International Conference on Recent Advances in Neurotraumatology (ICRAN) 2023.
It is with much pleasure that we submit a summary report of the just completed International Conference on Recent Advances in Neurotraumatology (ICRAN) held in the vibrant and fast-growing city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, April 4 to 7, 2023. This was the first “post-pandemic” ICRAN meeting. The last was held in Peshawar, Pakistan in 2019. The gathering included over 300 students, nurses, emergency medical personnel, radiologists, intensivists, and neurosurgeons of varying levels of experience. Although a disparate group, the commonality is an interest in neurotrauma with the shared goals of both enhancing preventative programs and streamlining treatment protocols for our patients, the victims of traumatic brain and spinal injuries. These goals were achieved at this meeting with high caliber didactic lectures, hands-on courses, and lively debates. This was all conducted in a comfortable, respectful, and collegial atmosphere thanks to our hosts, the Bolivian Neurosurgical Society and FLANC (Federación Latinoamericana de Neurocirugia).
Our hosts could not have been more gracious and organized. Full credit and all our thanks go to key host committee members: Marcelo Zenteno, chair; Gueider Salas, co-chair; Martin Aliaga, president of the scientific committee, and Fernando Copobianco, vice president of the scientific committee. The committee was ably supported by the Adriana Melgar Congresses- meeting organization. The support team consisted of Adriana Melgar, Kristel Adriana and Roxanna Valdes, all of whom worked tirelessly behind the scenes for months prior to the event. The majority of the meeting was held at a Hotel Los Tajibos and adjoining conference halls.
I would be re-miss if I did not comment on the graciousness and hospitality extended to us by all members of the Bolivian neurosurgical society, regardless of their role in ICRAN 2023. All took such pride in this event and were so appreciative of everyone’s efforts. We would like to give a personal thanks to Henry Jorge Barroso from La Paz, Bolivia.
ICRAN 2023 was held over 4 full days (see attached program). On Day 1, there were 3 all-day clinical pre-meeting courses held on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. The topics were a) emergency neurological life support (ENLS), b) a neurosonology workshop, and c) WFNS spine committee basic course held at UCEBOL - Universidad Cristiana de Bolivia (ucebol.edu.bo). All courses were all well attended with each having 100 to 150 participants.
The Course Sponsors were Bago, Insumedic, Intersalud, Megalabs, DMO. Hansa, CBN, Ada Bolivia and Dismamed.
The didactic scheduled conference was held over 3 days (April 5-7). There were 13 sessions held in 2 conference rooms with a more than 75 lectures. In addition, there were six plenary sessions (see attached program). The topics covered the gamut of brain and spine trauma.
Lively discussions and questions often ensued after the talks. These debates were greatly enhanced by the presence of experienced neurosurgeons such as Tito Perilla (Colombia), Andrés Rubiano (Colombia) and Corrado Iaccarino (Italy).
There was a total of approximately 300 course participants, which included 100 virtual participants and 200 in person. There were 50 speakers and moderators, plus almost two dozen international visitors: representatives from Brasil (Dr Borba, Giacomelli, Amorim, Botelho), Chile (Drs Aguilera, Gonzales, Holmgren, Moretti. Fisher), Colombia (Drs Perilla, Rubiano and Vasquez), Peru (Dr Hinjosa), Argenina (Drs Ciarochi and Cocorullo), Equador (Dr Salazar), USA (Drs. Reisner and Moser) and Italy (Drs Iaccarino and Costa).
The social events could not have been better planned. I would like to comment particularly on the opening ceremony, which was held at an elegant ball room, Marriott Hotel, Santa Cruz. This meeting was opened with welcoming live real-time virtual addresses from WFNS president, Nelson Oyesiku (USA) and Luis Borba (Brasil). Members of the organizing committee (Drs. Zenteno, Salas, Aliagar and Copobianco) were recognized for their tireless efforts over the years and given awards of appreciation by WFNS Neurotrauma Committee Chair, Andrew Reisner (USA). Recognition for effects at this ICRAN meeting as well as contribution to neurotrauma were given to Drs. Iaccarino (Italy), Rubiano (Colombia), Perilla (Colombia), Moser (USA), Salazar (Equador), Amorin (Brasil), Costa (Italy). After the award ceremony, we were treated with exciting and energetic dance performances from different local Bolivian tribes. The dancers highlighted the rich and diverse Bolivian culture perfectly.
An unexpected but very meaningful event occurred on the morning of Thursday, April 6th. The mayor of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Mr. Jhonny Fernández along with a few councilmen, presided over a special session in the old and historic city hall (Concejo Municipal). The session was held to give recognition to the WFNS and specifically the ICRAN 2023 meeting. Dr. Gueider Salas, Co-Chair of ICRAN 2023, gave a short speech stressing the importance of neurotrauma to the health and wellbeing of all, including the citizens of Santa Cruz. Dr. Salas thanked the mayor for his support. Awards were given by the mayor to Drs. Iaccarino, Reisner, Borba, Costa, Zenteno, Perilla, Salazar and Rubiano.
This event was noted in the local newspaper and TV channels. This was an opportunity to stress the importance of neurotrauma prevention and the need for adequate treatment equipment and personnel. ICRAN 2023 Chair, Marcello Zenteno, made a particularly powerful address on local TV channels from the city hall where he appealed for appropriate resources for those that sustain brain and spinal injuries.
I am not only appreciative of the conference organizers, but the entire WFNS Neurotrauma Committee (2021- 2023) that served in an advisory capacity Authorities (icran2023.com
The flyer for ICRAN 2023 Home icran2023.com stated ‘Please join us in Santa Cruz, Bolivia...we will leave with our luggage full of good ideas, pleasant memories, old friendships renewed and new friendships made’. All those hopes came true ... and were exceeded in spades!
Saldremos con nuestro equipaje lleno de buenas ideas, recuerdos agradables, viejas amistades renovadas y nuevas amistades hechas. Muchas gracias!
Andrew Reisner, MD, FACS 1,2,3, Chair, WFNS Neurotrauma committee member (USA)
Marcello Zenteno, MD 4, President ICRAN 2023, WFNS Neurotrauma committee member (Bolivia) Corrado Iaccarino, 5, Past Chair, WFNS Neurotrauma committee member (Italy)
Andrés M Rubiano, MD. Ph.D. 6, Co-Chair, WFNS Neurotrauma committee (Colombia)
Department of Neurosurgery 1 and Pediatrics 2, Emory University; Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, GA 3, President La Federación Latinoamericana de Sociedades de Neurocirugía (FLANC) 4, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio 5, Neurosciences Institute, El Bosque University, Bogotá 6
WFNS Awardees: Drs Costa, Salazar, Reisner, Zenteno, Iaccarino, Rubiano, Perilla
WFNS Central Office
Českomoravská 2510/19, 190 00 Prague Czech Republic.
Tel: +420 607 009 572