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Letter From The Incoming President

January 30, 2008

Dear Colleagues

I feel very honored having been elected as the new (6th) president of ECNS. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of working on Council with Nash Boutros and David Cantor, our previous and immediate past president; with Norman Moore, Editor of our Journal; and with Silvana Galderisi, our new newly elected Secretary and President-Elect. I am fortunate to be able to continue working with Silvana, David and Norman, and with the rest of the Council and the membership. The Council is composed of both established scientists/clinicians and of those in the middle of their career. Our bylaws dictate a term of five years on Council. As a result we elected five new council members, two established and well known in our field, and three very promising young academic clinician/scientists. I will send you a separate letter with their names and bios. We are fortunate that several stalwart Council members who rotate out are happy to continue their participation in the ECNS. I look forward to their participation in our activities and future committees.

This past year has brought some major undertakings and improvements.

Our annual conference was a huge success. Cutting edge research was presented in various symposia, and in talks by some of the world's leading researchers and clinicians in the field. Please take a look at the complete program on our website. I particularly wish to emphasize the focus on multidisciplinary interaction in neurology and psychiatry and basic neuroscience at our conference. This interaction was evident using techniques of both electrophysiology and conjoint imaging.

A few highlights of 2007 were:

The symposium titled Links Between Personality, Epilepsy and Nonepileptic Seizures Symposium: Interictal Epileptic Discharges:  Exploration of Behavioral Correlates was presented by Co-Chairs Michael Trimble, MD, FRCP, FRCPsych, Department of Clinical Neurology, Institute of Neurology, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London; and Nash Boutros, MD, Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurosciences, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI.

Jean Gotman, MD, Montreal Neurological Institute, delivered very new information in an exciting lecture on Epileptic Networks Studied with EEG-fMRI.

The lecture on Deep Brain Stimulation for Psychiatric Disorders given by Benjamin D. Greenberg, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown Medical School, Butler Hospital, Providence RI, was highly appreciated by both psychiatrists and neurologists.

There were of course many other high points: such as the symposium on Movement Disorders, chaired by Antonio Strafella, MD, of the Montreal Neurological Institute, talks on Parkinson Disease, cognition, the basal ganglia and surgery, and dopamine.

Among the many excellent posters: a particularly interesting multidisciplinary study was presented in a poster entitled The Subjective Significance of Interactions with Attention and Haptics, presented by Einat Ofek, Hillel Pratt and Miriam Reiner from the Technion, Israeli Institute for Technology, Haifa, Israel.

Pierre Flor-Henry, MD, Professor and Clinical Director, Adult Psychiatry and Director, Clinical Diagnostics and Research Centre Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, Canada, received the ECNS Lifetime Career Award and chaired the symposium on “Electrophysiology and Laterality”.

Another success to be recorded is that under the outstanding leadership of Norman Moore, our Journal, Clinical EEG and Neuroscience, has passed the magic mark of 1.2 in the citation index. This is no mean feat for a highly specialized, rather than a general, journal.

Our tasks are challenging. My role as President is to be guardian of our Society and these developments with our congresses, our educational activities and publication of state-of-the-art statements of the techniques we use. This can be achieved within our Society with the help of our scientifically and clinically outstanding members. Young scientists are well represented with posters at our conferences. I would like to implement guided discussions where both the faculty and students participate and share their expertise and develop the multidisciplinary field of Neurobehavioral Electrophysiology and related techniques. One of our tasks is to increase our membership, in particular among younger colleagues.

Currently our council is discussing the best way to re-establish a Board Certification in Electrophysiology of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurology.

We would like to bring to fruition plans developed and initiated by my predecessors Nash Boutros and David Cantor. We have been sharing conferences with the International Society for Neuroimaging in Psychiatry (ISNIP). The aim is to ultimately yield a comprehensive set of publications about our joint interests. It is my firm belief that at the completion of my term we will have contributed timely and important works in the field of clinical neuroscience and will have established ourselves as a prominent multidisciplinary group in this field. We are looking forward to our upcoming conference, again jointly with ISNIP, in Frankfurt, Germany.

Our future is bright: there is a definite need for our society. Over the last decade we have been witnessing a profoundly deeper understanding of higher cognitive functions and emotions due to the basic science and clinical application of imaging methods. As the result of better in-vivo localization methods impairment of cognition, emotion and motivation are now considered cardinal features of several disorders both in neurology and psychiatry. Since the discovery of the EEG by Hans Berger, electrophysiology has always contributed to both fields, however, it is now dramatically becoming more important for the diagnosis of many disorders which affect circuits and not only single areas of the brain. Deep Brain Stimulation, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Direct Current Stimulation are beginning to contribute to the TREATMENT of some disorders in Psychiatry and in Neurology, such as in depression and Parkinson Disease, to name the most evident examples. Our last, joint Congress, with ISNIP has clearly demonstrated the viability of human electrophysiology for behavioral neurology and psychiatry. The emergence of behavioral neurology is well attested by the fact that a subspecialty certification board has been established in Behavioral Neurology in the USA.

I hope all of you will participate to achieve our aims.


Ivan Bodis-Wollner MD, DSc

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