The 2018 MDS International Congress: A Brief Introduction

October 2, 2018

In addition to the most up-to-date management approaches to tremors and other issues related to Parkinson disease, the conference will cover a vast array of other offerings. Neurology Times will provide daily updates for those attending in person or remotely. Get your quick intro here.

CONFERENCE REPORTER

The International Congress of Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorders, which takes place on October 5 through 9 in Hong Kong, features neurologists and researchers from around the world. Scheduled topics include the latest developments in Parkinson disease, as well as a variety of other movement disorders.

Parkinson disease

Updates on diagnosis, treatment, recent clinical trials, and the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease will be presented and discussed throughout the conference.

Treatment. Coverage of Parkinson disease treatment will include early and late stage therapies, as well as a discussion of the role of rehabilitation and exercise. New strategies for disease management focus specifically on symptoms of dystonia, tremors, spasticity, speech problems, gait abnormalities, urogenital dysfunction, and psychiatric features. The challenges that emerge with tardive symptoms and their management will also be discussed in depth.

The most up-to-date management approaches to tremors will be addressed including pharmacological treatment, surgery, and new technologies for neuromodulation therapy, infusion therapies, and Botulinum toxin. The latest treatment procedures for Parkinson disease, such as stem cell therapy, active and passive immunization, CRISPR/Cas methodology for editing genomic DNA, and enhancing the clearance of pathological proteins are also scheduled. In addition, Eastern and Western perspectives about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in Parkinson disease will be discussed.

Diagnosis. There will be a skills session with a focus on recognizing features of atypical Parkinsonism, multiple system atrophy, corticobasal degeneration, and progressive supranuclear palsy. Opportunities for earlier diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson disease will be presented in the context of identifying the prodromal disease phase and using genetic testing as a diagnostic technique. Updates on imaging with a discussion of the new possibility of imaging neurotransmitter receptors will also be given.

A discussion on the use of biomarkers includes imaging biomarkers and biomarkers that can be detected in tissue and fluid. The criteria of a good biomarker will be examined.

Pathogenesis. The current status of genetic testing will include topics around the genetics of dystonia, glucocerebrosidase (GBA) mutations, concepts in gene modulation, and the emerging study of epigenetics and non-coding genetics. The latest research about the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease includes information about tau and alpha synuclein, as well as the newest concepts that explore how the microbiome gut-brain axis is correlated with Parkinson disease.

Movement disorders

In addition to Parkinson disease, updates for the management and genetics of hyperkinetic movement disorders will be presented, including tics, myoclonus and restless leg syndrome. Lewy body dementias, Huntington disease, choreas, rare autoimmune and infectious movement disorders, and movement disorder emergencies are scheduled for discussion. Functional movement disorders, as well as the psychiatric aspects of movement disorders and movement disorders in psychiatric patients will also be reviewed.

The results of studies on the surgical treatment of movement disorders, specifically deep brain stimulation and therapeutic surgical lesions, with comparisons between the two techniques will be discussed as well.

Pediatrics. A presentation will cover the diagnosis of pediatric movement disorders, and the spectrum of these disorders and the transition from pediatric to adult care will be examined.

Technology

The application of technology for movement disorder care will focus on progress that has been made and future directions in therapy and treatment. Insights about new developments in technology-based assessments and how they can be used for monitoring symptoms and disease progression will be reviewed. New material about wearable technology, including wearable sensors, home monitoring, and machine learning will also be presented.

Clinical practice

Several clinical topics are scheduled at the conference including the ethical issues inherent in genetic testing and advanced diagnostic testing. Attendees can join a presentation about the challenges in movement disorders, with a comparison of these disorders in Africa and Asia.

Practical aspects of patient care practice include teaching courses and workshops in multidisciplinary care, bedside examination, and how to become a successful movement disorders specialist. Skill sessions include assessment of gait disorders, ataxia, and tremors. A skills workshop will focus on applied use of the Movement Disorder Society Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS).