59th International Neuropsychiatric Congress, Pula, 2019

Hrvoje Budinčević
Vida Demarin

The MIND & BRAIN – International Neuropsychiatric Congress is the scientific meeting with the longest tradition in this region and has been held every year since 1961 in Pula, Croatia. The Congress was held from May 30th to June 2nd, 2019.    

The Congress has been organized by the International Institute for Brain Health and the Association for Neuropsychiatry, and co-organized by the Department of Medical Sciences of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, the Croatian Society for Personology, Personality and Eating Disorders, the Croatian Stroke Society and Central and the Eastern European Stroke Society, with the endorsement of the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) and the European Academy of Neurology (EAN).  The meeting is accredited according to the Regulations of the European Accreditation Council for Continous Medical Education (EACCME) and the Croatian Medical Chamber. 

The content of the Congress included several main themes including bridging between neurology and psychiatry among these topics: Stroke, Epilepsy, Headache, Multiple Sclerosis, Movement Disorders, Alzheimer’s and other dementias, Personality Disorders, Psychosis and Depression that have shown mutual similarities and differences, research reaches and current limitations of both neurological and psychiatric disorders, as well as the need for a multidisciplinary approach.

The scientific program was exciting and encompassed many aspects of brain disorders in order to bridge neurology and psychiatry. Over 400 participants have attended the Congress, mainly from the Central and Eastern European Countries (Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Germany, Italy, N. Macedonia, Montenegro, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine) and from the rest of the world: Colombia, Denmark, Ireland, Israel, India, Singapore, South Korea, United Arab Emirates and United States of America. 

Since the first day of the Congress, May 30th, was also World Multiple Sclerosis Day, topics were related to multiple sclerosis. The Pula’s World MS Day Symposium was organized to highlight the significance of multidisciplinary approach to patients with multiple sclerosis and non-pharmacological management. During the Multiple Sclerosis Symposium – Hot Topics in MS Treatment, prof. Tanja Hojs Fabjan, Prof. Vanja Bašić Kes and prof. Uroš Rot discussed treatment modalities in MS patients treatment. 

After the opening of the Congress on Friday, May 31st,  plenary session was held with lectures from prof. Vida Demarin regarding brain health, prof. Martin Brüne regarding social cognition and prof. Silvio Bašić regarding drug-resistant epilepsy management. Plenary session on June 1st included topics about non-epileptic seizures (prof. Amos Korczyn), neuroinflammation in mood disorders (prof. Francesco Benedetti), hepatitis C infection in neuropsychiatric diseases (prof. Boris Tsygankov),  phobic vertigo (prof. Milan Latas), patent foramen ovale (prof. Milija Mijajlovic), and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (prof. Ervina Bilić).   

The Graz Neurology Symposium was organized by prof. Franz Fazekas, president of the European Academy of Neurology, who was unable to attend the Congress due to health issues, however the team from Graz presented historical developement, present status and future aspects of diagnosis and treatment of stroke (prof. Kurt Niederkorn & dr. Thomas Gattringer) and neurooncology (prof. Franz Payer and dr. Tadeja Urbanic-Purkart). 

Prof. Srećko Gajović organized the 5th Pula Neuroscience symposium, with four sessions presenting the latest neuroscience news from eminent neuroscientists from Canada, Germany, Austria, Italy and Croatia.   

The Psychiatry Symposium and Psychopathology Summer School was organized by prof. Karl Bechter and prof. Martin Brüne. It covered topics related to neuroinflammation and autoimmune dysregulation in psychiatric disorders with special review on infective agents. The Traditional Alzheimer’s Disease Symposium (organized by prof. Ninoslav Mimica) and the Psychiatry Symposium- From Neurobiology to Psychotherapy (organized by prof. Darko Marčinko) included mostly lectures by Croatian psychiatrists. 

This year’s special Headache symposium was organized as a Joint Meeting with Alps-Adria Neuroscience Section, WFN Applied Research Group on the Organization and Delivery of Care where prof. Bojana Žvan, prof. Marjan Zaletel and Koraljka Bačić Baronica presented recent approaches in the management of migraine. The Neuropsychiatrc Manifestation of Neurological disorders Symposium covered topics about the following disorders: stroke (prof. Osman Sinanović), Parkinson’s Disease (prof. Vladimira Vuletić), multiple sclerosis (prof. Uroš Rot) and sleep disorders (prof. Domagoj Vidović). The Traditional Central and Eastern European Stroke Symposium, endorsed by the World Stroke Organization, was organized by prof. Vida Demarin and assist. prof. Hrvoje Budinčević, where dr. David Bonifačić showed serum prognostic biomarkers, prof. Dijana Zadravec described the radiological diagnostics and endovascular treatment of stroke, prof. Bartlomiej Piechowski-Zozwiak showed recent research in clot morphology in ischemic stroke, dr. Senta Frol showed the Slovenian experience with intravenous thrombolysis treatment of patients on direct oral anticoagulants, dr. Đermanović Dobrota presented cognitive impairment in patients with diabetes mellitus, and prof. Hrvoje Budincevic presented the modalities of stroke care organization and ways for improvement.  

For the first time the Hypertension Infarction Stroke Prevention Association (HISPA) symposium was organized by assist. prof. Sandra Morović, topics included HISPA International’s vision and mission, previous achievements and future goals, with roundtable discussion. 

Special registration offers and opportunities were available for students, young physicians and young researchers through Short Communication session, Young psychiatrists symposium, Young Investigator’s Corner, Workshops and Poster session. Young psychiatrists symposium included roundtable about psychodynamic coaching, preceded by prof. Darko Marčinko’s book promotion named “Psychodinamics of business relations”. Two workshops about Child and Adolescent psychiatry and about How to read and write scientific papers have been organized. 

The poster section was quite interesting and led to a lively discussion. Three of the best posters in the neurology and psychiatry section have been awarded. The following outstanding posters have been awarded the ‘Best poster’ award:

1st Prize 

Franka Rigo, Ana Filošević, Rozi Andretić Waldowski  (Rijeka Croatia):  Quantification of Psychostimulant Self-Administration in Drosophila Melanogaster  

Lea Langer Horvat, Mirjana Babić Leko, Ena Španić, Emma Štampar, Goran Šimić (Zagreb, Croatia): Tau Protein Spreading After Injection Of Tau Oligomers Into The Rat Entorhinal Cortex. 

2nd Prize

Giulia Agostoni (Milan, Italy): “That Lawyer Is A Shark Because He Has Teeth”: Disentangling Metaphor Interpretation In Patients Affected By Schizophrenia  

Vladimir Rendevski, Boris Aleksovski, Ana Mihajlovska Rendevska (Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia): Advanced 3D Modeling for Prediction and Quantification of the Perihematomal Brain Edema Formation After Intracerebral Hemorrhage: Implications of Biochemical, Radiological and Clinical Variables 

3rd Prize 

Filip Mustač, Marjeta Majer, Roberto Mužić, Vesna Jureša, Vera Musil (Zagreb, Croatia): Mental Health Problems In Medical Students 

Bartlomiej Piechowski-Jozwiak, Ann O’sullivan, Syed I Hussain, Seby John, Ramon Navarro, Khalil Zahra, Stephen Samples, Victoria Mifsud (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates): Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi Stroke Registry (Ccadsr) Methodology 

The next Congress will be held from May 28th-31st, 2020, in Pula – Croatia. More informations will be available on our web site: www.pula-cong.com.