Regional Teaching Courses  
  Yekaterinburg, Russia 2011
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About this Regional Teaching Course

2nd Regional Teaching Course of the European Federation of Neurological Societies in Yekaterinburg
May 18-20, 2011, Yekaterinburg, Russia

First of all I want to express my admiration of the wonderful idea by the European Federation of Neurological Society to organize Regional Teaching Courses (RTC). To the present moment 24 RTC’s were organized during almost 11 years since the first EFNS RTC in 2000. I want to express my deep gratitude to the EFNS for the opportunity to organize such a brilliant EFNS Teaching Course for the second time already in Yekaterinburg, for the great help of the EFNS staff with the preparation of our EFNS RTC, especially Lisa Mueller and Julia Mayer. I am also very thankful to Professor Detlef Kömpf who gave me valuable advice on how to organize an EFNS RTC this time, who helped me in the elaboration of the Scientific Programme and supported us during all stages.
I remember words by our neurologists after our first EFNS RTC in Yekaterinburg in 2006: “The EFNS RTC was like a revolution in neurology which changed our views on treatment and diagnostics of many neurological disorders”. It was really very progressive for our neurology. For example, I remember that many neurologists thought before that some problems with cervical spine and vertebral arteries may provoke vertigo very often but now I hope nobody thinks so. All those who were present at the lecture on vertigo by Professor Detlef Kömpf during our EFNS RTC 2006 know that the most frequent course of vertigo is benign positional vertigo. I can also confirm that a lecture on Stroke Units by Past President of the EFNS Professor Jacques De Reuck and a lecture by our vice Minister of Health of Russia Professor Veronika Skvortsova on Guidelines for stroke management were additional stimuli for the creation of stroke units in our city. In 2006 we had no stroke units in our city and now we have already 7 stroke units in Yekaterinburg and our region. Besides, an excellent lecture by Professor Jan van Gijn on stroke prevention demonstrated that neurologists and not only general physicians can prevent stroke and treat hypertension, dislipidemia and other risk factors correctly.
All this positive experience of past the EFNS RTC and a great desire to make further improvement of neurological service in our city using modern European neurological standards gave me energy and inspiration to organize an EFNS RTC in our city again. This EFNS RTC was very successful, too. More than 450 neurologists from Yekaterinburg, the Urals region and nearby cities participated at our 2nd EFNS RTC, most of them (70%) were under 45. The President of the EAYNT, Martin Rakusa (Slovenia) generously gave important information about grants for young neurologists and training opportunities in Europe at a special meeting at the Urals State Medical Academy, which we organized for 50 young and active neurologists one day before our EFNS RTC. All neurologists spoke very fondly about this EFNS RTC, the excellent reports and especially the very interesting focused workshops in the afternoons. This year I found some extra positive moments: many of our neurologists improved their level of English after our first EFNS RTC and even did not use earphones for simultaneous translation this time. Besides, many of our young neurologists can speak English very well. Another positive moment: our experience in organizing the EFNS RTC attracted great interest of other neurologists from different cities. Thus, young neurologists already want to organize EFNS RTC in Perm, St-Petersburg, Kazan and Penza. And of course we will help them in this progressive matter when the time comes.
I want to say several words about the programme of our Regional Teaching Course. The first was devoted to stroke, the diagnostics, treatment, prevention and early rehabilitation. Professor Bo Norrving (Sweden), Professor Jaap Kappelle (the Netherlands), Professor Manfred Kaps (Germany) and Dr. Olga Kamaeva (Russia) made very clear and bright presentations during their morning session and focused workshops in the afternoon. That day we also organized practical demonstration of ultrasound examinations of carotid and vertebral arteries which was excellently performed by professor Manfred Kaps. I hope this will be a stimulus for our neurologists to perform these examinations personally in future and study this technique. The second day included pain syndromes: migraine, polyneuropathies and lower back pain. Professor Peer Tfelt-Hansen (Denmark), Professor Klaus Toyka (Germany), Professor Jean-Marc Léger (France) and Professor Oleg Levin (Russia) presented very up-to-date information about these disorders. We did not use yet diagnostic biopsy and histological confirmation of diagnosis in patients with polyneuropathies in our city, but I hope that we can do so it in future using the experience of our colleagues from Europe. The third day included free topics: post-stroke dementia, differential diagnosis of vertigo and oculomotor syndromes, Wilson’s disease and epilepsy. Professor Natan Bornstein (Israel), Professor Detlef Kömpf (Germany), Dr. Klaus Jahn (Germany), Professor Anna Czlonkovska (Poland) and Professor Leonid Zenkov (Russia) made very interesting presentations. Professor Detlef Kömpf and Dr. Klaus Jahn prepared a wonderful master class about treatment of vertigo. They were like artists and their master class was like a spectacle but with the purpose to teach easily, informative and even joyfully. I can say the same about all other workshops in the afternoon, it is really a great way to teach in small groups.
Participants and speakers were very happy to take part in our EFNS RTC and wrote later that both the scientific and social programmes were excellent. Our cultural programme included various excursions every day, visits to our Opera and Ballet Theater, a beautiful party with amazing music by Russian Folk instruments quartet “Ural” and also an unforgettable Concert “Spring melody” by Professor Klaus Toyka (violin) who is a great professional not only in neurology but in music, too. All our participants were very impressed by the great talent of all the speakers. It was a great pleasure for me to have such a unique chance to be with them during all these days of our EFNS RTC, but I regret that I was too busy to have enough time to speak more with them which is what I would have liked to do. Sometimes it is better to be just a participant but not an organizer; really there is nothing more wonderful than the luxury of personal communication. I am very grateful to the EFNS for all the unforgettable moments and for the inspiration for future achievements. Of course, we want to organize an EFNS RTC again.

Elena R. Lebedeva, neurologist, MD, PhD, Doctor of Medical Sciences,
Local organizer of the EFNS Regional Teaching in Yekaterinburg.