Movement Disorder Society Congress 2019

The 2019 International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders organised by the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS) was held in Nice, France at the end of September.

The theme was: Translating the Science of Movement Disorders into Clinical Practice.

Thousands of the field’s clinicians, researchers, trainees and industry supporters attend the annual conference each year.

PhD students Jade Kenna, Megan Bakeberg and Anastazja Gorecki (pictured L-R) from the Perron Institute’s Neurodegenerative Disorders Research group gave poster presentations and were inspired by the integrative and collaborative nature of the conference.

Perron Institute consultant neurologist Associate Professor Rick Stell and PhD student Dr Srim Vijayan also attended.

Various aspects of Parkinson’s including motor and non-motor symptoms, genetics, inflammatory markers, clinical presentation and medication effects were integrated into the presentations and posters.

Talk highlights included Dr Ryan Davis from the University of Sydney and Royal North Shore Hospital discussing the role of mitochondria and mitochondrial dysfunction in Parkinson’s, and Associate Professor Agnete Kirkeby from the University of Copenhagen investigating the progression of pluripotent (master) stem cell technology from basic science to clinical trials for dopamine neuron replacement therapy in the treatment of movement disorders.

There were several interactive training sessions in which our students attended in order to up-skill and keep up to date with current assessment methods. Sessions included practising clinicians exploring the MDS-UPDRS assessment – a revision of the Movement Disorders Society’s Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) originally developed in the 1980s. According to the MDS, it was developed to evaluate various aspects of Parkinson’s disease including non-motor and motor experiences of daily living and motor complications. It includes a motor evaluation and characterises the extent and burden of disease across various populations. The scale can be used in a clinical setting as well as in research.