Saturday, 10 October 2015

ECTRIMS 2015 record attendance

Figure: ECTRIMS 2015 attendee figures
 
Over 8000 attended ECTRIMS Barcelona this year, were you in this pool? So not many luddites or laggards out there.
 

Figure: ECTRIMS presidents current and past
 
The average age of presenters...Ancient! Is this a matter of trust or would an unknown presenter lead to disappointment? 


6 comments:

  1. '08 Boston, '14 Montreal...... I'm not a geographer but when did Europe absorb N. America?:-)

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    1. Miss World vs Miss European; essentially joint meetings between ACTRIMS, LACTRIMS and ECTRIMS franchise. There is also PACTRIMS - Pan-Asian which may make things interesting in the future. Incidentally the UK is holding the meeting for the first time next year with David Miller hosting this at the London EXCEL. This area was able to handle the last Olympics so ECTRIMS should be a cinch!

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  2. ECTRIMS 2015 - was it worth it? There were 8,000 attendees at ECTRIMS 2015. Average flight and accommodation (plus taxis, dinners etc) to be c.£2000 (I work in madrid a lot - travel from London and stay in a business hotel for five night) so my estimate isn't outrageous. That equates to £16 million. Then there is the costs of running the conference - venues, events company. I suspect that the total cost is nearer £18 million. So much for the age of austerity. Someone paid for this - ultimately taxpayers either through the government spending on the health sector or academic sector, or the government spending buying drugs from the pharma companies (who then generously fund the conferences which promote their drugs). Then there is another cost - neuros who attend not doing any clinic that week or researcher not killing any mice (a positive). I'd didn't see any positive results about neuro-protection. No Charcot results (don't hold your breath on any positive results folks). The only really big announcement related to Ocrelizumab. The RRMS results weren't as stunning as some had predicted. The PPMS trial looked good, but is now being picked apart with suggestion that only those with gd enhancing lesions might benefit. For my overall assessment, I used the Smith test (Mrs Smith is 62, in a wheelchair for last 13 years, and has SPMS). She doeS not have a computer. What if she read about ECTRIMS 2015 in the Daily Mail and asked me how it would benefit her. My honest opinion - it doesn't - not a jot. She deserves better. the local NHS trust can't afford to pay for her to have a physio once a week. But governments around Europe found the £16 million for an army of doctors and researchers to enjoy a week's break in north east Spain. I wouldn't mind if the research and trial results reported were life-changing- but they weren't!

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    1. One of the major themes of this blog is that there are many professionals out there making decisions about our treatment who are not up to date on the research and best practices of this fast-moving field, and people are suffering as a result.

      In the UK, you need to accumulate damage before you can have a DMT. Where I live in the rural US, there are no MS specialists, and they are slow to offer new treatments.

      Conferences like ECTRIMS speed up the dissemination of knowledge. And to some degree the dissemination of gossip. My neuro goes to a regional meeting where he talks to a guy who went to ECTRIMS who went to the Brain Health session, and by my annual check up in February, he's finally talking about atrophy (which he is not at all concerned with today).

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    2. Despite all the cost/expense of ECTRIMS and similar conferences, the knowledge, invaluable management discussions with colleagues and setting up collaborations in research are unsurmountable. Prof G prioritised in his talk about how we run our clinics/service for MSers in the opening of his talk and people sat around me were definitely talking about this, he then followed this up with a focus on symptomatic treatments.

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    3. The breakthrough with Ocrelizumab in PPMS is a landmark, the inteferons started with 30% relapse rate reduction. This is the beginning for therapies in progressive MS. I agree that there is a postcode lottery in the NHS, but there are multiple pathways which lead to this, with only a distant link to staff attending conferences. Not sure how many trusts actually pay for attendance (mine doesn't) but is part of my training for revalidation!

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