I can’t agree more with Cathy Chester and her enthusiasm about the recent meetings in Indianapolis for the Consortium for MS Centers annual meeting. There were over 2,000 health allied professionals in attendance, all there to learn more about improving care for people with Multiple Sclerosis.
Unlike the annual Academy of American Neurology meetings where there seem to always be headline grabbing presentations announcing the latest treatments or breakthroughs in the labs, this meet is much more blue collar. The people there rolled up their sleeves and got down to the nitty gritty of MS.
From session to session, the topics were varied and challenged me at many turns. Especially the ones that began at 7 AM. There normally isn’t much that will make me get moving that early. When I saw my own neurologist at the opening luncheon, I shared I heard a lot about bladder problems the night before at a special program people with MS and their support people, sponsored by Stuart Schlossman’s MS Views and News and I had the urge to find the nearest restroom. Then that morning was the keynote presentation on medical marijuana and its cognitive effects, which made me want to sneak out back and revisit the ‘60’s. I told my doctor I could only hope the coming sessions on MS and sex might have the same subliminal effect.
I have some regrets about the meeting, mainly that I did not have enough time and energy to go to meeting each and every day from 7 am – 9 pm – yes, they really did go that long. As I often lament, being cloned would be nice. There were some great people in attendance and I made a lot of valuable contacts, but there is nothing nicer than getting to meet up again with Ashley Ringstaff (and her crew from MS World) and Christie Germans. In spite of the rugged meeting schedule, we had time to laugh, catch breakfast, dinners, drinks, and catch up on each other’s latest news. This was also the first time Cathy and I had met in person but I’m sure it wont be the last time.
Many people were starstruck with meeting a few of the celebrities in attendance but the most notable to me was the time I spent with Dr. Gavin Giavanonni, from London College of Medicine and the host of the blog Multiple Sclerosis Research. I have written about his research blog before, but if you haven’t looked at it, be sure to check it out. He and his co-writers produce it as “A blog for People with MS and their Families. “Interpreting Good, Bad and other Research News”. His is one of the most widely read MS Blogs in the world and exchanges on his posts are always lively. He is currently promoting an MS Patient registry in the UK. and often gives mention to iConquerMS™, a similar patient registry in the US. I’ll be sharing more about his presentations at the meeting.
And speaking of sharing, the topics I’ve covered and you will see posted in the pages of MultipleSclerosis.net in the near future include:
Plus so much more, including articles on alternative therapies, assistive devices, the use of social media, and MS in the Hispanic/Latino community. I hope you benefit from the information we have to share from the meetings – I know I learned a lot and continue to be thankful for the opportunity to bring you the MS news.
Wishing you well,