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Welcome to the IAPRD Newsletter!
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Read on for information about the 2017 IAPRD Congress in Vietnam, features of interest, and a downloadable graphic.
Visit the XXII Congress website
Note from Dr. Daniel Truong, President of the IAPRD
 
Welcome to the first IAPRD newsletter! Currently, we are busy planning the XXII IAPRD Congress, which will be held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, November 12-15, 2017. The Scientific Program Executive Committee met in Frankfurt, Germany on December 3, 2016 to plan the program. Watch the IAPRD Congress website for the call to abstracts, which will be coming over the next few months.
Loss of Nigrostriatal Dopamine Projections In Parkinson's Disease
Use this graphic for free; please credit Mike Austin for the International Association of Parkinsonism and Related Disorders (IAPRD).
Depiction of nigrostriatal dopamine projections in a normal brain (left) and a brain from a person with Parkinson's disease (right). 
IAPRD Open-Access Educational Forum Coming in 2017
evidentia
Wissen und Werkzeuge für Arzte
Mid-2017, IAPRD will launch an open-access educational platform, free of charge, for the worldwide neurological community.
  
One of IAPRD’s goals is bringing education to the worldwide neurological community. To that purpose, IAPRD not only organizes bi-annual World Congresses and regular worldwide on-site educational congresses in not fully Westernized countries, but also publishes the highly renowned journal Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, as well as the authoritative textbook Parkinson’s Disease and Other Movement Disorders–free of charge and available at cost price, respectively, for its members.
 
Given the enormous success of the traditional series of educational lectures, covering basic neuroscience, clinical diagnostic procedures and therapeutic strategies in the various movement disorders, during our World Congresses in the past, it was decided to further expand our educational program with an open-access platform allowing eCME-accredited ‘education on demand’.


To that purpose, IAPRD approached Evidentia AG. Evidentia is highly experienced in online education and was elected Best Online Educational Platform in Germany in March, 2012. In a recent meeting, IAPRD and Evidentia agreed on the unmet need of such an educational portal, free of charge for the neurological community, and decided to join efforts to develop this program.
 
In this joint activity, Evidentia will be the owner of this platform. Evidentia will therefore take care of the production of the various programs (the negotiation with eventual sponsors, the digitalization of IAPRD’ s textbook Parkinson’ s Disease and Other Movement Disorders, the production of video-recordings of key-note educational lectures with questions and answers necessary to obtain accreditation, the accreditation itself, and the honorarium of the faculty involved), and will develop and exploit a dedicated online platform under the umbrella of both IAPRD and Evidentia.
 
As this platform is the official portal of IAPRD, IAPRD will be responsible for the scientific content and will therefore develop and supervise the programs. To that purpose, IAPRD will nominate two editors-in-chief (for the first years Christian Baumann and Erik Wolters), who will join Beat Steinegger, Evidentia’s representative, responsible for the development and production of the portal. IAPRD will share profits but not eventual losses in the start-up phase; for the first years, starting from the launch of the platform mid-2017, IAPRD will receive 10,000 USD/year; this amount will be renegotiated in 2020. This arrangement is more or less comparable to the arrangement with Elsevier regarding IAPRD’s journal Parkinsonism and Related Disorders.
 
In this platform, tutorials on phenotyping as well as international acknowledged directions for diagnosing and treating the most frequent movement disorders will be provided. Also, key opinion leaders will present educational lectures, and basic information on the numerous items relevant for optimal information on the various aspects of movement disorders will be available, as well as extended illustrative videotaped clinical cases. The platform will be free of charge for registered neuroscientific, medical and allied health professionals, and accreditation or downloading basic information will be available at cost price.
 
Given the fact that there is a steadily increasing demand for online, accredited education from medical doctors, that international meetings can address only a small portion of active physicians in a respective field, and that there is no free-of-charge nor otherwise, accredited, structured, online education portal for movement disorders, we strongly anticipate that this new platform, reaching 25-30,000 neurologists worldwide, will fulfill unmet needs in the neurological community.
 
Christian Baumann and Erik Wolters
November 2016
Quiz Question
Which of the following is NOT a component of Lewy bodies/neurites?

a. Cytoskeletal proteins
b. Alpha synuclein
c. Ubiquitin
d. Mononucleoid protein


Answer at end of newsletter
Words of Wisdom 
From Renowned Movement Disorder Expert, Dr. Joseph Jankovic
In my 40-year career, I have had a number of outstanding mentors who sparked my interest in neurology and movement disorders and I will always be grateful to them for inspiring me and for providing guidance, especially in my early development. Selecting the right mentor is one of the most important decisions a young physician or scientist can make. A mentor should not be a “tormentor”, but rather someone who is not only a cheerleader, but also a person of integrity and stature who provides constructive feedback, promotes a positive attitude, and forces the mentee to be creative and to anticipate future trends and needs.
Editor's Choice Selections from
Parkinsonism & Related Disorders

Official Journal of the International Association of Parkinsonism and Related Disorders (IAPRD)
Judith A. Boel, Vincent J.J. Odekerken, Ben A. Schmand, et al. Vol. 33; Published online: September 19, 2016

Selected by Jonathan Carr, Associate Editor
University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
Joanna M. Biernacka, Sun Ju Chung, Sebastian M. Armasu, et al. 2016, Vol. 32, p25–30

Selected by Vincenzo Bonifati, Associate Editor
Erasmus MC, The Netherlands
Up and Coming: An Interview With Dr. Amit Khairnar
 
Combine an influential mentor, an intriguing hypothesis, and a chance to meet patients with Parkinson’s disease and you have the recipe that inspired Dr. Amit Khairnar to pursue a career studying movement disorders. Dr. Khairnar is a Researcher at the Central European Institute of Technology, Masaryk University, in Brno, Czech Republic, and is our featured Up and Coming professional for this issue of the newsletter. Dr. Khairnar described his background and research interests in response to several interview questions.
 
How did you get interested in movement disorder research?
 
I started my career in Parkinson’s disease (PD) research when I began my PhD under the supervision of Prof. Micaela Morelli, University of Cagliari, Italy. My interest in PD research was piqued when I attended the second World Parkinson’s Congress in Glasgow, UK. It was the first time I had the opportunity to interact with PD patients, caretakers, and clinicians. After seeing the difficulties PD patients faced in performing simple daily tasks, I decided to continue my research on PD. My interest in PD research was also motivated by Braak’s hypothesis. I was surprised to learn that alpha synuclein accumulation actually starts from the enteric nervous system and then reaches the brain through the dorsal and inter mediolateral nucleus of vagus. From that time, I decided to shed further light on this neurodegenerative process by tracking the temporal evolution of alpha synuclein-induced changes in the brain using a non-invasive, non-radioactive 9.4T animal MRI under the supervision of Prof. Irena Rektorova, at Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.


What is your current research interest?
 
My current research focus is the development and identification of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) biomarkers that could enhance the accuracy of diagnosis in PD patients. With the development of imaging biomarkers, we may able to diagnose PD patients in the early stages, which will help in developing neuroprotective drugs that could halt or reverse the pathology progression. We proved that diffusion kurtosis imaging (DKI), a structural MRI technique, is very sensitive in detecting early microstructural changes in a genetically modified mouse (GMO) model of PD overexpressing alpha synuclein. DKI is an extension of traditional diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) that detects the movement of water molecules in biological tissues. Kurtosis a dimensionless metric obtained from DKI that measures the degree of hindrance to the diffusion of water molecules arising from cellular, subcellular, and extracellular barriers in the brain. The current aim of our research is to prove the sensitivity of DKI in non-GMO intragastric rotenone mouse models based on Braak’s hypothesis; this model is very similar to the sporadic form of PD, which is more prevalent than genetic forms.
 
What do you see as some of the important challenges in the field of movement disorders?

One of the important challenges in PD is developing neuroprotective drugs that might slow disease progression. Several disease-modifying agents have been found to be successful in cell and animal models, but they did not pass the clinical trials. The clinical failure of promising drugs identified in animal models could be at least partially because clinical studies are performed in cohorts of PD patients who already show 50-70% dopaminergic neurodegeneration when the treatment is no longer effective, whereas in animal studies these drugs have been tested at the very early stage of neurodegenerative pathology.
 
Another challenge is developing a reliable, affordable, and non-invasive imaging biomarker of PD. This is an unmet medical need which would reduce the failure rate of innovative therapies during the clinical, and probably preclinical, phases of drug development.
 
A third challenge is developing an animal model that could mimic symptoms and pathology similar to those of PD patients. This could help in developing imaging biomarkers and in testing the neuroprotective efficacy of new drugs.
 
Beautiful Halong Bay, Vietnam
Mark your calendars now for the XXII IAPRD Congress in Ho Chi Minh City, November 12-15, 2016.
Answer to Quiz Question:
"d" Mononucleoid protein. All of the other proteins have been identifed as part of Lewy bodies/neurites. 
IAPRD Newsletter Editorial Board
Angelo Antonini, MD, PhD
Vincenzo Bonifati, MD, PhD
Hubert Fernandez, MD
Karen Frei, MD
Irena Rektorova, MD, PhD
Jon Stoessl, MD
Daniel Truong, MD
Erik Wolters, MD, PhD
Zbigniew Wszolek, MD
Mary Ann Chapman, PhD
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