The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) Annual Meeting is the largest multidisciplinary meeting in the field of multiple sclerosis (MS). The 2016 conference runs from June 1-4 in National Harbor, MD.
“This year will be our 30th anniversary of the CMSC Annual Meeting,” CEO June Halper, MSN, APN-C, MSCN, FAAN, told Neurology Advisor in an interview. “We are now devoting the meeting not just to clinical care, but also including a great deal of basic science for the clinician as well as the researcher.”
More than 2000 doctors, nurses, and allied health care professionals have registered to attend. “Every year it’s been growing,” Ms. Halper explained, “and we now offer accreditation for occupational therapists, psychologists, and social workers, besides the accredited courses for nurses, pharmacists, and physicians.” The 4-day meeting features the latest information on the science and the art of MS care, with over 130 educational hours targeted to this unique multidisciplinary audience.
“Our meeting usually breaks information on comprehensive care — the new methods of care, new strategies for treatment, new opportunities to promote adherence, and legislative issues,” said Ms. Halper. Fred D. Lublin, MD, FAAN, FANA, opens the annual meeting on Wednesday, June 1, with the John F. Kurtzke Memorial Lecture on “Do Relapses Really Matter?”
On Thursday, Daniel Pelletier, MD, gives the Presidential Lecture on “Genetic Variations Relating to Glutamate Concentration in the Brain,” exploring how MS biomarkers are being used with advanced imaging technologies to quantify targeted molecules in the brain, which may represent a new era of genotype-phenotype studies with the potential to identify biological pathways associated with progressive disease.
The Donald Paty Memorial Lecture closing the meeting on Saturday, June 4th will be given by Jack Antel, MD. “Multiple Sclerosis: Can the Damage be Undone?” takes a look at the future potential to reverse tissue damage.
“Technological advances in imaging over the past several years have greatly expanded our understanding of MS and enhanced our ability to assess each patient’s situation,” explained Ms. Halper, pointing to the importance of sessions such as “No Evident Disease Activity (NEDA) and Brain Health in Multiple Sclerosis,” “Brain Plasticity Using FMRI,” and basic science courses such as “MRI in Differential Diagnosis.”
“This year’s meeting is going to be full of new scientific information,” added Megan Weigel, President-Elect of the International Organization of Multiple Sclerosis Nurses (IOMSN). “There are exciting opportunities to learn about advanced immunology, cell-based therapies, and the role of viruses in MS, and to delve deeper into the role of the microbiome in MS and related diseases.”
Demonstrating this extraordinary range, Kathleen Costello, MS, ANP-BC, MSCN, and Scott Newsome, DO, will co-chair “Basic Immunology for the Non-Immunologist” on Wednesday afternoon at 1:15 PM, followed directly at 3PM by “Advanced Immunology for the Non-Immunologist: Mechanisms of Neural Repair,” presented by Dr Newsome. Anne Cross, MD, and Francisco J. Quintana, PhD, will co-chair a research symposium, “How T Cells and B Cells Work Together” on Friday afternoon, and continuing from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 4.
Additionally, a full range of sessions will focus on advanced MS care, including “Gaining Perspectives on Advanced MS: Improving Outcomes and End of Life Care,” chaired by Rosalind Kalb, PhD, on Thursday, June 2, with presentations on the impact of comorbidities and mood disorders on MS. Friday afternoon sessions will add to the discussion of cognitive decline and depression in MS.
The CMSC member network includes more than 11,000 international healthcare clinicians and scientists, as well as more than 60 Veterans Administration MS Programs and 225 MS Centers in the US, Canada, and Europe. The networking experience is central to the annual meeting, with 5 dinners on June 1 for nurses, rehabilitation professionals, social workers, the MS Coalition and the accredited Meet the Professor Dinner, where keynote speaker Suhayl Dhib-Jalbut, MD, will examine the status of personalized medicine in MS.