Dr. Jordi Arruga, Head of the Ophthalmology Service at the Bellvitge University Hospital, chaired the Organizing Committee of the Tenth Congress of the European Society of Neuro-oftalmology EUNOS 2011, held from june 18th- 21th in the Auditorium AxaBarcelona. Dr. Silvia Muñoz from the Ophthalmology Department was also part of the Organizing Committee.

Ophthalmologists and neurologists from the Hub participate in the organization of the X Congress of the European Society of Neuro-oftalmology

Members of the local committee of the Congress were Dr. Juan Jose Acebes, Dr. Francisco Rubio, Dr.Txomin Arbizu, and Dr. Juan Antonio Martínez Matos. All of them neurologists and neurosurgeons from Bellvitge University Hospital.

Nearly 400 experts from across Europe attended the meeting, which addressed issues such as finding visual neuroprosthesis for the blind, and the study of disorders of the eye movements for the detection of  neurodegenerative diseases.

Neuro-oftalmology focuses on pathological processes of neurological origin that manifest at visual system or at oculomotor system level. It is a key subspecialty in the management of various diseases such as multiple sclerosis, which can manifest as optic neuritis, myasthenia gravis, which often begins with changes in mobility of the eye or eyelid, or Aneurysmal processes manifested by pupil alterations It is a subspecialty that has recently begun to spread in our country. Currently it is not present in many large tertiary hospitals, although it is increasingly essential the proper interpretation of ocular signs for an early diagnosis of many serious neurological processes.

The conference included five basic courses for ophthalmologists and neurologists, 3 round tables where they discuss controversial issues, 10 sessions of oral presentations and posters (with a total of 36 oral presentations and 158 posters accepted), and 6 lectures.

In one of the lectures, Dr. Manel Esteller, Director of the Epigenetics and Cancer Biology of IDIBELL, spoke about the epigenetics of neural disorders. Other speakers talked about the efforts of various groups in the world to create visual neuroprosthesis that could give a sense of limited but useful vision to blind patients-It is a promising research field but there are still major problems to be resolved-, the study of eye movements disorders for the detection of neurodegenerative diseases, hereditary diseases of the optic nerve, or the neuro-oftalmologic cancer effects.

The European Society of Neuro-oftalmology (EUNOS) was founded in 1993, and its conferences are biennial. the Neuro-oftalmology Unit of the Ophthalmology Department of Bellvitge University Hospital is one of the pioneers in this field, and trains professionals of all over Spain. It is a referent unit in Catalonia in the study and treatment of these pathologies.

July 2011

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