congress deals with all neurological diseases of which headache, sleep disorders, dementia, stroke, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis are the most common ones.
Other Amsterdam Neuroscience based neurologists that presented at the EAN 2017 meeting included Yvo Roos (AMC) with an update of the endovascular interventions (Mr CLEAN) in the clinical management of acute stroke and Henk Berendse (VUmc) with his ‘highlights on movement disorders’ lecture. In the overview he provided a timely overview of the progress in interventions in Parkinson’s Disease (PD), ranging from benchmarking the latest in DBS, aimed at suppression of PD disease symptoms, to discussing the genetic predisposition of PD (such as via variants of the LRRK2 gene) which may lead to better patient substratification and disease modification interventions eventually.
Finally Diederik van de Beek (AMC) presented a Teaching Course lecture on the ESCMID guidelines for treatment of suspected bacterial meningitis; these latter guidelines are aimed at providing guidance in daily practice for diagnosis and treatment of community-acquired bacterial meningitis in hospitals, based on up-to-date scientific evidence for best academic medical practice (also published in Van de Beek et al. 2016). In line with this he also gave an overview of the finding of his lab showing that C5 might be an optimal drug target for immunotherapy in bacterial meningitis.