State-of-the-Art Plenary Sessions

​​​​Opening Ceremony | Friday, October 21 | 17:30-18:25​​ ​| Hall B

This year's EAPS Opening Ceremony will include welcome and greetings by the General Director (PCO) of the University Hospital of Geneva, Bertrand Levrat and an address on the topic of "Public health prevention – the role of the paediatrician" by Professor Jacques-André Romand, State Surgeon General. The Opening Ceremony will further include greetings by the Members of the EAPS Organising Committee and the Chair of the Scientific Committee. 

The Opening Ceremony is kindly supported by the State of Geneva.

State of Geneva.JPG 

Plenary 2: Global Child Health | Saturday, October 22 | 9:00-10:0

1- WHO Perspective on Child Health
Jon Abramson, USA ​

This lecture will examine the WHO perspective on how vaccines have impacted child health globally and in Europe and what new programs are being employed to further improve child health. The presentation will examine the progress that has been made during the past several decades in decreasing vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs) by over 50% in children <5 years of age and what now must be done to eliminate the ~18,000 VPDs that still occur every day in children <5 yrs with almost 45% of these deaths now occurring in the neonatal period. Additionally, efforts will be discussed that are currently underway at the WHO to overcome the underlying causes of VPD deaths including improving data quality, holding country leadership more accountable, improved implementation of vaccine programs (e.g., eliminating missed opportunities to vaccinate and decreasing vaccine hesitancy though community engagement), strengthening and integrating vaccination with other health services and giving more weight to the public health impact of a vaccine when prioritizing vaccine programs. Finally, the potential impact of an expanded maternal immunization program that includes new vaccines against diseases that cause morbidity and mortality in pregnant women, fetuses and/or newborns (e.g., respiratory syncytial virus, group B strep and other diseases) will be highlighted. The lecture will look at these issues not only on a global level but also will focus on what is occurring in Europe.​

2- How Do the Red Cross Address Paediatric Needs in Crisis?
Kasbar Tashdjian, Switzerland 
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is one of the oldest humanitarian organizations, which operates in fragile environments affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence. The impact of conflict and lack of security on children's health is enormous. Children are most vulnerable to a variety of illnesses and trauma, and are often killed, maimed, sexually abused or exploited.

Recent studies show that over half of preventable deaths among children under 5y take place in fragile settings of conflict, displacement and natural disasters. Children caught up in humanitarian crisis are at risk of infectious diseases such as Cholera and measles, which are major threats in refugee camps. Thousands of children are left without routine vaccinations due to insecurity and disruption of cold chain systems.

Armed conflict is a leading cause of disability among children, thousands of whom are maimed every year. In Afghanistan alone, more than a million children have been disabled as a result of the conflict.

In line with its humanitarian mandate and commitment to ensuring a continuum of care, the ICRC carries out health programmes from First Aid to PHC to hospital care and physical rehabilitation to address the needs of war-wounded and sick persons. This response includes also mental and psychosocial care and management of NCDs and epidemics.

In 2015 alone, 240’181 children were vaccinated against polio through ICRC supported services, 1481 children were operated for weapon injuries, 1’348’873 received curative consultations and 6’280 children with amputations received services in ICRC physical rehabilitation centers.​

Plenary 3: When Immunology Meets Child Health | Sunday, October 23 | 


1 -Antigens, Iimmune Response and Inflammatory Disease
Koning Frits, Netherlands 

2 - Perspective and Challenges in Neonatal and Children Vaccination
Andrew Cant, United Kingdom 

Different immune responses for different infections.  A tiny focus of Clostridium tetanus produces deadly toxin, so vaccination must induce rapidly rising levels of neutralising antibody.  Poliomyelitis invades the CNS, provoking damaging T cytotoxic lymphocyte responses, so vaccine induced neutralising antibody must eliminate virus before neural invasion.  Live attenuated vaccines are stronger but vaccine virus reversion to wild type is a significant risk.  Invasive infection with Haemophilus influenza provoke cytokine induced inflammation; young children are susceptible as they do not make IgG2 responses to sugar protein antigens on bacterial surfaces; thus, vaccines provoking an IgG2 response are ineffective for young children (at high risk).  To overcome this, protein is coupled to Haemophilus sugar protein, T lymphocytes response to protein helping B cells produce antibody to sugar protein.  Mycobacterium tuberculosis disarms macrophages and down regulates T lymphocytes.  BCG vaccination (attenuated Mycobacterium bovis) does not completely overcome TB’s evasion mechanisms so better understandings of T cell immunity are needed to develop better TB vaccines.  Current challenges:-  

  1. Adverse effect claims despite little scientific basis, e.g. no association between MMR and autism or anaphylaxis in egg allergic children. 
  2.  Emergence of new infectious agents.
  3. Live or killed polio, whole cell or acellular Pertussis, Universal Hepatitis B and Varicella vaccine.
  4. Efficacy data on mixed vaccines. 
  5.  Effective vaccines for RSV and HIV. 
  6. Malaria and TB for which current vaccines are ineffective. 
  7. One dose of oral vaccine to all new-borns preventing all infections.​

​Plenary 4 (IPRF) | Tuesday, October 25 | 9:00-10:0​​

1- Developmental Neurocircuitry of Motivation in Adolescence: a Critical Period of Addiction Vulnerability
Marc Potenza, USA ​

​Adolescence represents a time marked by increased risk-taking including substance use and abuse and other potentially dangerous behaviors.  From a neurodevelopmental perspective, substantial changes in brain structure and function occur during adolescence.  These changes may underlie the increased vulnerability of adolescents to engage in a broad range of addictive behaviors.  In this presentation, we will propose a neurodevelopmental framework for considering adolescent addiction vulnerability.  Specific functional and structural data will be considered with respect to substance use initiation, as will data relating to how brain function in adolescents with addictive behaviors relates to treatment outcomes.   ​

2- Funtional imaging
Faraneh Vargha-Khadem, United Kingdom 
​Structural and functional MRI of language and memory networks in patients with early-onset brain abnormality.

It is well established that compared to adult-onset injury, early-onset brain injury can result in considerable reorganisation of cognitive functions such as language and memory.  Whilst early age at injury facilitates plastic changes that can rescue essential skills, it can also impose limits on the trajectory of cognitive development depending on the selectivity of damage to specific neural networks. 

Using a combination of structural and functional imaging techniques, we have previously reported on two different neurodevelopmental disorders, one selectively affecting the integrity of the hippocampal network, and, as a result, compromising long-term memory and learning, and the other selectively interfering with neostriatal-prefrontal network, and therefore, interfering with articulate speech and language.  We termed the former Developmental amnesia and the latter Verbal and orofacial dyspraxia.  Although the hippocampal damage seriously compromised memory, it spared speech and language performance.  By contrast, whereas the neostriatal-prefrontal abnormality affected speech and language, it spared learning and memory abilities. 

In the first part of this presentation, I will use this double dissociation of function to highlight the dedicated role of each neural system in serving different aspects of cognition. In the second part, I will demonstrate the interaction between the two neural networks by introducing a new functional MRI paradigm for pre-operative assessment of memory and language in paediatric patients who are candidates for temporal lobe surgery for relief from focal epilepsy.  ​

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