Report by Prof. Tissa Wijeratne MD FRACP FRCP (Edin) FRCP (London) FAHA FAAN (USA)

The atmosphere has been electric at the World Trade Centre, Dubai over the past five days.  The excitement and joy of being in Dubai at the World Congress, serious as well as non-serious discussions among colleagues young and old, east and west, hustle and bustle, the diversity changed the WTC to a totally different place.

It has all come to an end today. What a fabulous world congress of neurology it has been! It is with mixed emotions I write this daily report to the membership worldwide.

The day began with an hour-long teaching course on headache disorders by Associate Professor Richard Stark, Treasurer and Trustee of the World Federation of Neurology.  Given the enormous success of our world brain day campaign, it was fitting to focus on headache disorders on the final day.

There are one billion migraine patients with significant disability and a lot of room for improvement.  The World Federation Neurology will continue to work with its member organisations and International Headache Society with a view to reaching out to resource-limited countries in the world as a priority.

Professor Nicolelis delivered the first plenary on Brain-Machine interfaces from basic sciences to neurorehabilitation. The research raises the possibility that properties of a robot arm, or other neutrally controlled tools, can be assimilated by brain representations as these tools were extensions of the subject’s own body.

Professor Walter Koroshetz delivered the second plenary lecture on the promises of brain initiative for those with neuro/mental/substance disorders with a lot of promise for the future.

The paper discussed the current research on how brain circuits process information to enable human behaviour. The recent advances in the field opened up extraordinary possibilities for understanding animal and human behaviour and a lot of potential translating to the bedside.

The much-awaited semifinals and finals of the Tournament of the Mind was a sheer joy to watch, participate (delegates could vote on their smartphones to test their own knowledge), and enjoy the battle for the supremacy for the mind and brain! Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Malaysia and India fought hard to secure the top spot but after a very close battle, Hong Kong pulled through as the overall winner. 4 other countries competed in a tiebreak with Sri Lanka taking 2nd place runners up. Warm congratulations to all teams, in particular to Hong Kong and Sri Lanka.

The 24th World Congress of Neurology has been an immense success.  Let us meet again in Rome.  We look forward to seeing you all in Rome in 2021.

Safe travel home, everyone.  Keep visiting our website and social media streams to keep in touch.