Stockholm conference

Medical matters

This blog will chat about the first two days of the conference and finish with a description of a fascinating session I attended combining music and neurology. Those of you who have no interest in either medicine or music can skip this blog.

The medical sessions have been interesting and of variable standard. From first class to “dodgy”. Rather perennial topics, familiar to my professional colleagues, were presented including choice of drugs in epilepsy, the dilemma of inflammation of the brain in multiple sclerosis, numerous sessions on dementia and finally movement disorders including Parkinsons Disease. There was much discussion on issues with respect to treatment for the broad range of neurodegenerative diseases. When to start, what to use, side effects.

There is a persistent curiosity in the unusual psychological manifestations of Parkinson’s Disease such as pathological gambling, hyper-sexuality and “punding”. As I don’t exhibit ANY of these unique characteristics, I am reassured that I don’t have early PD. This information together with my intact sense of smell, continues to reassure me that I am rather boringly normal after all.

In case you are too frightened to ask, “punding” is an almost addictive desire to collect things. So if you have a display cabinet at home containing teaspoons, thimbles, tea towels, old glass butter dishes, old money boxes, china dolls or even pre-worn AFL shorts, then seek immediate help from a neurologist, if you find one actually working and not overseas.

If by chance you collect both dolls and used AFL player football shorts, I would be very happy to assess you myself upon my return from overseas. I will squeeze you in to my busy working day.

I was flabbergasted when a Scandinavian specialist argued that ALL patients referred for possible dementia should have an MRI scan and or other complex and expensive scans, and if normal, then follow up with serial scans! The economic burden would be on par with the Greek annual budget.

Drug companies and Sponsors kiosks were similar to those in Australia. Interactive touch screens and iPads abounded! There was little objective scientific information easily obtained from the sophisticated marketing indeed naked commercialism of each booth.

I was amazed to see that many of the Sponsors booths which offered free coffee (barista style) displayed a laminated “warning” to those north American physicians that accepting such a trivial beverage, would require mandatory disclosure! How and why this disclosure should be done, was not specified.

The Afternoon drug company sponsored satellite meetings fairly blatantly pushed their newest wonder drug! Whilst I am critical of many aspects of medical practice in America, they are scrupulous about disclosure and at meetings such as this, held in the USA, all speakers will commence their presentation with a statement of disclosure.

I have babbled on far too long so the music session must become an encore to today’s blog!

$10 = 68 kroner !

Or to be more depressing

1 Kroner is about 15 cents ( on a good day!)

So how can I demonstrate that Sweden is bloody expensive? Easy ….
3 day bike hire (nothing flash- city tourer with flat handlebars)

590 kroner! ($85)