On the heels of the official site visit for the International Neuromodulation Society’s (INS) 2017 Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland, I am excited to tell you that Edinburgh truly is a strikingly beautiful and unforgettable place. Together with members of the INS Executive Committee, Drs. Robert Levy and Simon Thomson, as well as with Mr. Roger Strachan, and Drs. Ganesan Baranidharan and Ashish Gulve from the Local Organizing Committee and UK and Ireland Chapter (NSUKI), we explored the city from its cobble-stoned Royal Mile up to Edinburgh Castle, to the state-of-the-art Edinburgh International Conference Center (EICC), and have come away inspired, knowing that Edinburgh offers the perfect mix of cultural wealth and innovation, and thus is the ideal venue for the INS’s 13th World Congress. We cannot wait to share it with you!
Steeped in history and once hailed as the Athens of the North, Edinburgh has been home to enlightened writers, philosophers and physicians — including two pioneers of early surgical technique: Sir Joseph Lister, who championed the use of carbolic acid as an antiseptic; and Sir James Young Simpson, who discovered the anesthetic properties of chloroform in surgery. A more recent alumnus of the University of Edinburgh’s medical school, Mr. Roger Strachan — President of NSUKI, generously shared with us his insider’s perspective and insights as we toured the grand Royal College of Surgeons, the likely venue for our hands-on cadaver workshop.
The main congress will take place in the heart of Edinburgh at the EICC, a cutting-edge conference center with ample room for the INS to increase its scientific offerings and better serve our members’ and commercial supporters’ needs, while maintaining the intimacy that is vital to nurturing communication and collaboration in our society.
The EICC is within walking distance of the main tourist attractions and many hotels (suiting a wide range of budgets), the closest being the newly refurbished Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa, which is only a few meters away and will host most of the congress’s ancillary events. The EICC and Sheraton staff and all the locals we met during our visit were extremely knowledgeable and eager to please as they very much look forward to hosting us in their magnificent city.
I was also excited to learn that the Edinburgh Marathon is scheduled for the 28th of May, so we may plan some INS-related events around the marathon for our athletic delegates.
Please stay tuned as more details unfold. In the meantime, I would like to thank Mr. Strachan, and Drs. Baranidharan, Gulve, Levy and Thomson, along with Annika Hayes, our meeting planner at Vanern Enterprises, who made all the arrangements with her local contacts, for joining in the site visit and setting the wheels in motion for an excellent and memorable congress. I hope we have inspired you to join us in Edinburgh!
Pre-Conference Noninvasive Brain Stimulation (NIBS) – May 27, 2017
The International Neuromodulation Society (INS) is pleased to announce its first pre-conference session on Noninvasive Brain Stimulation, which will take place on Saturday, 27 May 2017, immediately preceding the INS 13th World Congress, “Neuromodulation: Technology Changing Lives,” at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
New to the congress this year will be a poster session at the pre-conference, and so we invite abstracts focusing only on Noninvasive Brain Stimulation. Abstract categories encompass basic science/neuroscience, neural engineering, socioeconomics, and existing clinical therapies as well as potential future technologies. All accepted abstracts will be published on the Society’s website and in the online version of the INS journal, Neuromodulation: Technology at the Neural Interface. The deadline to submit abstracts has now passed.
All abstracts submitted will be entered in the INS’s Best NIBS Abstract Competition, in which the top three abstracts will be recognized for their quality, originality and ingenuity in basic or clinical science or neural-engineering. Award recipients will be notified in advance, and will be recognized on stage during pre-conference on the 27th of May. In addition to this honor, the primary author recipients will be refunded the day’s registration fees.
Among the central challenges in advancing noninvasive brain stimulation (NIBS) as clinical treatment and experimental intervention are 1. incomplete knowledge of mechanisms, 2. lack of proof that targeted mechanisms are actually engaged and 3. a lack of surrogate measures for clinical outcomes. These closely related problems reduce the prior probability of hypotheses, prevent us from learning from “negative” studies, and make the multi-dimensional dosing parameter space daunting to explore. Biomarkers of target engagement and response are often required in drug trials and funding agencies are increasingly applying such criteria to device trials as well. This preconference session will feature mechanistic insights on NIBS and combinations of NIBS with fMRI, EEG, and other measurements of brain activity that provide biomarkers of target engagement and response.
By the end of the session, we will expect participants to be able to:
- Identify the reasons why well-understood mechanisms make the hypotheses of NIBS studies more likely to be true
- Define biomarkers of response and surrogate outcome measures recognize their usefulness in NIBS
- Define measures of target engagement and recognize their usefulness in research and clinical studies
- Apply these principles in their own work