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WPC 2016 Summary
Fourth World Parkinson Congress | WPC 2016
Portland, Oregon, United States| September 20 - 23, 2016


Bringing the Parkinson's Community Together


The 4th World Parkinson Congress in Portland Oregon was a huge success with over 4,550 attendees from 67 countries. The breakdown of WPC 2016 delegates included:
 - 2,284 People with Parkinson, their care partners and family members
 - 757 Rehabilitation specialists, nurses, and non-profit employees
 - 635 Physicians, clinicians, scientists, and pharmaceutical industry members
 - 399 Exhibitors
 - 176 Presenters
 - 169 Students and post docs
 - 119 Other
The delegate make-up created a true cross section of the Parkinson's community.The delegates helped to launch a very successful meeting showing a high-level of interest in not only the current state of Parkinson’s research, science and care but also in an emerging format of scientific meetings for the Parkinson’s community, a format that includes all stakeholders. The idea of including the whole PD community in a meeting is leading the way for an exciting interdigitation of the community and is expected to open new doors to collaborations that would not happen in traditional scientific meetings.

The WPC 2016 Leadership, filled seats on seven 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.

Pre-congress educational courses
The scientific program for the WPC 2016 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: The Journey 
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.

Supported by International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society

Course #2: Interdisciplinary and Patient-Centered 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.
Supported by Acorda Therapeutics


Course #3: Advances in Scientific Research and Treatment
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.

Supported by GE Healthcare, Lundbeck LLC, Adamas Pharmaceuticals, Parkinson's Foundation, Acadia Pharmaceuticals


A pdf file of the WPC 2016 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 2016.

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 2016 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.

In its third year, the WPC 2016 video competition was widely successful with the submission of 76 videos! 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. The Grand Prize for the Video Competition was given to Lori Campbell for her submission "Victory."

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

Organizational Partners

The WPC 2016, in an effort to include the global community and to reach as many people as possible about the Congress, built a community of 194 Organizational Partners (OPs) from 45 countries around the world to help support and promote the WPC 2016.

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 2016 and theirs efforts to send representatives to be present at the Congress.

The WPC 2016 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 given away as thumb drives at the WPC and are available through our mobile app.

The WPC aims to ensure diversity of the delegates by offering travel stipends to junior researchers and people with PD to attend the Congress. Thw WPC was able to offer travel grants through the generous support of AbbVie Inc., Travel Portland, Edmond J. Safra Foundation, The Kenneth Aidekman Family Foundation, Pat Davies, Stephen McCarthy & Lucinda Parker McCarthy, Parkinsons Creative Collective, 444 Parkinson's Foundation.


The WPC also enjoyed amazing support from delegates who offered to help students or people with Parkinson's, in whole or in part, to attend the WPC via the WPC Travel Grants Program. Their donations from other delegates helped to cover the registration fees of nearly 80 people.

The full list of WPC travel grant recipients can be viewed in the WPC 2016 program on page 22

WPC 2016 In the News

Click here to view published news articles about the WPC 2016.

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