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EpiCARE has held its 7th General Assembly in Barcelona

25 June 2024
Dr. Alexis Arzimanoglou at the EpiCARE General Assembly

The event welcomed over 120 participants from 28 different countries across Europe at the SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital.

ERN EpiCARE, the European Reference Network dedicated to rare and complex epilepsies, organized its 7th Annual Meeting from June 17th to 19th in Barcelona. 

The event welcomed over 120 participants from 28 different countries across Europe at the SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital. This very important networking event began early Monday morning with the face-face to-face meeting of the Executive Committee, composed by EpiCARE leaders of the 20 Working Groups, patient advocate representatives and the management team, chaired by the Coordinator Pr Alexis Arzimanoglou, SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital. The main topic focused on the past 7 years experience, including a review of innovative actions also initiated by other ERNs. A discussion on national networks (JARDIN project) and the importance of sustainable ERNs, supported by the European Commission.

Monday afternoon was reserved for parallel sessions of 16 working groups to discuss future actions. “Neonatal Seizures & Epilepsies,” “Neurophysiology,” or “Clinical Genetics & Genetic Research” are some examples of EpiCARE Working Groups, as you can see in the information booklet produced.

The General Assembly was held throughout Tuesday 18th. It began with a warm welcome from the Medical Director of the SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital, Dr. Miquel Pons. Subsequently, during an interactive session, the members of the Executive Committee and the Management team provided a precise review of the past and future EpiCARE activities.

A special session was reserved for the patient advocates, a unique opportunity for a better understanding of the patient's needs. The afternoon culminated with an invited scientific lecture by Dr. Sandra Acosta, from the Universitat de Barcelona.

Workshops on health care pathways in epilepsy care and on the preparation of guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of Infantile Epileptic Spasms followed. All participants then had the opportunity to enjoy a nice networking dinner at a site overviewing the nice city of Barcelona. The debates in parallel workshops continued Wednesday morning.

The Annual meeting, as well as scientific congresses, are unique opportunities for clinicians and patient advocates to come together, share knowledge and expertise, brainstorm on future treatment strategies and research projects. They complement the day-to-day clinical work and the interactive sessions taking place remotely during the whole year. The 2025 annual meeting will be hosted by our EpiCARE members at the SALK University, in Salzburg, Austria.