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WPC 2013 Summary
Third World Parkinson Congress | WPC 2013 
Montreal, Quebec, Canada | October 1 - October 4, 2013


Advancing Science, Inspiring Hope, Connecting Community


The Third World Parkinson Congress | WPC 2013 attracted 3,334 delegates from 64 countries to hear with 3,334 delegates from 64 countries gathering in Montreal to hear about new science, research studies as well as treatment and management options over the course of four days. We witnessed a truly diverse international Parkinson's community come together with over 40% of the delegates registering as neuroscientists, researchers, nurses, rehab specialists; 25% registering as people with Parkinson's; and 15% registering as care partners/givers, and family members. The cross pollination of these communities is so unique and empowering. Unique for many researchers who never meet people living with PD and unique for patients who rarely meet neuroscientists or those studying the disease at a cellular level.


The WPC 2013 Leadership, filled seats on nine committees and came from 27 countries. They represented all areas of Parkinson's including researchers, clinicians, rehab specialists, people with Parkinson's and care partners and others. They spent numerous hours designing and creating the program, steering the WPC through planning decisions, helping to coordinate press and marketing outreach as well as secure funding for the WPC to take place. These men and women were outstanding cheerleaders for the WPC and made it a success with their time and dedication. Learn more about WPC Leadership.

The WPC 2013 kicked off with the rousing opening ceremony on Tuesday, October 1st. Our Master of Ceremonies was WPC 2013 Vice President and Co-chair Dr. Jon Stoessl started things off with good humor and thanks to our volunteers and delegates. Our speeches started off with our very own President and Founder, Dr. Stanley Fahn who gave an overview of how the Congress started. The presentation was quite fitting for Dr. Fahn to reminiscence how the WPC started as he announced that he would stepping down as President of the WPC.

Watch the full Opening Ceremony program via our free archived webcasts by clicking here. You can also watch individual speeches on YouTube by following the links below:

Bob Kuhn, WPC 2013 Ambassador

Daniel Bissonette, Montreal Film Commissioner
Tim Hague, Canada's Great Race Winner

Pre-congress educational courses
The scientific program for the WPC 2013 began with three pre-congress educational courses that were designed and planned by the WPC Program Committee. The courses were designed for three different audiences and each room was filled to capacity. Here's a summary of the three courses:

Course #1: Fundamentals of PD
This course was open to all registrants and exposed them to key topics that were elaborate on in the Congress program. Participants were prepared for what was to come over the four days and given the tools to get the most out of the meeting. Some of the topics covered in this course were: Cause of PD, Pathology of PD, Medical Therapies, Surgical Therapies, Future Therapies, Clinical Trials, and more.

Course #2: Interdisciplinary Care & Parkinson's Disease
This course provided a forum for discussion of service delivery models in PD. Current international model types were presented and a discussion about the ideal model focusing on the complexity of PD, the need to provide continuity of care and to be able to deal with the cumulative morbidities associated with a chronic illness. This session was of particular interest to members of healthcare or interdisciplinary teams or to those interested in understanding how to design care models that are patient-centered. Faculty included interdisciplinary team members from some of the world's leading centers in the area of team care including MDs, PTs, RNs, OTs, SLPs, SWs and others.

Course #3: Science & Advocacy (Sponsored by supporting companies)
The sessions that made up this course were sponsored by supporting companies and non-profit organizations. This course exposed participants to research being carried out, advocacy programs and other issues related to advancing the understanding of Parkinson's science and increasing involvement of people living people living with Parkinson's in the process.

A pdf file of the WPC 2013 program can be downloaded here.

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 and roundtable discussions. Session topics covered a broad range of issues in the Parkinson’s science and care, including, but not limited to:
• Parkinson's disease and cancer
• New genes and risk factors of PD
• Non-dopaminergic systems in PD: Anatomy, Biochemistry, and Pathology
• Non-motor manifestations of Parkinson's disease
• Music, creativity and Parkinson's
• Benefits and risks of genetic testing
• Mitochondrial quality control mechanisms
• The search for new delivery methods for drugs
• Pain in PD
• Quality of life and comfort in the late stages of Parkinson's disease

Faculty from the WPC came from all over the world. 190 speakers in all helped to deliver the program that was presented in Montreal. See who spoke at the WPC 2013.

Hot Topics talks
Of all of the those who submitted scientific abstracts, 12 people were chosen to give short talks about their work in the Hot Topics sessions each morning. Despite the early hour, these sessions were well attended and offered four talks each morning one in each of these areas: basic science, clinical science, clinical therapeutics and quality of life.

Renewal Room

The Renewal Room (RR) was a space where everyone was welcome to drop in to nourish mind, body and spirit. Attendees participated in a tango class, morning and afternoon yoga, singing, dance, exercise, laughing sessions and more! The RR had packed sessions on a daily basis. Support for this room came from Allergan.

This was a complimentary space at the WPC 2013 where all delegates were welcome to drop in to get a short massage. This was a perfect way to have some quiet time and work out the kinks from sitting in long sessions or to just decrease the tension from the busy days at the Congress. The Reiki and Massage Room was particularly popular with most of the slots for the Congress being booked on the first day!

Support for this room came from Allergan.

Video Competition

In its second year, the WPC 2013 video competition was widely successful with the submission of over 100 videos! launched for the first time a video competition inviting people from around the globe to send in messages about Parkinson's. The competition was designed to raise awareness about Parkinson's and to put a face on the disease while having a little fun at the same time. The messages were open to the videographers' imaginations and what came back to us was an array of stories and experiences that moved viewers and brought tears and laughter, sometimes in the same clip! 

The videos we received were so amazing we decided to honor the top 12 videos at the Congress and create another award called the People's Choice Award. The community was invited to vote for their favorite video for the Top 12 videos and the winner's video was shown at the Opening Ceremony. Both the Grand Prize for the Video Competition and the People's Choice Award was awarded to Andy McDowell for his moving submission entitled Smaller: A Poem about Parkinson's.

Every video we received was showcased on our YouTube and social media outlets in a effort to spread Parkinson's awareness and share the videographers' stories. We were honored and pleased to receive these very moving, educational, and diverse submissions from people with Parkinson's, care partners, friends, and researchers.

Click here to view all the submitted videos including the two presented at the Opening Ceremony. 

WPC 2013 Webcasts

Thanks to sponsorship support by the National Parkinson Foundation and The Brin Wojcicki Foundation, we were able to provide over 26 hours of archived webcasts of select WPC 2013 sessions. The webcasts are still available for your viewing pleasure for FREE by click here.

The WPC 2013, in an effort to include the global community and to reach as many people as possible about the Congress, built a community of 166 Organizational Partners (OPs) from 44 countries around the world to help support and promote the WPC 2013.

These OPs were true allies in our effort to reach the broadest community. We owe a tremendous thank you to our partners for their promotion of the WPC 2013 and theirs efforts to send representatives to be present at the Congress.

The WPC 2013 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. Nearly 500 posters were on display during the WPC. 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 scientific abstracts accepted for display were printed in a supplement of the Journal of Parkinson's Disease and were given away as CD-ROMs at the WPC.

The WPC aims to ensure diversity of the delegates by offering travel stipends to junior researchers and people with PD to attend the Congress. Thanks to funding from the Melvin Yahr International Parkinson's Disease Foundation and the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation, 91 junior researchers from 35 countries received travel support to attend the WPC 2013 and because of funding from Tourism Montreal, 106 people with Parkinson's from 21 countries received travel support.

For the first time, the WPC offered delegates the opportunity to help fund other delegates, both students and people with Parkinson's to attend the WPC 2013 via the WPC Travel Grants Program. Their donations combined helped to cover the registration fees of over 80 people.

The full list of WPC travel grant recipients can be viewed in the WPC 2013 program on page 16.

WPC 2013 In the News

Click here to view published news articles about the WPC 2013.

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