Prof Ralph Benedict

President's Post September 2017

01 Sep 2017

Prof Ralph Benedict
Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry and Psychology Jacobs Neurological Institute, SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine Buffalo General Hospital Buffalo, New York

We will be posting a presidential message and brief masterclass comment at the start of every month on our website. It is fitting that the first President message for the Internal MS Cognition Society focus on the growth of our Society.

First, I would like to salute Hans Peter Hartung and Iris Penner for hosting IMSCOGS 2017 in Dusseldorf.  The meeting was a great success.  I heard not a negative word about it, instead many compliments regarding the quality of the platforms, papers, and especially the many discussions and debates.  The conference commenced with excellent presentations by Christian Enzinger and Jeroen Geurts who debated the evidence on focal versus diffuse MRI correlates of cognitive impairment in MS.  This was followed by an interesting discourse on the relative importance of structural versus functional MRI predictors of MS cognitive impairment.  The presentations by doctors Schoonheim and Mejer from VU University added a rich addition to the topic, as their studies included a multi-modal approach that allowed us to examine the relative contribution in the same regression analysis.  Later, we discussed developments in the areas of assessment, treatment, cognitive reserve, and personality traits.  Clearly, MS neuropsychological problems occur across the life span, and we are likely to increasingly confront neuropsychiatric morbidities in our aged patients. All the abstracts from the conference can be found at MSJ online.

Second, I would like to highlight a few developments in the Society.  We have contracted with Congrex to help us enrich our website, commence memberships, and begin turnover of Executive Board and Steering Committee members that will enhance wider participation. These developments will be completed over the next year.  The IMCOGS bylaws stipulate a balance of country and profession and I am pleased that our boards reflect equally neurology and neuropsychology, and geographical diversity.  Regard upcoming meetings, IMSCOGS 2018 will be before and during ECTRIMS in Berlin and it is anticipated that the 2019 will be in Amsterdam.  Next, perhaps we will return to the US although there is as yet no decision on the 2020 venue.

If you are not already involved with IMSOCOGS or attending the conferences, and your work has a focus on MS cognition, I invite you to start engaging with our group.