China has a rich and colorful cultural history, and masks have played a major role in Chinese tradition for thousands of years. Depending on their function, Chinese masks were divided into different categories, such as sorcerers’ masks, Tibetan masks, shaman masks and theatrical masks.
Today, masks continue to be of great entertainment and artistic value and when representatives of IBE had the opportunity to attend the 5th China International Epilepsy Forum (CIEF), organised by the China Association Against Epilepsy in the city of Chongqing in September, we had the chance to see just how colourful and entertaining mask dancers can be.
Ten internationally recognised neuroscientists and epileptologists from the US, Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, Australia, Malaysia, Japan and Australia presented special lectures and seminars, including:
- Sten Grillner, former chairman of the Medical Committee of the Nobel Prize in physiology, who spoke about the modular nervous system;
- ILAE President Emilio Perucca, who reviewed the history of AEDs;
- Athanasios Covanis, who summarised the difficulties and challenges in epilepsy treatment;
- Chief-editor of SEIZURE, Markus Reuber, who reported on his experiences in publishing papers in scientific journals;
- Andrew J Cole from Massachusetts General Hospital, who talked about pre-operative evaluation for epilepsy;
- President of the Taiwan Epilepsy Society, Shang-Yeon Kwan, who reported on recent advances in EEG.
Epileptologists from China also gave lectures on current issues. In addition there were post-main sessions, parallel sessions and video sessions – with many interesting topics presented and with active discussions and debates in an academic atmosphere which, at times, became very animated! Other activities held during the Forum included:
- An epilepsy photography exhibition;
- The inaugural meeting of the CAAE Youth Committee and the first Youth Symposium;
- Educational activities for people with epilepsy;
- An ASEPA training course on psycho-social problems in epilepsy.