Highlights from EAN 2021 — Day 1

Welcome to Progress in Mind’s live coverage of EAN 2021. This 7th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology – Vienna 2021 started today 19 June using the latest technology to provide an exciting live and connected virtual experience for all those presenting and attending worldwide. We will be bringing you the highlights in migraine, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease over the next few days. Here is a summary of today’s (Day 1) highlights, and we hope you enjoy an inspirational and thought-provoking Day 2 tomorrow.

Migraine—new opportunities for lowering the migraine burden 

The efficacy and tolerability of therapies targeting CGRP were a central focus

Migraine is the second leading cause of years lost to disability worldwide,1 but new therapies now promise to alleviate this high level of disability.

Insights into the role of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in the pathophysiology of migraine2 has led to the development of many new therapies targeting CGRP over the past 10 years. Not surprisingly, the efficacy and tolerability of these therapies were a central focus in the migraine offering at EAN today.

Of the five Headache and Pain scientific sessions:

  • Three provided opportunities for 23 research groups to present new data in 5-minute e-presentations—14 focused on migraine, many providing positive results confirming the efficacy and tolerability of the new preventive therapies, in particular CGRP inhibitors
  • One provided opportunities for 13 research groups to present new data as 2-minute e-posters—four focused on migraine including medication overuse headache, central sensitization, pharmacologic treatments for migraine patients at a tertiary headache center, and the potential to prevent unnecessary emergency department visits by timely diagnosis of migraine
  • One provided seven 15-min oral presentations from experts, four focusing on different aspects of migraine including in pregnancy and in patients over 50 years of age

Patient, physician, and healthcare barriers prevent optimal care for patients with migraine

In addition, a scientific symposium on targeting CGRP for migraine prevention provided guidance on the selection of the most appropriate therapy for each patient, and how to individualize preventive treatment in clinical practice, including combination therapy and switching between CGRP antibodies.

Other issues were addressed in two satellite symposia on migraine. One considered how to best manage older patients with cardiovascular disease and patients with progressively worsening episodic migraine and medication overuse. The other discussed the patient, physician, and healthcare barriers to optimal care for patients with migraine.


New insights into Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases

Could early detection of Alzheimer’s disease lead to interventions that prevent progression?

The Alzheimer’s disease patient journey was the topic for a satellite symposium, which highlighted the long 20-year preclinical development stage of the disease3 and the many different stages at which it can be detected. The journey will be continued over the next 2 days to include patient assessment, differential diagnosis, diagnosis, and management.

Meanwhile, scientific sessions on neuroimaging, neurogenetics, and neuroepidemiology, and 16 5-minute e-presentations provided fascinating glimpses into new knowledge on many different topics related to Parkinson’s disease.


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Our correspondent’s highlights from the symposium are meant as a fair representation of the scientific content presented. The views and opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect those of Lundbeck.


  1. GBD 2016 Disease and Injury Incidence and Prevalence Collaborators. Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 328 diseases and injuries for 195 countries, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet 2017; 390:1211–59.
  2. Goadsby PJ, et al. Pathophysiology of migraine: a disorder of sensory processing. Physiol Rev 2017;97:553–622.
  3. Jack CR, et al. NIA-AA Research Framework: Toward a biological definition of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer’s Dementia 2018;14:535–62.