For the more than 300,000 patients afflicted with multiple sclerosis in the United States today, the absence of a cure for the disease, together with a lack of viable therapeutic options for treating the progressive forms of MS, make the process of living with the disease daunting. While multiple sclerosis has been shown to modestly affect lifespan in patients, the main issue with the disease is the ongoing brain atrophy and damage to nerves, which is turn drastically affects quality of life, including being able to work as well as pursue daily activities. For healthcare professionals treating MS patients, it is essential that the research and clinical communities continue to work together to develop new treatments and guidelines for maximizing quality of life for those with MS.
This year’s 2014 Cooperative Meeting of CMSC (Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers) & ACTRIMS® (Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis), taking place in Dallas, Texas from May 28th to the 31st, will focus specifically on this issue. The theme of the conference this year will concentrate on developing new best practices for a comprehensive approach to MS care, which will include insights from the world’s leading experts on the disease.
The event schedule will include headline speakers who will speak to the entire gathering of attendees, which will in turn lead into a host of panel discussions that will bring together drug developers, academic researchers, clinicians, and multiple sclerosis advocates who can represent the patient’s perspective of the disease. The conference will also include a series of insightful programs designed for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, and social workers, who will be able to earn continuing education credits for attending and participating in the sessions.
June Halper, the CEO of CMSC, has worked with her colleagues to assemble the most authoritative group of presenters and panelists available for this year’s conference: “The Cooperative Meeting of CMSC & ACTRIMS features national and international MS experts who represent the best in clinical care and research,” she said in a recent press release. The goal of bringing these thought leaders together is so that all, “attendees will walk away with a greater understanding of the comprehensive management of the disease and the right knowledge and tools to enhance their skills as an MS professional.”
Among the events planned for the duration of the conference, there are several presentations that CMSC has pointed out in its promotional efforts, including the following:
- Stephen D. Miller, PhD, will deliver the opening keynote at the CMSC & ACTRIMS Cooperative Meeting, giving a research-focused lecture on “Tolerance Directed Immunotherapies Employing Biodegradable PLG Nanoparticles –The Future of MS Treatment.” Dr. Miller currently serves as Director in the Interdepartmental Immunobiology Center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, as is also the Judy Gugenheim Research Professor of Microbiology-Immunology.
- The opening presentation on the second day of the conference will be given by Kottil Rammohan, MD, which will address the topic of “MS Care in the 21st Century: How Information Technology will Transform Care” — a presentation will seek to draw interest from all facets of the MS are community. Dr. Rammohan serves as a Professor of Neurology – Clinical, at the University of Miami, and also directs the school’s Multiple Sclerosis Center.
- The third day of the conference will feature the collaborative CMSC ACTRIMS John Whitaker Memorial Lecture: The theme this year, “Role of NG2 Cells and IL-17 Signaling in EAE,” has been chaired and organized by Michael Racke, MD, Suhayl Dhib-Jalbut, MD with Richard Ransohoff, MD presenting. All of the scientists involved in this collaborative presentation bring with ten a wealth of valuable multiple sclerosis research and clinical experience. According to the CMSC press release, Dr. Racke is Professor and Chair, Department of Neurology, The Ohio State University, Wexner Medical Center and is internationally recognized as a leader in neurological sciences. Dr. Dhib-Jalbut serves as a Professor, Chairman and Chief of the Department of Neurology for the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and is also the President of ACTRIMS®. Dr. Ransohoff works at the Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, as its Director of the Neuroinflammation Research Center in their Department of Neurosciences. He is also a Professor of Molecular Medicine at at Case Western Reserve University’s Cleveland Clinic for the Lerner College of Medicine, as well as a Staff Neurologist for the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research, also at the Cleveland Clinic.
The conference will also feature a prominent Texas-based researcher as well. Elliot M. Frohman, MD, PhD, FAAN, along with Teresa C. Frohman, PA-C, has been chosen to give the CMSC Donald Paty Memorial Lecture on the final day of the conference. Dr. Frohman will speak on “Elegance and Eloquence of MS Plaque Pathogenesis: Protons, Protection, and the Prospects for Plasticity.” Dr. Frohma, a Professor of both Neurology and Ophthalmology at UT Southwestern, is a proven leader in multiple sclerosis-related research. He also holds two other major appointments at UT Southwestern: the Kenney Marie Dixon-Pickens Distinguished Professorship in Multiple Sclerosis Research and the Irene Wadel and Robert Atha Distinguished Chair in Neurology and Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program in the institution’s Department of Neurology.
Among the continuing education offerings at the conference, the Meet the Professor Dinner on May 28th will give medical practitioners an opportunity to gain new insights into the vanguard of MS research, thanks to a presentation entitled, “Stem Cell Update” from Dr. Mark Freedman, who is a Professor of Neurology at the University of Ottawa, as well as Ottawa Hospital Research Institute’s senior scientist.
Other continuing education sources will include “The Fundamentals of MS Care;” “Current Topics and Trends in MS Rehabilitation,” which will be a valuable resource for doctors and nurses to underscore their previous medical training in the disease, as well as in-depth courses such as “The Role of the Advanced Practice Clinician;” “MS Palliative & Long Term Care;” “Complementary & Alternative Medicine;” “New Insights and Future Direction in MS Pathology;” “Infectious Complications of MS Therapy;” “Gender Issues in MS;” and “Assessing Risk Tolerance to DMTs.”
For read more about the CMSC & ACTRIMS Meeting and register for the event, visit: http://annualmeeting.mscare.org.