It is a great honour for me, and for my colleagues, Professors David Neary, Julie Snowden and Stuart Pickering-Brown, to host the 8th
International Conference on Frontotemporal Dementias in Manchester, UK, from September 5th-7th 2012. The conference is being organised in association with Kenes UK, and will be held at Manchester Central, the city’s state of the art Conference Centre, home to many of the UK’s major political and business conferences.
Frontotemporal dementia is the second most common form of dementia affecting younger people. It has a devastating personal impact on families, places an enormous economic burden on society and has worldwide significance. The conference will attract researchers and clinicians from around the world who work to understand causation, develop rational therapies and improve the management and care of patients.
It is particularly gratifying for us to be able to host the 2012 conference as it marks the 26th anniversary of the first frontotemporal dementia conference, held in Lund, Sweden. The early meetings led to a fruitful scientific collaboration between Lund and Manchester, resulting in the publication in 1994 of the Lund-Manchester clinical and pathological criteria for Frontotemporal Dementia. These criteria, subsequently modified by international consensus (Neary et al 1998), have provided the international ‘gold standard’ for the diagnosis of the disease. Major contributions to the neuropathology and genetics of frontotemporal dementia over the past decades have kept Manchester at the forefront of research into this disorder. It is fitting therefore that the meeting be held in the city that has contributed so significantly to our knowledge and understanding of the condition.
Manchester has a long history of pioneering. It was the cradle of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century with the advent of the cotton industry. Workers rights and women’s suffrage were championed here and it is where Marx and Engels formulated socialist theory. Rutherford and Dalton lead the way in our understanding of atomic structure. Turing developed the first computer in Manchester; 2012 marks the centenary of his birth. The world’s first radio telescope was engineered at Jodrell Bank, being conceived by Lovell at the University of Manchester. Only last year, Professors Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for their work on graphene, the world’s thinnest material. And let's not forget Manchester United, known and revered by football fans the world over.
The conference will provide a forum for the exchange of information, where scientific collaborations can be hatched and where new information is at the forefront. There will be topical themed sessions led by keynote speakers. There will be round table sessions and debates. Platform presentations will be based on submitted abstracts, to ensure that the most novel and cutting edge research findings receive the greatest exposure and to provide maximum opportunity for presentation by young researchers. Poster sessions will feature prominently. Caregiver sessions will contribute an important and integrated element of the programme.
Manchester is a culturally diverse city with a vibrant nightlife, known for its clubs and music scene, with art and sports to suit all tastes. There is easy access through Manchester International Airport, served by direct flights from major European and North American cities. We are sure that our partnership with Kenes International will ensure that your visit will be both intellectually rewarding and culturally satisfying.
We welcome your participation at the meeting in September 2012.
Professor David Mann,
Professor of Neuropathology at Manchester University