15th July 2011
EACCME awards TREAT-NMD confererence 18 CME credits!

We are pleased to announce that our upcoming conference in Geneva has been granted 18 continuing medical education (CME) credits by the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME).

The TREAT-NMD Conference 2011 is accredited by the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME) to provide the following CME activity for medical specialists. The EACCME is an institution of the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS), www.uems.net.

The TREAT-NMD Conference 2011 is designated for a maximum of 18 hours of European external CME credits. Each medical specialist should claim only those hours of credit that he/she actually spent in the educational activity.

EACCME credits are recognized by the American Medical Association towards the Physician's Recognition Award (PRA). To convert EACCME credit to AMA PRA category 1 credit, contact the AMA.

Registration for the conference is now open, and the deadline for submitting poster abstracts is 31 July. Click the "more" link to register!

Experts needed for a systematic review of functional rating scales
for adults with NMDs
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As part of an effort to select outcome measures (OMs) best suited for use in muscle disease clinical trials, Michael Rose and Farah Seedat of Kings College Hospital London are conducting a systematic review to identify and assess the functional rating scales available for adults with muscle disease.

Given that systematic reviews on OMs should take a team approach with international and multidisciplinary collaboration, the systematic review team would like to liaise with other muscle disease clinicians and evaluators worldwide. It is anticipated that expert opinions will be important for a number of processes as the systematic review proceeds in the coming months. A widespread consultation on the review process will improve the end product and increase the chances of achieving a holistic and useful review for clinical trial planners.

They are looking for clinicians, physiotherapists and clinical evaluators who:

  • See adult patients with muscle disease
  • Have experience in administering functional rating scales in adults with muscle disease
  • Have experience reviewing and evaluating outcome measures, or
  • Are involved in clinical trial planning for adult muscle disease

Requests for opinion or information may vary from brief to more complex and it is understood that other commitments may at times affect your ability to respond. Your contribution would be greatly appreciated in any event and it is anticipated that acknowledgements will be included in publications.

Those interested in being part of this expert panel and participating in all or some of the enquiries should contact f.seedat@nhs.net as soon as possible and you will be contacted as the need for consultation arises.

TREAT-NMD training course in Prague: Best practice
implementation in the management of patients with NMDs
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8th September 2011 - Prague, Czech Republic. Registration closes August 15th

Specialists with an interest in the neuromuscular field are invited to join this training opportunity at which the latest guidelines on clinical management and information on the more innovative aspects of neuromuscular research will be highlighted and discussed.

In particular, the course will address the implementation of care standards, highlighting the advantages of multidisciplinary care provision. Major topics include respiratory and pulmonary care, nutrition and rehabilitation. Training lectures will be given by leading professionals in the field, members of the TREAT-NMD consortium and specialists in patient care and clinical trials. In addition to the lectures, the course offers the opportunity to share experience and compare the approaches in the major specialist centres in Europe.

The course is organised by Thomas Sejersen (Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden) and Stanislav Vohanka (University Hospital Brno, Czech Republic) with the support of the European Neuromuscular Centre (ENMC).

Topics addressed:

  • Implementation of best practice though multidisciplinary approaches
  • Management of respiratory and cardiological problems in NMDs
  • Outcome measures in clinical trials and routine evaluation of patients with NMDs
  • Rehabilitation
  • Nutrition
  • Networking activity for implementation of SoC guidelines – The CARE-NMD program

Further details of this training course and how to register can be found by clicking the "more" link below.

Newsletter from the BIO-NMD biomarkers project
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The second edition (July 2011) of the BIO-NMD project's patient newsletter has just been published. It features a progress update as well as an article about how samples are collected and used for research within BIO-NMD. It also highlights why it is hoped that the project will have such a positive impact on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with NMDs. The newsletter, along with the first edition published in August 2010, can be read in full here. Other information about the project, which aims to discover and validate biomarkers in people with neuromuscular disease, can be found on the project's website at www.bio-nmd.eu

Update on the European Neuromuscular Core Curriculum
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One of the aims of the ENMC in the TREAT-NMD project is to address the need to formalise and harmonise training and education requirements within Europe. One of these needs concerns the development and implementation of a European Neuromuscular Core Curriculum (NMCV) to allow neurologists and other clinicians across Europe to sub-specialise in neuromuscular disorders. The general neurology training for neurologists across Europe is relatively standardised (see Chapter 6 of the CHARTER on TRAINING of MEDICAL SPECIALISTS in the EU. REQUIREMENTS for the Speciality Neurology), but to date there has not been an agreed neuromuscular fellowship programme and the current initiative plans to address this.

The NMCV is a one-year fellowship programme aimed at neurologists and other clinicians (e.g. paediatricians, clinical geneticists, neurophysiologists) who have already completed their general neurology or equivalent speciality training and who want to sub-specialise in neuromuscular diseases. A similar scheme has been in place in the US for some time. There are many excellent neuromuscular fellowships already in place throughout Europe but to date there has not been an agreed Europe-wide curriculum or a Europe-wide certification of such a curriculum.

At the start of this initiative in 2007, a taskforce was set up to compare and review existing neuromuscular fellowship programmes in Europe and the US. The discussion within this working group and with the learned societies, both within the different countries and at international level, resulted in the approval in 2010 of a document including a minimum set of requirements both for the trainees and the sites offering the training for the NMCV.

The approved minimum set of requirements was sent out to these European representatives (workforce members and national learned societies) in order to start the implementation process of the fellowship programme in their respective countries. At present, the NMCV is endorsed by the following learned societies or other bodies involved in neuromuscular education and training:

  • Belgium: Belgian Neurological Society
  • Czech Republic: the Czech Neuromuscular Society
  • Poland: Polish Neurological Society
  • Slovakia: the Slovak Neuromuscular Society
  • The Netherlands: the Dutch Neuromuscular Research Centre
  • Turkey: The Council of Higher Education in Turkey approved the "Pediatric Neuromuscular Disorders Master of Science Program" at Haceteppe University
  • United Kingdom: British Myology Society and the British Peripheral Nerve Society.

The implementation process of the NMCV is a quite complex matter that still requires time and a varied approach based on different strategies depending on the country.

Currently the core curriculum is being discussed and disseminated at various levels by local representatives and more countries are in the process of endorsing it. While Europe-wide approval through a UEMS recommendation for acquiring "Particular qualification in neuromuscular disorders" is being sought, individual countries are already offering fellowships based on the agreed curriculum and a database is currently being compiled of these. Ideally in the short term every country aims to get the appropriate national agreement for the curriculum and to try to get national funding in place. Eventually the aim is for the curriculum to be approved at European level with funding available from Europe as well as from national sources.

The involvement of the international societies such as ENS, EFNS, and in particular UEMS (European Union of Medical Specialists) will be critical in the future for the successful implementation of this inititiave and discussions will all these societies are ongoing.

The goal of this initiative is to have a pan-European agreed, approved and funded neuromuscular fellowship programme so that in the future clinicans who complete a successful fellowship programme will have achieved an agreed acceptable level of expertise to be recognised as a neuromuscular sub-specialist throughout Europe.

Upcoming meetings
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TREAT-NMD conference 2011
15th July 2011
TREAT-NMD newsletter - 15th July 2011