11/03/2013

THE CATALAN SOCIETY OF NEUROLOGY RECOGNIZES PASQUAL MARAGALL FOR HIS FIGHT AGAINST ALZHEIMER

Awards granted at the 41st Annual Meeting of this scientific organization, with ESTEVE's collaboration.

The 41st Annual Meeting of the Catalan Society of Neurology (SCN), a subsidiary of the Academy of Medical Sciences and Health of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, hosted this evening the first edition of the 'Galceran i Granés. 100 years of the Catalan Society of Neurology' Social Prize, awarded to former president of the Generalitat de Catalunya Pasqual Maragall. The prize was presented by the Generalitat's Health Counselor Boi Ruiz in recognition of Mr. Maragall's tireless and manifest fight against Alzheimer's disease, boost for research on neurodegenerative diseases, and dissemination of neurology by means of the documentary "Bicycle, Spoon and Apple".

The SNC has also appointed a new Honorable Member of the organization, Dr. Eduard Tolosa, from the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, and has granted the Eminent Career Award 2013 to Dr. Josep Dalmau, from the University of Pennsylvania (USA) and the IDIBAPS. These awards have been presented at the Palau Maricel of Sitges (Barcelona), with the collaboration of ESTEVE and the Town Hall of Sitges. The event was co-chaired by the Generalitat's Health Counselor Boi Ruiz; by the mayor of Sitges Miquel Forns; by the president of the Academy of Medical Sciences and Health of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands Dr. Alvar Net; by the president of the College of Physicians of Barcelona Dr. Miquel Vilardell; and by the president of the SNC Dr. Oriol de Fàbregues-Boixar.

In his speech, Dr. Oriol de Fàbregues-Boixar has emphasized "the highest consideration for the awardees" and also "the medical profession's commendable response at these times of crisis and the need to recognize and value the role of physicians as other countries do".

Recognizing civic collaboration in the dissemination of neurology in Catalonia is the primary goal of the 'Galceran i Granés. 100 years of the Catalan Society of Neurology' Social Prize, established to celebrate one hundred years of history of the SCN and to honor the memory of its founder, Dr. Artur Galceran i Granés. In its first edition, this award has been granted to Pasqual Maragall, former president of the Generalitat de Catalunya and promoter in 2008 of the Foundation that bears his name, dedicated to fostering and supporting scientific research on Alzheimer's disease and other related neurodegenerative diseases.
The 41st Annual Meeting also appointed Dr. Eduard Tolosa, a professor of Neurology at the Medical School of the University of Barcelona and director of the Parkinson's and Movement Disorders Unit of the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, as an Honorable Member -the highest recognition of the SCN.
Today, Dr. Tolosa is one of the most renowned international leading figures in the study of Parkinson's disease. His research focuses on analyzing genetically ill patients and their relatives to study the reasons why genetic mutations cause Parkinson's disease. This international project is funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation of New York (USA) and involves centers specializing in Parkinson's disease from North America, Europe and Asia.
This year, the Eminent Career Award has been granted to Dr. Josep Dalmau, a professor of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, United States) and director of the IDIBAPS team of Autoimmunity against Synaptic Antigens from the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona.

This award recognizes Dr. Dalmau's work over the past few years with the discovery of a new category of autoimmune diseases. The results of his studies have had an impact on many medical disciplines and also on neuroscience. Indeed, these studies provide a link between immune processes and the synaptic activity related to memory, behavior, psychosis, epilepsy, and neuronal degeneration.

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