The twelve cranial nerves arise directly from the brain and provide our ability to see, hear, smell, taste, and feel our face. We use these nerves to smile, cry, chew, swallow, and speak. There are numerous medical conditions that affect the function of these nerves and result in severe disabilities for patients. Over the last 100 years, neurosurgeons have become very familiar with a small group of these cranial nerve disorders caused by compression of the nerves, usually by a blood vessel. Trigeminal neuralgia, hemi-facial spasm, and glossopharyngeal neuralgia have become well known within the medical community and an operation to decompress these nerves, microvascular decompression or MVD, has become the standard of care for many patients. Knowledge and interest in the MVD operation was the starting point for our Society. We are an international group of neurosurgeons, neurologists, neurophysiologists, and researchers with a major interest in cranial nerve disorders. Our meetings bring together the experts in these conditions from around the world so we can learn from each other and advance this field of medicine. Our Society hopes to i) to increase patient awareness of these conditions, ii) improve patient access to MVD surgical therapy across the world, and iii) to ensure the highest educational, technical, and professional standards for the members of our Society.
The World Neurosurgical Federation for Cranial Nerve Disorders began as a group of neurosurgeons interested in microvascular decompression (MVD) surgery. The first meeting was hosted in Shanghai by Professors Li ShiTing and Zhong Jun and focused on trigeminal neuralgia and hemifacial spasm. The second meeting was also hosted in Shanghai and brought together a more diverse group of neurosurgeons, neurologists and neurophysiologists with a shared common interest in cranial nerve disorders. The Board then decided that the Society should increase its efforts to have a more global reach.
The third meeting will be held in Vancouver, Canada in May 29-31, 2021. We had scheduled the meeting for July 2020 but the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to postpone. We hope all our members and their families remain safe and healthy. We are sorting out the final dates for the meeting and will advise you shortly.
Our goal is to bring together experts in MVD surgery and the treatment of cranial nerve disorders from around the world. Topics will be expanded to include the recently discovered hemi-laryngopharyngeal spasm (HeLPS syndrome) and other rare cranial nerve disorders as well as TN, HFS, and GPN. We plan to invite patients with these conditions to join us for the first morning of lay lectures so we can learn from their perspectives. I hope you will join us in Vancouver in May 29-31, 2021 for our next scientific meeting and bring your thoughts and questions for us to discuss. We hope the scientific sessions will be augmented by the beautiful nature of Vancouver.
I extend a warm Canadian welcome to all of you.
Dr. Christopher R. Honey, MD, DPhil, FRCSC, FACS