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A ‘very bright future for neurology’ through friendship and collaboration

By Denise Doherty - 21st Jun 2023

bright future

The Irish Neurological Association (INA) and the Association of British Neurologists Joint Annual Scientific Meeting 2023 boasted a diverse and distinguished range of speakers, a rich programme of plenaries, parallel sessions, and poster sessions, as well as insightful symposia, invited lectures, and specialist interest group sessions. The historic event was the first joint meeting between the two associations and was a huge success.

Speaking to the Medical Independent, Consultant Neurologist, Craigavon Area Hospital, Northern Ireland, Dr Raeburn Forbes, President of the INA, described the value of “curiosity” and “connections” within the neurology discipline as he reflected on the meeting, and the strengthened sense of collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and friendship-forming it achieved. “We’ve got a lot in common,” he said about the two associations, before describing the pleasure of an in-person event and “connecting experts” after the “tumultuous years” of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

“We’ve got a lot to offer,” Dr Forbes said about neurology in Ireland. “There’s a lot of research that goes on in Ireland, there’s a lot of good clinical practice and I think Irish science does punch above its weight…. The idea was to connect groups of people.”  

Describing the future of neurology, Dr Forbes referenced an array of research that was presented during the event, and the emerging innovations in treating debilitating, burdensome, and historically challenging neurological disorders. “Sir John Hardy unravelled this whole mechanism of dementia and you realise now that therapeutics for a common and devastating condition are possible…. We’re at the point of actual therapeutic intervention there…. The other neurodegenerative conditions, like motor neurone and Huntington’s, we’re at the cusp of actually disease-modifying these disorders and that’s enormous…. That’s a very bright future.”

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