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IF Annual Conference 2012: Finding Our Way

15 June 2012

IF’s 23rd International conference “Finding Our Way” that took place in Stockholm on 15 and 16 June was a great success and well-attended; Over 320 participants from 25 different countries covering most of Europe, as well as the USA, Canada, Russia, Argentina and Kenya gathered for two days to share the latest information related to Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. The conference was organised around lectures, creative and thematic workshops and networking activities. Subject matters and challenges related to Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus were covered from different perspectives.

Pierre Mertens, IF president, gave an inspiring opening speech and stressed the importance of solidarity between people, associations and countries to guarantee the rights of people with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. He also presented the 2012 IF Award to Dr. Sven Mattsson and his wife Dr. Gunilla Glad Mattsson from Sweden for their commitment and dedication to the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus community.

You can view and download the presentations below: 

Dr. Sven Mattsson
Basic Knowledge about children and adults with Spina Bifida today
The presentation gave a short review on basics about Spina Bifida, the decrease of prevalence in the west, multi-factorial ethiology, prenatal diagnosis, and antenatal surgery. Dr. Matteson also gave an update on the future needs and threats facing for adolescents and young adults with Spina Bifida.

Andrew Wynd
Basic Knowledge about children and adults with Spina Bifida today
Andrew presented the challenges and issues faced by children and adults with Spina Bifida; He enumerated specific health issues in children and adults by projecting to the situation in Scotland. The presentation also gave insights on how to overcome the condition and have a quality of life while living well.

Dr. Margo Whiteford
The genetics of Spina Bifida as we know it today
In a very original and creative way, Dr Whiteford illustrated the genetic factors which may be involved in the occurrence of Spina Bifida. The presentation explained what happens when people are reffered to a Clinical Genetics Clinic and provide people with advice on their chance of having a child affected by Spina Bifida and the steps to be taken to minimize the risk.

Dr. Benjamin Warf
ETV, treatment of Hydrocephalus without shunting
In collaboration with IF, Dr. Ben Warf has been working in projects in Africa over the past decade. The presentation reviewed the progress to date and explained the current approach to disease prevention as well as to increasing access to care. It also provided an update on how the African experience is improving the lives of children in the United States and other developed countries.

Dr. Kai Arnell
Shunted Hydrocephalus in children and young adults
The presentation gave a review of Hydrocephalus in children and young adults and the different shunts and shunt techniques that are in use today. It also gave insights about signs and symptoms when shunt dysfunction is suspected and guidelines on how to act. The presentation stressed the importance of regular follow-up even through adulthood.

Dr. Maureen Dennis
Brain development in individuals with Spina Bifida
The intervention reviewed key features of brain and behavioural development in Spina Bifida and how these shape the pattern of cognitive strengths and challenges later in childhood and in adolescence as well as in adult life. Dr. Dennis also presented the implication of brain developmeent for the treatment of people with Spina Bifida.