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WPC 2006 Highlights
WPC 2006 Summary
First World Parkinson Congress | WPC 2006
Washington D.C., USA | February 22 – February 26, 2006

Bringing the Parkinson’s Community Together

The first World Parkinson Congress | WPC 2006 attracted more than 3,150 delegates from 56 countries to hear 280 speakers over the course of five days. Those delegates included: 1,800 health professionals and researchers; 1,100 patients and caregivers; and 250 exhibitors and members of press. The delegates helped to launch a very successful unprecedented meeting showing a high-level of interest in not only the current state of Parkinson’s research, science and care but also in a new format of scientific meetings for the Parkinson’s community. The idea of including the whole PD community in a meeting setting had never been done before on such a global scale. The success of the meeting indicated a strong desire to see this happen again in the future.

Some comments from WPC 2006 delegates:

"Having patients at the meeting provides a very important opportunity for junior scientists to meet with persons with PD to put a face on the illness and its consequences. Interaction with the scientists gives patients important hope and understanding of the scientific process." 
WPC Clinician delegate

"I found particularly useful the sessions about interdisciplinary teams and the psychosocial aspects of the disease for patients and caregivers. We are too often consumed by the science and chemistry of PD without fully taking into account the "quality of life" quotient." 
WPC 2006 Allied Health Professional delegate

"All the basic science sessions I went to were very good. I also attended one of the more community sessions on exercise, which I thought was good. The workshops are a good idea, smaller and easier to discuss issues." 
WPC 2006 Clinician/Researcher delegate

"Everything I attended was a wealth of information. The sessions on Genetics were most valuable. Being able to talk with presenters after the sessions was extremely valuable."
WPC 2006 Person with Parkinson’s delegate

We had the pleasure of having five outstanding guests open the WPC 2006 starting with our very own President and Founder, Dr. Stanley Fahn. The full program, with links to the videos, can be viewed here:
Stanley Fahn, MD
Watch Video here

Michael J. Fox
Watch Video here 

Oliver Sacks, MD
Watch Video here

Elias Zerhouni, MD
Watch Video here

Mary Baker, MBE
Watch Video here

The scientific program for the WPC 2006 began with one full day of pre-educational scientific courses that were designed and planned by the WPC Program Committee but were graciously funded and supported by a number of our supporters in the Pharmaceutical industry. Click here to view the 2006 pre-educational program.

The official program began after the Opening Ceremony with more than 120 educational sessions in a variety of formats from plenary sessions, parallel sessions, workshops, debates and more. Session topics covered a broad range of issues in the Parkinson’s science and care, including, but not limited to:
• Ethics of Genetic Testing
• Neuropathology of Parkinson’s Disease
• Environment, Epidemiology and PD
• Early Diagnosis and PD (Modalities to Monitor Disease Progression)
• Multidisciplinary and Comprehensive Care in PD
• Experimental Therapeutics: How to Treat PD in the Future
• How the International Parkinson’s Community Works Together
• Challenges of Care Delivery: International Perspectives
• Parkinson’s Disease: How Does It Unravel?
• Identification and Management of Non-motor Aspects of PD

Junior researchers who presented cutting edge posters were tapped to give short talks each day to large plenary audiences.

A pdf file of the WPC 2006 program can be downloaded here.

A list of the WPC 2006 faculty members can be viewed here.

The organizers of the Congress working in collaboration with New Rhythms Foundation offered a Renewal Room (RR) for attendees. The RR was a room where everyone was welcome to drop in to nourish mind, body and spirit. Attendees participated in massage, t'ai chi, drumming, yoga, meditation, singing, dance, movement, stories and more! The RR had packed sessions on a daily basis. A few comments about the RR from the WPC 2006:

"I attended a couple of sessions in the Renewal Room and they were wonderful. The relaxed small group nature of the room and the sessions allowed people who were strangers to each other open up, talk about their PD, and generate a sense of community. The session on the Tremble Clefs was great!” -WPC 2006 delegate

"Very valuable. It felt like a place I could go to and there would always be a friendly face."-WPC 2006 delegate

The WPC 2006, in an effort to include the global community and to reach as many people as possible about the Congress, built a community of 104 Organizational Partners (OPs) from 31 countries around the world to help support and promote the WPC 2006.

These OPs were true allies in our effort to reach the broadest community with only a short lead time from when the planning started through to the actual WPC. We owe a tremendous thank you to our OPs for their promotion of the WPC 2006 and effort to send representatives to be present at the Congress.

The full list of WPC 2006 OPs can be viewed here.

The WPC 2006 accepted abstract submissions for poster display of promising research in the broad field of PD science, both basic and clinical, as well as novel therapeutic and care studies. More than 600 posters were on display during the WPC and with a number of them part of the evening poster tours. The abstracts deemed the most seminal and novel were highlighted during the 'Hot Topics' sessions that were held each afternoon at which the poster presenter was invited to speak to a large audience about his or her work. 

All abstracts accepted for display were printed in a journal supplement of the Movement Disorder Journal and were disemminated onsite at the WPC 2006. Supplement details are as follows: 
Movement Disorders 
Volume 21 Issue S13 (January 2006) 
Supplement: First World Parkinson Congress 
ISSN 0885-3185

Copies of the supplement can be obtained via interlibrary loan by contacting the NIH National Library of Medicine at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/ OR by ordering directly from the publishing company at a cost of approximately $30US per copy by contacting Jennifer English at jenglish@wiley.com .