The 2016 Inflammatory Neuropathy Consortium of the Peripheral Nerve Society was held in Glasgow, Scotland on June 21-24, 2016, including the GBS Centenary on the final day of the program. The meeting was a tremendous success with over 400 people attending. Participants included basic and translational scientists, clinicians, a large presence from our partners in Pharma, and patient support groups. Many thanks to the enormous efforts from the Local Organizing Committee:  Hugh Willison (and his colleagues from University of Glasgow), David Cornblath, Michael Lunn, and Robert Hadden.

Dedicated INC sessions included updates on IGOS, PeriNomS, and the forthcoming IMAGiNe study, and an update on no less than 13 other active clinical trials in GBS, CIDP and MMN (clinical trials). 

There were excellent plenary sessions on the nodal complex (Brophy) and nodal proteins (Devaux), antibody effects at the node of Ranvier (McGonigal), biomarkers in CIDP and correlation to clinical phenotypes (Querol), clinical phenotyping of CIDP using electrophysiology (Franssen), paraproteinemic neuropathy and the POEMS syndrome (Klein), an update on the immunology of the inflammatory neuropathies (Lehmann), biologic depletion therapies (McInnes), future immunotherapeutics (Owens), CSF and serum biomarkers using neurofilament light (Sandelius), skin biopsy as a diagnostic tool (Hsieh), and cutting edge imaging of peripheral nerve disorders (Gasparotti). There were lively debates on the utility of antibodies in CIDP and MMN (Sommer vs. Uncini) and on the pros and cons of various inflammatory neuropathy registries and databases.

There were 53 speed poster (platform) presentations and a total of 193 abstract posters available for viewing and discussion with the authors (abstracts). In particular, there were several excellent presentations on the current status of GBS and Zika infection in South America. 

The final day was spent honoring the original publication of the first paper on GBS and the evolution of our understanding of this condition over the subsequent 100 years. This included selected readings from the original paper, doctor and patient perspectives about the disease, the development of animal models, discussions of axonal GBS, variants, the advent of antibody testing, most cited references on GBS, and insights from illuminating case reports, culminating in the launch of the GBS100 monograph by Hugh Willison and John Goodfellow (GBS100 Book). Christine Verboon achieved the highest score on the GBS quiz and was awarded a quiach as the “world’s expert in GBS”. The program came to a close with an evening banquet and Ceilidh, with Scottish folk music and singing, and traditional dancing (including kilts).

INC Awards

This year’s INC awardees were selected after careful review of all the posters and platforms by the PNS/INC Scientific Committee and were awarded at the close of the program.

The Arthur K. Asbury Prize was awarded to Angie Rupp (Scotland) for the poster “Complement-fixing anti-ganglioside antibodies in acute canine polyradiculoneuritis”.

The Peter J. Dyck Prize was awarded to Maarten Brem (The Netherlands) for the poster “IVIg treatment induces an transient expansion of antibody secreting cells and a switch from IgG1 to IgG2 in peripheral blood of Guillain-Barré syndrome patients”.

The P.K. Thomas Prize was awarded to Sagiri Isose (Japan) for the poster “Difference in small fiber involvement in CIDP and POEMS syndrome: An intra-epidermal electrical stimulation pain-SEP study”.

The John W. Griffin Prize was awarded to Maximilian Heininger (Germany) for the poster “Effect of intravenous immunoglobulins on natural killer cells in peripheral blood of patients with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy” and also to Christine Verboon (The Netherlands) for poster “Immunoglobulin treatment for patients with mild Guillain-Barré syndrome: an international prospective observational study”.

The Richard P. Bunge Prize was awarded to Simon Rinaldi (UK) for the poster “The pathogenic effects of disialosyl antibodies are reveale by functional assays using differentiated human induced pluripotent stem cells”.

The Jonathon Pembroke Prize was awarded to Ohnmar (Myanmar) for the poster “Deteriminants of the clinical outcome of patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome at a tertiary general hospital in Yangon, Myanmar”.

The recipient of this year’s SPIN award was Luis Querol (Spain) for his research project “IVIg effects on regulatory B cells in patients with neuroimmune diseases”. The SPIN (Scientific Progress – Immunoglobulins in Neurology) Award is a part of the Grifols Scientific Awards program and supports the development and testing of innovative ideas and hypotheses in the field of immunoglobulin research in neurology.

INC Sponsors

The INC proudly acknowledges the generous sponsorship of the following organizations, without which the meeting would not have been possible:

Platinum sponsorship was provided by:
Baxalta
CSL Behring
Grifols
Kedrion S.p.A

Gold sponsorship for the meeting was provided by:
GBS/CIDP Foundation International

Silver sponsorship for the meeting was provided by:
LFB Biomedicaments
Octapharma
TEVA

Other contributions were also received from:
Buhlmann Laboratories AG
Chandra Mehta Foundation
Syntimmune

This support is gratefully acknowledged.

INC Board

Pieter van Doorn will be stepping down as president and the role will be assumed by Richard Lewis. David Cornblath will remain another year as vice president and then the role will be assumed by Ivo van Schaik (vice president-elect). Michael Lunn will be stepping down as secretary and the role will be assumed by Ken Gorson. Thanks to Professors van Doorn and Lunn for their outstanding service over many years. Professors van Doorn, Cornblath and Lunn will remain active board members.

The INC Board also wishes to thank those members who have served for many years and will be rotating off the Board: Eduardo Nobile-Orazio, Leonard van den Berg, Jean-Marc Léger, and Stephen Reddel. 

Newly elected Board members include Jeff Allen, Luis Querol, Rob Hadden, and Umapathi Thirugnanam. 

INC Board members also include: Bart Jacobs, Hugh Willison, Isabella Illa, Peter Van den Bergh, Ingemar Merkies, Susumu Kusunoki, Hans-Peter Hartung, and Claudia Sommer.

The INC Board reviewed the venue for the PNS Meeting in Sitges, Spain in 2017. There will be ample room to accommodate multiple INC sessions that will be integrated throughout the program. Teaching courses will be offered at the beginning of the meeting on basic science and clinical topics. Plenary speakers have been chosen and the INC is well represented. We will continue our very productive relationships with industry sponsors. The INC will advocate for a larger role with industry and regulatory agencies in designing clinical trials and selecting proper outcome measures. We will continue to partner with other groups such as the EAN, AAN, and AANEM and have dedicated PNS/INC teaching sessions at these meetings.


Future meetings:

CMT 2016 will be held at the NH Laguna Palace in Mestre-Venice, Italy and will start on the early afternoon of 8 September 2016 with an opening scientific lecture. It will continue on 9 September 2016 including a gala-dinner in Venice and will conclude in the late afternoon of 10 September 2016. A slide deck for the meeting can be seen by clicking here.

Meeting Information

PNS 2017 will be held in Sitges, Spain just outside Barcelona. The meeting will start on the evening of 8 July 2017 with an Opening Reception and conclude at 1200 on 12 July 2017. A slide deck for the meeting can be seen by clicking here.

PNS 2018 will be held in Baltimore, Maryland, USA and PNS 2019 will be held in Genoa, Italy. Details to come.

 

Website:

Our website continues to evolve and improve. Please visit it for periodic updates. A new Fellowship Opportunities section is now added. Please send ads for Fellowships to Amber Millen (amillen@ucsd.edu) for posting.