Over 120 clinicians, scientists, and trainees attended the 2016 Biennial Glaucoma and Neuro-ophthalmology Fall Festivals, held September 23-25 in Boston. Co-directed by Louis Pasquale, MD, Joseph Rizzo III, MD, and Angela Turalba, MD, these clinical conferences featured surgical and clinical case presentations, topical lectures, interactive panel discussions, and videos. This event was divided into two sections – Glaucoma on Friday and Neuro-ophthalmology on Saturday and Sunday. The keynote lecture served as a bridge between the two sessions. Helen Danesh-Meyer, MD, PhD, University of Auckland, New Zealand, was the keynote speaker, and presented a lecture entitled, “The Crossroad between Glaucoma and Neuro-ophthalmology.”
On Friday, September 23, Glaucoma sessions were held in the Starr Center at Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass. Eye and Ear. This symposium featured case-based presentations discussed by an expert panel, followed by didactic lectures relevant to the clinical cases. Topics were divided into four sections: discussing techniques, complications, and advances in glaucoma surgery; reviewing the utility and limitations of diagnostic imaging tools used for glaucoma; explaining advances in the diagnosis and management of glaucoma; and exploring the relationships between glaucoma and other optic neuropathies. Attendees called the Glaucoma festival “fantastic!” and “an excellent course… worth the time and effort to attend.”
On Saturday and Sunday, the scientific program focused on common, complex, and important neuro-ophthalmology disorders. Presentations centered on topics such as neuroprotection, neuro-rejuvenation; neuro-ophthalmic emergencies, idiopathic intracranial hypertension effective therapies, neuro-ophthalmic lessons, and optic neuritis, giant cell arteritis, and anisocoria. According to one attendee, “All the speakers were uniformly excellent. I loved the format of the course as it gave me insight into how each of the speakers thinks through the various clinical scenarios.” Another said, “I have been coming for ten years and still learn something every time!”
Dr. Rizzo paid tribute to the late Simmons Lessell, MD, at this clinical conference. Dr. Lessell joined Mass. Eye and Ear as the Director of the Neuro-ophthalmology Service in 1983. According to Dr. Rizzo, Dr. Lessell is credited with popularizing the field of neuro-ophthalmology. Dr. Rizzo was the first neuro-ophthalmology fellow to train with Dr. Lessell.