In the 17th and 18th centuries Harrogate was famous as a spa town providing visitors with waters and relaxation to boost their health. In the 21st century, well 2015 in particular, it provides the setting to allow you to reinvigorate your neurological knowledge and enjoy neurological camaraderie at the ABN Annual Meeting.
It always seems invidious to pick out highlights for these meetings when we have such a varied and interesting programme – even more so as often some of the most memorable moments come from the scientific papers or from the always thought provoking and informative case competition which are still in the process of being submitted.
This year the teaching and science sessions are not focused on specific disorders or symptoms but interlinked themes. We have a session on channelopathies which involve every level of the nervous system, with talks from Dimitri Kullmann, Belinda Lennox and Nicholas Davies, a ‘Clinician’s guide to emerging diagnostic investigations’ with talks on biomarkers, genetics and imaging from Jonathan Rohrer, Simon Hammans and James Rowe. Neurology overlaps with other specialties, particularly Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, and we are running a session on ‘Neurosurgery for Neurologists’ with talks on tumours, cervical surgery and normal pressure hydrocephalus by Caroline Hayhurst, William Taylor and Richard Edwards. ‘The psychiatric borderlands of neurology’ considers the acutely agitated patient, the autistic spectrum and psychosis with talks from Killian Welch, Jeremy Parr and Eileen Joyce. We are running the popular update session again, dealing with MS, CIDP and vasculitis and myasthenia this time round. We are introducing a new session on ‘How I would approach a patient with…’ where we will hear from Nick Fox on ‘…cognitive impairment below age 60’ and Rob Hadden on ‘…generalised sensorimotor neuropathy’.
Last year we had case based sessions run by special interest groups. The feedback for these was positive so we have expanded the sessions dedicated to these groups, to allow attendees to sample more. One cannot but highlight our Plenary speakers whose talks are eagerly anticipated. We are delighted that the Gordon Holmes Lecture is being given by Tony Lang who has contributed so much to the scientific and clinical study of movement disorders. Jeremy Farrar, neurologist and the Director of the Wellcome Trust, has recently returned from Vietnam and will telling us about ‘World Health and the Neurologist’. The movement disorder theme will be picked up again by the 2015 ABN Medallist, Andrew Lees. Phil Smith is taking over as President – I very much look forward to his Presidential Address.
On the day before the meeting we are running an ‘Introduction to Neurology’ session for Foundation doctors who are interested in Neurology – are there any Foundation doctors who might be interested? If so please contact the office. The ABNT are running the traditionally very successful Trainee Meeting while Huw Morris has organised an interesting Research meeting on Tuesday evening that draws heavily on personal experience to highlight research advice. Alastair Compston will be talking about Translational neurology in action – CAMPATH, David Burn will be discussing how to run a multicentre study and Jon Rohrer will be telling us what he learnt from his PhD. Members who get to Harrogate on Tuesday evening are welcome to come to this session. In addition, there is a ‘Need to Know Neurology’ Session for GPs too. So, the Harrogate meeting provides much to look forward to – even if you disregard the dinner and after dinner entertainment (which I hope you won’t) – and the opportunities to catch up with friends and colleagues. I look forward to seeing you there.
Geraint Fuller, President, Association of British Neurologists.
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ACNR 2015;15(1);32-33. Online 15/04/15