Welcome to the 16th EFNS Congress in Stockholm, September 8-11th 2012. EFNS and the Congress Programme Committee are very proud of the programme, and we are confident that you will experience a congress of high scientific quality where you will be able to gain and exchange new information about treatment of diseases in the brain and nervous system. Meeting thousands of colleagues from all parts of the world in a nice and a safe city should be attractive for all of us, combining professional benefits and pleasure.
For those of you who have attended some of the latest EFNS congresses, you will recognize the organization and structure of this congress. The teaching courses cover all broad neurological topics, combine advanced and more basic information, they are cheap, and they will be well attended. The main topics are more research-oriented but cover topics with a broad clinical interest, and they have a particular focus on therapy. Therapeutic dilemmas will be further discussed as Controversies in neurology. A challenge we all share is that we have to choose among attractive parallel sessions. The focused workshops and the satellite symposia have attractive programs that will contribute markedly to your neurological update.
Free scientific presentations represent a backbone of the EFNS congress. Hopefully you will all take active part in promoting this progress by discussing results and conclusion. Especially at the posters we hope that you will be an active participant.
From previous evaluations, we know that one third of participants are newcomers to the EFNS congress, one third attended the recent congress, and the last third have an experience with a previous EFNS congress. However, less than half of the participants have attended more than one EFNS congress previously. Some countries have high and stable attendance, but new countries, also outside Europe, make an increasing impact at EFNS congresses. 25 % of participants at EFNS congresses come from non-European countries. The cooperation between EFNS and the association of the young neurologists and trainees is much appreciated and gives a major impetus to this congress.
The EFNS congress represents an intense experience for a few days. An aim is to increase the involvement before and after the congress as well. Various electronic tools have been or will be introduced to further improve the benefit from the presentations given during the congress. Your response and your comments given at ongoing evaluations will help us in developing and introducing optimal tools.
The vision of EFNS, to represent excellence in European neurology and combined patient care, research, education and partnership, is at the core of this congress. The 10 defined EFNS missions specifically point out care of patients, development of neurology, excellence in research and high standards of education and teaching. To this is added a strong organization, international collaboration, multidisciplinary activities and raising public awareness about neurological disorders. These missions are well reflected in what is ongoing in Stockholm September 2012. There is no doubt that the gathering of thousands of neurologists learning about the latest developments and exchanging experiences will improve both clinical practice and research, at the same time strengthening the awareness of organizational and administrative needs to optimize all aspects of neurology.
In 2012 we all meet in Stockholm, at the first EFNS congress in Sweden, but we have been in Scandinavia before. The Nordic countries have a tradition for supporting and taking part in international activities, also in medicine. Sweden has a reputation of excellence in science in general, and in neuroscience in particular. The local organizing committee combines experience from the leading neurological institutions at the national level. We will have an international learning experience, but with an excellent Swedish flavor.
EFNS and the Congress Programme Committee really appreciate the cooperation and joint efforts that lead to a congress like this. The influence of all member societies and their individual members is crucial. EFNS scientist panels with hundreds of active members are coming up with a majority of the suggestions for the congress program. The cooperation with organizations covering specific neurological disorders, organizations of neighboring fields, and other professional partners is much appreciated. This broad cooperation is necessary to arrange an attractive congress.
We really hope that you will enjoy the 16th EFNS Congress in Stockholm. The final program should be of interest to everyone working in neurology. I hope you will take active part, listening, discussing and explaining together with the rest of us. Such a big international European congress is a unique opportunity. You should use it as a stimulus to improve neurological practice and neurological research when you come home. Activity with this aim will at the same time secure that you enjoy Stockholm 2012.
Nils Erik Gilhus
Chair, Congress Programme Committee