Dear colleagues, dear friends,
it was a tremendous honour and a most enjoyable time for me to serve as “President” of this European Society of Neurosonology and Cerebral Hemodynamics from 2001 up to now (2005). During this time, I have experienced an impressing friendship not only by the members of the executive committee, but also by many of you from all over the world. After having become designated president of this society in 2001 during our annual meeting organized by Dr. Victor Oliveira in Lisbon, I chaired the Executive Committee during another 4 meetings of this society, namely (1) in Bern under the organisational leadership of Prof. Mathias Sturzenegger, (2) in Alicante under the organisational chairmanship of Dr. Jose Manuel Moltó, (3) in Wetzlar under the chairmanship of Prof. Manfred Kaps and, now, (4) in Abano Terme under the organisational chairmanship of Dr. Giorgio Meneghetti. These great names guaranteed great events. It is their merit that the society was so successful. It is my honour and pleasure to congratulate these organisers for their excellent work and for their tremendous help in pushing the society forward by increasing the attention paid to it worldwide.
When I started my position as president of the ESNCH, I made 2 main promises, i.e. (1) to further contribute to the success of this society and (2) to make a democratically based systematic revival and turnover of the Executive Committee become reality. Both aims have been reached. The number of members has increased considerably, and we know count 357 active members from 46 different countries in our society, nearly all of them in good standing. Also the finances of the society have been reorganised. We have now achieved on a good and satisfying level making the society even more successful in a challenging future. Our treasurer, Dr. Eva Bartels, has mostly contributed to this success.
On the basis of the formal registration in Oslo and the finances being organised in Munich, and together with the renewal of the bylaws, the society is in best shape at present. It was the merit of our secretary, Prof. Jürgen Klingelhöfer, as well as of our founding president, Prof. David Russel, to have promoted this development to the presently satisfying result. I would like to thank both of them for their excellent job. Needless to say, that Prof. Rob Ackerstaff and Prof. Kurt Niederkorn have provided a big amount of preparatory work over all the years to further fuel the progress of building up this society. Last not least, Prof. Nathan Bornstein has helped us a lot in the international context and in the development of the bylaws, all of whom I would also like to thank cordially.
The most particular donation, I have received during all these years, and which impressed me most, however, is your faithfulness to the society. You supported the ESNCH by your attendance to the meetings and your active contributions to the scientific sessions during the converences. Thank you all for this assistance and your enthusiasm.
Neurovascular ultrasound and other types of neuromedical ultrasound applications including B-mode imaging of the brain parenchyma, still are relatively novel and distinct diagnostic techniques. From my point of view, these techniques have a promising future with even more sophisticated applications in the neuromedical field like sonothrombolysis, parenchymal imaging in neurodegenerative diseases, and, particularly, in vasomotion and endothelium- smooth muscle cell–interactions. The latter applications have still not been explored deeply enough.
Another exciting field is ultrasound-based treatment by means of “smart bubbles” which are used in experimental settings to ship pharmaceutical compounds and genes or gene-vectors to predefined cerebral areas and circumscribed vascular beds. The future will tell us whether this approach will finally be successful. Progress is also seen in the secondary, mathematics-based exploration of ultrasound data like in functional TCD or other paradigms to functionally investigate the cerebral vasculature.
Thank you all for your great assistance and friendship. Auf Wiedersehen, leben Sie wohl and good bye.
E. Bernd Ringelstein
Dear Friends, Lecturis salutem!
I would like to summarize the activities of the presidency I performed with my friend, Professor Claudio Bar acchini, between 2009-2013. It si always good to look back to our successes and failures, and make a balance. These resumes may inspire new plans and activities, and help the next leaders of our society. When I was elected to the president of ESNCH, I realized immediately that this is not just a society, but a group of friends, and the founding president is the permanent motor of this society (fortunately, he is still among the leaders of ESNCH). My efforts were always supported by experienced colleagues like Professor Ringelstein, Klingelhögfer, Niederkorn, Bartels or Sturzenegger. So let’s have a look at our results and failures. The activities of all scientific international society can be divided at least into two parts: education and clinical activities.
Previously, I was the chairman of the European Cooperation Committee of EFNS (European Federation of Neurological Societies), therefore it was easy to contact the EFNS leaders in Vienna to suggest cooperation between ESNCH and EFNS. Thanks to these efforts we had our first common course in Geneva in 2010.
In 2011 the EFNS (Budapest) course was enriched with hands-on course, and the feedback from the audience was very positive. Our local colleagues provided the patients and ultrasound machines and the success was great. This activity has been continued in Stockholm in 2012 (at EFNS conference, thanks to the cooperation of Dr. Christina Kremers). The lecturers of ESNCH gave presentations, and the room was full with participants waiting for the hands-on course. The cooperation will not be ended by the unification of EFNS and ENS, because we have already agreed to organize a common course in Istanbul (2015), hopefully, with hands-on demonstration.
We made another step towards to the European Stroke Conference. After having successful discussions with Professor Hennerici, we had started our first common hands-on course in Barcelona (ESC 2010) and after its great success (overcrowded rooms) we have organized our next common meeting in Hamburg (also with hands-on course).
In 2012 (Lisboa) and 2013 (London) we continued the cooperation with the European Stroke Conference. More than 600 people participated on the common ESNCH-ESC symposium, held in London, May 2013. I also hope that this fruitful cooperation with ESC will continue in the future after the ESO overtakes the responsibility for organizing the next European Strake Conferences.
The ESNCH has widened its activity in other fields as well. We provided support and/or participated on the following meetings: The Berlin Transcranial US course (2012 and 2013) the hands-on and theoretical course in Budapest (2011), Padua (2010), Zadar (2010, 2013), Dubrovnik (2010), the Baltic Stroke Society (2013) and finally Portoros (2013).
During the last four years the membership of our society had increased by 36 % and at the end ofMay 2013 the society reached the 670 members. (In 2013, we have more members than the European Stroke Organization!).
Thanks to the cooperation with the European Stroke Conference we could significantly increase our income too. At the beginning of our leadership (2009) the society had 33 588 EUR and now, at the end of our term, the society has 63 871 EUR. We have almost doubled the balance of the society, although, we have invested more than 10 000 Euro in order to improve the quality of our website. The renewed website was visited by 1500 guests in May, 2013. Now, we can follow up the distribution of our members, the present and future events, and those members who pay for it can download the educational and scientific lectures presented at previous conferences. This website contains guidelines, tutorial, lectures and information on the history of our society.
The scientific activity
This is most important field of our activities and the major part of annual conferences. Besides the annual conferences (with the participation of hundreds of visitors from more than 40 countries) a recently published book (New Trends in Neurosonology and Cerebral Hemodynamics) also helps to spread the neurosonological scientific news. We owe thanks to Professor Eva Bartels for her efforts in editing this book.
Although societies do not have clinical activities but they can act indirectly as a “compass” by publishing guidelines, as we did about the relation of chronic cerebral vascular insufficiency and multiple sclerosis (Journal of Neurology 2012. V. 259. 2585-2589). This statement can be a milestone in this heavily discussed topic.
The quality of both the annual and regional teaching courses has been improved by introducing a new wireless voting system. The system enables the improvement of interactive characters of our teaching courses. The Cambridge University Press suggested me to publish a Manual of Neurosonology in 2014. All outstanding members of ESNCH gladly accepted this offer and the new book would help the daily activities of neurosonologists not only in Europe, but all over the world. We hope, this book will have influence not only on the scientific but also the clinical activity of physicians, and improve the quality of clinical diagnostics.
Finally, if we look back to our failures, I can mention three things. Although, we have elaborated the new standards of a well-organised neurosonological laboratory (see website), only a few labs applied for qualification. We have established a grant supporting conferences under the patronage of ESNCH, which would cover the travel and hotel costs ofthe lecturers. Unfortunately, only a few conference organisers applied for this benefits. Finally, the idea of a new journal for neurosonology came up during the last month of my presidency, but it has to be fulfilled by the new president, Professor Natan Bornstein. He should decide if our society is strong enough to establish this journal and decide if we want to publish new diagnostic guideline for extra- and intracranial ultrasound.
Thank you again for the friendship and support that I always experienced not only from the ESNCH Executive Committee, but from all members and friends. God bless you for this!
Finally I would like to finish my summary with the wise words of Christi an Doppler: “The most rewarding research projects are those, which delight the thinker and at the same time are of benefit to mankind.”
Former President of ESNCH