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Next July, the Naples group has the honour to host the leading researchers in the world in the field of neuromuscular diseases, who will meet in Naples to take part to the quadrennial XII International Congress on Neuromuscular Diseases (ICNMD).
After the International Congress on “Exploratory concepts in muscular dystrophy and related disorders” organised by A.T. Milhorat in October 1966 in New York, that drawn scientists such as Massimo Aloisi, Victor Dubowitz, Alan Emery, Andrew Engel, King Engel, Brian Mc Ardle, Lewis P Rowland, Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, the interest in neuromuscular disorders rapidly increased and in 1968 the 1st International Congress on neuromuscular diseases was organised in Milan by Guglielmo Scarlato and Nicola Canal, in memory of their master who conceived the meeting but died few months before the event.
I still remember with pleasure the enthusiastic participation of my work-group at that Congress and how much we appreciated the progresses in the knowledge of the neuromuscular diseases. After that first Congress, the second and the third had a triennial cadence, and took place in Perth in 1971, chaired by Byron Kakulas and in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1974, chaired by sir John Walton and F. Nattrass.
Starting from 1978, the ICNMD became a quadrennial event, being always more attractive in terms of number of topics and participants. It moved from Montreal (Canada) – chaired by George Karpati – to Marseille (France), in 1982 – chaired by George Serratrice, to Los Angeles (USA), in 1986 – chaired by Valerie Askanas and King Engel, to München (Germany), in 1990 – chaired by Reinhardt Rüdel, to Kyoto (Japan), in 1994 – chaired by Hideo Sugita, to Adelaide (Australia) in 1998, chaired by Alan Bretag, to Vancouver (Canada), in 2002, chaired again by George Karpati, to Instanbul (Turkey), in 2006 – chaired by Piraye Serdaroglu and Haluk Topaloglu.
In Instanbul, the Research Group of the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) examined the nominations for the next Congress. Among the finalists – New Delhi (India) and Naples (Italy) – they chose the proposal presented by the Naples group made up of Lucia Ines Comi, Orlando Paciello, Serenella Papparella, Luisa Politano and myself.
I was unanimously elected President of the Congress and decided to ask the help of Valerie Askanas who became President of the Scientific Committee. Therefore, at the decision of the World Federation of Neurology, the International Congress on Neuromuscular Diseases will be held for the second time in Italy, 42 years after the one in Milan.
Many progresses have been obtained in the field of neuromuscular disorders since then, and many topics considered marginal or even ignored in the past, are now prominent in the knowledge of neuromuscular diseases. As a consequence, in the XII ICNMD in Naples, we will appreciate the contributions of Neurologists and Pathologists, as far as Geneticists, Cardiologists, Immunologists and many other experts selected and invited by the Scientific Committee.
I consider the WFN decision a great honour for Italy, Naples and my group, being aware of the hard work to face until July, especially considering the excellent organization of the previous Congresses and the recent sad loss of two fundamental co-workers and friends, Lucia Ines Comi and Vito Petretta.
However, I am optimist and keep on working hard, thanks to the help of many friends.
I want to thank particularly Valerie Askanas and King Engel, my co-workers of the Local Organizing Committee, Libero Berrino, Gerardo and Vincenzo Nigro, Orlando Paciello, Serenella Papparella, Luigi Perrotta, Luisa Politano, Simone Sampaolo, Cira Solimene and also Antonio Toscano in Messina and Corrado Angelini in Padua for their precious support.
Last but not least I want to mention the valid help of dr. Antonio Lavezza, head of the Administrative Office in Monte S. Angelo.
The Scientific Program promises to be of the highest quality with the extraordinary participation of Alan E.H. Emery and Sir John Walton of Detchant at the Opening Ceremony taking place in the suggestive location of the San Carlo Royal Theatre.
The program encompasses the entire spectrum of the neuromuscular diseases from the motor neuron to the muscle cell.
The newest developments in both clinical and basic sciences of neuromuscular diseases are being covered.
The world leaders in the field of neuromuscular diseases have been invited as Plenary and Symposia speakers and will participate at the Meet-The-Professors Sessions.
The Symposia and the Meet-The-Professors Sessions will provide an ample time for questions and discussions.
One day of 5 concurrent Practical Teaching Courses will precede the 5-day Scientific Program of the Congress.
In addition the Congress will include several social sessions organised by WANDA, UILDM, AFM and other Patients and Parents Organisations.
Further information and the detailed program are at the end of this issue of Acta Myologica and at www.icnmd2010naples.org
I am very pleased to invite you in Naples to participate in the Congress and to submit your Abstracts for presentation. I am sure you ‘ll enjoy the Congress, as well as the city of Naples and its charming surroundings.
I am looking forward to welcoming you all to Naples.