Parkinson's Cutting Edge Science for Clinicians 2021

Event reports

On 5th October, Parkinson's Academy held their fourth Cutting Edge Science conference for clinicians involved in Parkinson's care, services and support.

With an incredible range of speakers from different backgrounds, experiences and specialisms, Cutting Edge Science for Parkinson’s clinicians is dedicated to unpicking 'accepted truths' and challenging expectations to develop a heightened level of expertise framed by novel research, evidence in experience, and practical application.

This years' Cutting Edge (#PDCES4) was held at the Birmingham Conference & Events Centre, and attended by 118 healthcare professionals from across the UK. 48 of those delegates attended in person, alongside speakers, representatives from event sponsor Bial, and staff from Neurology Academy. An additional 70 attendees joined the meeting virtually via the live stream on Parkinson's Academy's website (fig 1) where they could pose questions to speakers and respond to live polls via

"This is always an excellent meeting, and this year's event was of particularly high quality."

Delegate feedback

Fig 1: The meeting was available online via live stream with interactive options for delegates

With both physical and virtual attendees, and speakers, representing a huge range of roles and experiences across a variety of services, this meeting was truly multidisciplinary and provided a brilliant opportunity both for education and shared learning, and for connection and professional networking (fig 2).

"This is the most outstanding and engaging conference I have experienced for years. Professionally delivered online, glitch free, top quality speakers who speak with passion and knowledge. Inspiring in the sense that I immediately felt the need to make changes to our clinic routine to improve our attention on bone health and fracture risk assessments despite having felt that we were not doing too badly in this area."

Delegate feedback

Figure 2: Meeting in person - and the brilliant professional connections and conversations that can occur as a result

The packed programme was presided over by Professor Annette Hand and Dr Emily Henderson who chaired the day (fig 2). Topics such as the myths and legends of diagnosis with Dr Lara Teare, the complexity of neuropsychiatry with Dr David Okai, and sleep in Parkinson's with Prof Claudia Trenkwalder were all presented with clarity and a thorough examination of the latest evidence in both research and clinical practice.

Fig 3: Two of our faculty and chairs of the day Professor Annette Hand and Dr Emily Henderson, enjoy catching up before the conference kicks off

An early highlight for delegates was Dr Jonny Acheson, the second speaker of the day, who unpacked his experiences of COVID and the pandemic over the past 18 months from a unique perspective of both an NHS consultant in emergency medicine and a person who lives with Parkinson's. In the words of one delegate via Twitter, he gave a 'fantastic, personal, honest, fascinating talk on diagnosis and living with Parkinson’s disease, with a bit of music, football & art included' (fig 4).

Fig 4: Tweet from delegate @DrSandyThomson regarding Dr Jonny Acheson's talk at Cutting Edge 2021

Some of the artwork referred to can be found on Jonny's website whilst an overview of his talk, and of all of the sessions taking place at the conference, will be covered in more detail in the coming weeks for those who missed attending in person.

'Late registrations' to the meeting have an opportunity to watch the conference back 'on demand' so do contact Parkinson's Academy via head office for more information if you missed out on a live attendance.

More information on Parkinson's Cutting Edge Science is available online.

This meeting is designed and delivered by the Parkinson’s Academy and sponsored by BIAL Pharma. The sponsor has had no input into the educational content of this meeting.

'The things you can't get from the books'

Parkinson's Academy, our original and longest running Academy, houses 20 years of inspirational projects, resources, and evidence for improving outcomes for people with Parkinson's. Led by co-founder and educational director Dr Peter Fletcher, the Academy has a truly collegiate feel and prides itself on delivering 'the things you can't get from books' - a practical learning model which inspires all Neurology Academy courses.