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Welcome to Copenhagen

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

welcome to the 29th Congress of the European Committee for Research and Treatment in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) and the 18th Annual Conference of Rehabilitation in MS (RIMS) in Copenhagen, Denmark, 2– 5 October, 2013.

This is the second time that Copenhagen will host the ECTRIMS Congress. In 1996, approximately 700 participants attended the 12th ECTRIMS congress in Copenhagen and this year we expect almost 10 times as many people.

In 1996, a new era of MS therapy had begun in Europe with the introduction of INF-b treatment and since then several other and more effective therapies have been introduced to prevent disease activity and progression in MS. We are only at the beginning of this era and from 2013 and the following years new therapeutic possibilities will emerge to benefit people with MS. Along the same line rehabilitation has been enhanced with implementation of new evidence-based programmes. The ultimate aim is a highly individualized treatment and rehabilitation of patients in all stages of MS.

Multiple sclerosis research in Copenhagen dates many decades back and the late professor Torben Fog was a pioneer in the field of MS pathology, clinical course and therapy. In 1973, he was involved in immune treatment of MS with transfer factor and in 1980 one of the first to try treatment with interferon in patients with MS. He co-authored the first publication that linked the major histocompatibility system (HLA) to susceptibility of MS and he developed an elaborate scoring system for neurological impairment in MS. In addition, he meticulously studied thin sections of MS plaques. Following their shape and course with direct drawings of each section he described that plaques consistently followed the course of the venous system. His observations have, unwarrantedly, been used to set the background for chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI). We have tried to follow his footsteps and currently the Danish MS research is making rapid strides in both basic and clinical MS research.

The ECTRIMS Scientific Committee, the RIMS Executive Board and the Local Organizing Committee are very proud of the programme, and are confident that you will experience a congress with high scientific quality in basic, therapeutic and rehabilitation aspects of MS.

Copenhagen is usually very pleasant in the beginning of October and you will have the opportunity to enjoy its charms. Copenhagen has several Michelin starred restaurants, including “Noma” appointed as the world best restaurant 3 years in a row, and “Geranium” with the highest ranking chef in the world. You may also enjoy the small restaurants and bars in “Nyhavn”, “Tivoli” and the old town centre with one of Europe’s largest pedestrian zones.

The venue of the congress is the modern Bella Centre located less than 10 minutes from the airport and the city centre by train or metro.

We hope to see you for a successful and exiting meeting that will present the most recent advances in the research of the pathogenesis, treatment and rehabilitation in MS.

P. Soelberg Sørensen
Chair ECTRIMS 2013

P. Feys
RIMS President

M. Trojano
ECTRIMS President

D. Miller
ECTRIMS Secretary