APDA attends the International Congress of Parkinson’s disease and Movement disorders


I just returned from the International Congress of Parkinson’s disease and Movement Disorders that took place Oct 5-Oct 9 in Hong Kong. You can check out my summaries of some of the exciting new research that was presented at the conference here.

The meeting attracts scientists and clinicians from around the world who work in the field of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and related Movement disorders and is a forum for educational talks, research presentations and networking.

Emphasis on Technology

The main theme of this year’s meeting was Technology in the Diagnosis, Monitoring and Management of Movement Disorders, with sessions such as Wearable Technology and Machine Learning for Quantitative Evaluation of Parkinson’s Disease. In this particular session, experts discussed the various approaches of wearable technology, both the methods to capture information from wearable sensors about a patient’s PD, as well as the methods by which the data is analyzed. There are many research efforts across the world attempting to use this type of technology to diagnose PD, as well as to monitor patients both in their everyday life as well as in the context of a clinical trial. These efforts are crucial since patients tend to see their doctors for relatively brief periods and currently most doctors adjust medication doses primarily based on patient and care partner reports. More information about how a patient is actually doing at home, in the form of information gleaned from a wearable sensor, may allow for more accurate medication adjustments. I will dedicate one of my upcoming blogs to a more in depth conversation about wearable technology in PD.  Check out some of this type of work that APDA has funded in the past and is currently funding.

Other sessions at the conference covered clinical trials, imaging, deep brain stimulation, non-motor symptoms and more.  Poster sessions, at which the very newest research findings were presented in poster format, took place on Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the conference.

Building relationships. Sharing ideas.

One of the most important aspects of large meetings like this one is the chance for attendees to step out of the silos of their daily work. Participants get a chance to hear about what others are doing and this informs and expands their own work. For me, a meeting such as this one is a great way to keep up to date on the latest research and thereby be able to impart that information to the APDA community. It also is a chance to meet others in the field and exchange ideas which can help APDA develop and grow.

Also in attendance at the conference were my colleagues Leslie Chambers, CEO and President of APDA and Robin Kornhaber, Senior Vice President of National Programs and Partnerships at APDA. On Monday morning of the conference, APDA hosted a breakfast for any of the conference attendees who were Medical Directors of our APDA Information & Referral (I &R) centers, Directors of our APDA Centers for Advanced Research, or APDA-funded researchers. This was a wonderful way to further develop relationships with, as well as thank members of the medical and scientific community who carry out APDA’s mission.

While the International Congress of Parkinson’s disease and Movement Disorders was developed for, and is attended by, members of the medical and scientific communities, there is however, a different global conference that the general public can attend. The World Parkinson Congress,  taking place June 4-7, 2019 in Kyoto, Japan, invites people with Parkinson’s disease and their care partners from around the world to participate, alongside the international medical and scientific communities. Once again, APDA will be there as a Bronze Sponsor. At that meeting, sessions are created with the whole gamut of participants in mind. The gathering takes place in a different location every three years (most recently in Portland, OR in 2016, and Montreal, Canada in 2013.) If you are interested in finding out more, check out their website. Registration is now open.

Tips and Takeaways:

  • The International Congress of Parkinson’s disease and Movement Disorders is a yearly meeting that allows clinicians and researchers to learn and exchange ideas.
  • APDA was present at the meeting that just took place in Hong Kong – learning about the newest PD research and networking with PD physicians and researchers.
  • To find out more about the latest PD research underway, a helpful recap of some of the most innovative projects presented at the conference can be found in the News section of APDA’s website.
  • The upcoming World Parkinson Congress will take place in Kyoto, Japan in June 2019, and is a chance for people with PD and their care partners to participate in an international meeting alongside PD researchers and clinicians.

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