The Neurological Council of Western Australia (NCWA) recently held their 2023 Community Neurological Sector Conference, and the Perron Institute was a proud sponsor. 

The theme was ‘Feeling Right at Home: Clinical and Community Neurological Collaboration’.  

Local and internationally renowned speakers shared their views on how we can collectively improve neurological health and disability services, outcomes and lives of people impacted by brain and nervous system disorders.  

Etta Palumbo, CEO of NCWA, hopes this event is a launchpad for prioritising, promoting and improving neurological diagnosis, treatment and clinical and community care.  

The World Health Organization’s ‘Intersectoral Global Action Plan (IGAP) on Epilepsy and other Neurological Disorders 2022-2031’ was referenced as a detailed blueprint to guide the way forward.   

The conference opening address was delivered by Ms Hannah Beazley MLA, Member for Victoria Park and Patron of MNDAWA. She explained she has a son with a neurological condition and understands the importance of the role of support organisations. 

Ms Donna Walsh, CEO of the International Bureau of Epilepsy and Chair of World OneNeurology partnership, talked about how IGAP is a game changer for neurology and brain health. She highlighted that one in three people will develop a neurological condition. She said neurology must become a health priority and suggested aiming for a coordinated approach by identifying common ground and working together to create solutions.  

Neurologist, World Brain Day founder, Chair of the World Federation of Neurology Global Policy and Advocacy Committee, Professor Tissa Wijeratne OAM’s talk focused on IGAP strategic objective three, implementing strategies for promotion and prevention. 

“Awareness and advocacy are important to reduce disability and stigma,” Professor Wijeratne said. “One in two of us could suffer from a brain disorder. It is up to us to make these disorders human and reduce terminology such as ‘burden’.   

He also highlighted the importance of maintaining our general health, and brain health specifically. He said the global cost of brain conditions such as headache, anxiety and depression, outweighs cancer and cardiovascular disorders combined. “We need to raise awareness of this.”  

Dr Rebekah Puls, Research Director at the Perron Institute, presented a ‘flash talk’ overview of the Institute and our treatment clinics delivering the specialist neurological service in WA.   

“At the Perron Institute, we investigate many facets of the brain, and they are integrated, for example, with bones, and the cardiovascular system. There are many conditions for which there are no cures and few treatments. We are working hard to develop treatments as quickly as possible. 

“We look forward to continue building partnerships and working more closely with the various neurological groups and service providers across Western Australia.” 

Videos of the presentations and panel discussions are available for a limited time on the NCWA’s website here: 

Photo credit: NCWA, inside the conference at The University Club UWA.