INA Meeting Report 2022
The 58th Annual Irish Neurological Association Meeting, under the Presidency of Dr. Paul Crowley, took place in the Ormonde Hotel, Kilkenny on May 12 – 13th.
Dr. Paul Crowley, INA President, opened the meeting and welcomed IICN Members, presenters, delegates and guests. The inaugural Clinical Neuroscience Information Day for TY students had taken place on the previous day, Wednesday 11th May, in the Parade Room at Kilkenny Castle. Speakers had presented and discussed their area of neuroscience, including neurology, neuropathology, neuropsychology and neurosurgery and students had responded with enthusiasm and questions. This initiative, to invite and encourage students to consider pursuing a career in neuroscience, will be continued in future years
Dr. Crowley outlined the scientific programme of platform and poster sessions, with presentations addressing many topics and areas of neurological illness. To view the INA Meeting scientific programme please click here
Some new innovations were introduced to the programme this year. These included “What we missed during COVID…in the Major Sub specialities”, a session for neurology trainees and a neurovascular mini-plenary session around the guest speaker’s topic of Stroke. The Callaghan Guest Lecturer, Prof Atte Meretoja, was warmly welcomed to the meeting with great anticipation of his lecture.
“What we missed in our subspecialty while we were distracted by COVID”
Each of the Chairpersons were asked to discuss the developments in their sub-speciality while we were all occupied by COVID. What was striking was the amount of news that each of the chairs announced. We heard about causes (EBV in MS) new guidelines (CIDP), new drugs (opicapone!) and new prediction models (epilepsy). Thanks to Dr Ged O’Connor, Dr Maria Gaughan, Prof Sinead Murphy and Prof. Tim Counihan. Brief updates might be useful to consider at future meetings.
Neurology Specialist Registrar Training Session
A session for trainees was the brainchild of Dr Tudor Munteanu and his colleagues, and designed to be in the form of peer to peer learning. The ‘hot topic’ of epilepsy treatment was given by Prof Norman Delanty. Prof Meretoja spoke about career transition in Finland while Dr Hugh Kearney spoke about the Irish situation.
Stroke Plenary Session
It was decided to emphasise the role of Stroke Neurology by tying in a mini-plenary around the Guest Speaker. Dr Aine Merwick gave a clear and concise review of the difficult and expanding world of Small Vessel Disease. Prof Peter Kelly reported on the role of inflammation in stroke. Colchicine is an anti-inflammatory which is the trial drug in the first multi centre international trial being run from Ireland through his Stroke Clinical Trial Network Ireland (SCTNI). Exciting news!
Irish Neurological Association Business Meeting
At the INA Business Meeting, in a very moving session, Dr. Raymond Murphy and Dr. John Craig paid tribute to a number of colleagues who had died during the course of the previous year. Dr. Edward Martin and Dr. Thomas Esmonde were honoured by the observation of a minute’s silence.
Delegates to the meeting were reminded of the huge debt that current neurologists, neurosurgeons and neuroscientists in Ireland and Northern Ireland owe to their hard working, inspirational and ground breaking predecessors in their practice of clinical neuroscience.
The family of Dr. Edward Martin generously donated a large portion of Dr. Martin’s extensive library to the IICN, to benefit a new generation of neurologists. With thanks to Dr. Raymond Murphy and Dr. Etain Murphy, these very interesting books were displayed at the INA meeting and many delegates chose one or more books from the collection, making a donation to the IICN.
All those present agreed that the return to meeting and interacting with colleagues in person, together with an extensive and varied programme made the 58th INA meeting a most convivial event. A vote of thanks to Dr. Crowley, INA President 2022, was roundly endorsed.
Multiple Sclerosis Symposium
The Novartis sponsored Multiple Sclerosis symposium was chaired by Dr. Brian Sweeney, Dean of IICN. The Guest Speaker was Professor Martin Weber, Professor for Translational Neuroinflammation, Institute of Neuropathology and Department of Neurology, Universitätsmedizin Göttingen, Germany. Prof. Weber delivered a lecture entitled “The role of B (and T) cells in multiple sclerosis – lessons learned in the anti-CD20 journey”.
Noel Callaghan Guest Lecture
The highlight of the meeting was undoubtefly the Noel Callaghan Guest lecture which was delivered by Prof. Atte Meretoja, Helsinki University Hospital, Finland. The title of his lecture was “Treatment options in intracerebral haemorrhage – beliefs, evidence and practice”.
His presentation on research in this area (or the lack of it), was wide ranging and precise in equal measure.
Delegates at the meeting noted that a Finnish study had proven that management of Stroke by neurologists resulted in decreased mortality, decreased disability and at lower cost to the health system. Depite the very similar size, population and per capita wealth of Finland and Ireland, there are currently 320 neurologists in Finland as compared to 61 in Ireland.
Prof. Meretoja’s participation in all aspects of the meeting and his willingness to engage and with delegates, injected an additional enthusiasm into the meeting.
Dr. Crowley welcomed Mr. Mike Callaghan, son othe late Dr. Noel Callaghan, to attend the lecture in honour of his late father.
Harold Millar Prize
John Kirker Prize
John Lynch Award
Mark Gibson Prize
Hugh Staunton Prize
The 58th Annual INA meeting draws to a close. It was great to get back to an ‘in person’ meeting. This drove the excitement and enthusiasm that was on display by all of the 141 registered attendees. The content, variety and presentation style of the platforms was of a very high standard. Competition for the prizes was very keen and the awards were well deserved. Not a single speaker went overtime! The poster area was well attended and the expert led poster tours were popular. We moved to a full two day program which allowed for more presentations.
Kilkenny is a great place for a conference; beautiful city, great venues and all within walking distance.
My sincere thanks to chairpersons, judges, presenters and delegates, especially those who travelled a long distance to attend and to make the meeting a success. I would like to thank Colette Fitzpatrick for her perseverance, knowledge and support; the Hotel and other venues (Butler Gallery, Kilkenny Castle and The Medieval Museum) and to our sponsors without whose support the meeting could not take place.
The 2023 Irish Neurological Association Meeting, under the presidency of Dr. Raeburn Forbes, will be a Joint Meeting with the Association of British Neurologists and will take place in the International Convention Centre, Belfast from May 9th- 12th 2023.
This promises to be a great event and I look forward to seeing you all there.
Dr. Paul Crowley, INA President 2022.