This week, synergism, knowledge exchange and training in the MS field will take place as more than 8,000 people from around the world will come together for the 31st Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS). The last time Barcelona hosted the ECTRIMS congress was in 1992, when only 250 people were in attendance. The immense growth in interest and involvement in MS research and treatment is truly encouraging, and brings hope to those affected by MS.
ECTRIMS is not only about presenting scientific data, it is also about collaboration that transcends geographic borders and disciplines, training the next generation of MS professionals, and discussing ways to improve practices and policies related to the diagnosis and treatment of people living with MS. This year’s program includes a number of important initiatives, such as a patient day which took place earlier in the week and involved people with MS sharing their personal experiences and priorities for research, and a special session devoted to MS nursing.
Some of the topics that we will hear more about throughout the week include personalized therapy –regarded as one of the biggest unmet needs in MS research and care – biomarkers, MS prevention and risk reduction, clinical trial updates, neuroprotection and remyelination, MS and reproduction, and comorbidities.
Canadian researchers, many of which are funded by the MS Society of Canada, are involved in every aspect of the conference; trainees will present the latest evidence gathered from their research, senior researchers will serve as mentors during teaching sessions, and the MS community’s most seasoned MS experts will be actively engaged in meetings such as those of the Progressive MS Alliance and Canadian Network of MS Clinics. As the week unfolds, the research team will be delivering updates from one of the most important and impactful MS research meetings. Follow me on Twitter (@Dr_KarenLee) for live updates, and check the blog for daily recaps!