From 2009-2011 the Medical Board of “Asociación de Ciencias Neurológicas de El Salvador” (ACNES) aimed to develop an educational program for “non-neurologist” health practitioners (family medicine, specialists, paramedics, students, nurses and other health care personnel). Through these courses they provide participants with updates on diagnostic and therapeutic advances of the most common neurological diseases in daily practice to promote early diagnosis, prevention and proper treatment to such diseases.
This year, San Salvador, El Salvador was host to the First Course on Movement Disorders for Non-neurologists, the Second National Course on Practical Neurology for Non-neurologists and the Symposium for Caregivers, Family and Persons with Parkinson's Disease. There were 381 neurologists, neurosurgeons, health care personnel and Parkinson’s disease patients who attended El Salvador’s first Ambassador Program of The Movement Disorder Society - Pan American Section on May 19-21, 2011. Dr. Jorge Luis Juncos, MD (MDS Ambassador) discussed important topics in Parkinson’s disease, movement disorders and other neurological diseases common in daily practice.
The symposium began with a lecture on the “Role of Neurosurgery and DBS in the Management of Parkinson’s Disease” (Mechanism, patient selection and results) by Dr. Jorge Juncos (MDS Ambassador), followed by “Clinical Cases of DBS on the First 3 Patients in El Salvador” by Dr. Luis Ernesto González Sánchez (El Salvador), “Dystonias: Diagnosis, Treatment and Therapeutic Botulinum Toxin Uses in Neurology” by Dr. Ricardo López-Contreras (El Salvador), and “Tremors: Diferential Diagnosis and Treatment” by Dr. Ernesto Cornejo Valse (El Salvador).
Other neurological diseases were discussed by local Salvadorian doctors and the engineer Antonio Contreras Hernandez, president of the “Asociación Parkinson de El Salvador”, who spoke about his personal experience in ¨Learning to Live with Parkinson’s Disease.” Later, Dr. Jorge Luis Juncos (MDS Ambassador) discussed “Parkinson’s Disease: Evolution and Treatment. Patient-centered Perspective” and ended the conference with a panel discussion for all participants and faculty.
In addition to the symposium, a press conference was held to publicize the importance of health education in Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders for health care practitioners and the general population. ACNES hoped to promote early diagnosis and better care of these patients through their message to major print, television and radio media in the area.
Contributed by Ricardo López-Contreras, MD