May 27, 2017: Successful start of the Neuromuscular Symposia Series - from bench to bedside.

05/27/2017

Healthcare professionals were invited to gain insight into the latest research findings and the developments related to the translation into everyday clinical practice.

To optimize translational research and clinical care in neuromuscular disorders the 1st Neuromuscular Symposium of the University Hospital of Cologne was held on May 27, 2017 by following institutions:
Center for Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (Prof. Dr. Dötsch), Dept. for Neurology (Prof. Dr. Gereon Fink), Institute for Human Genetics (Prof. Dr. Brunhilde Wirth) and the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC) as associated institution.

The organizers were pleased to welcome Prof. Dr. Hahn (Center for Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Univ. Giessen) an internationally renowned expert in the field of diagnostics and therapy of respiratory disorders as key note speaker. Please find the program here.

Dr. Sebahattin Cirak quoted: “The First Neuromuscular Symposium has been successful. Over 40 healthcare professionals including nurses and physiotherapists came together to update themselves on latest developments from bench to bedside, and discussed how to collaborate and improve the wellbeing of patients with muscular dystrophies.”

Progressive degeneration and weakness of the skeletal muscles are the characteristic symptoms of muscular dystrophies, a group of heterogeneous genetic diseases. The first muscular dystrophy gene encoding dystrophin was discovered in 1986, and during the last years a large number of genes have been identified that are involved in various muscle-wasting and neuromuscular disorders.

A major breakthrough was achieved when human genetic studies complemented by animal models contributed to unravel the molecular pathomechanisms underlying muscle degeneration. This has led to a paradigm shift in the diagnosis and therapy of muscular dystrophies. Moreover, several studies have revealed distinct molecular and cellular mechanisms that link genetic mutations to diverse muscle wasting phenotypes.

Drugs that interfer with molecular pathomechanisms and take into account the patient´s unique genetic makeup (genome) are of importance for setting up the so-called individualized or personalized medicine approach. Until now several drugs are already available for the treatment of patients and several others are in the clinical trail studies III. The Neuromuscular Centers of the Depts. of Pediatrics and Neurology at the University Hospital Cologne are currently participating in phase II clinical trials.