Time to go home….. It is so hard to leave each other.
The European Reference Networks (ERNs) set up by the European Commission allow a collaboration between all health professionals concerned by a specific disorder throughout Europe.
They also allow the discussion of more difficult cases, online, thanks to the Clinical Patient Management System (CPMS) plateform.
In this presentation we introduce novel imaging techniques including nonlinear optical (NLO) microscopy, multispectral imaging and high-frequency ultrasounds (HFUS) to visualize the characteristic changes in Connective Tissue Disorders (CTDs).
The novel imaging techniques may prove useful in the early diagnosis of CTDs.
They may be also used for the objective follow-up of the progression of CTDs, and the assessment of the efficacy of novel therapeutic approaches in the future.
Cutis Laxa disorders usually present cardiovascular issues that need a specific follow up.
Various devices can be used such as echocardiography, CT-Scan and MRI.
Each one of those devices has its pros and cons and must be chosen according to what is examined.
This new classification will simplify the diagnostic process and identify relevant Cutis Laxa subgroups with regard to management and clinical research.
In addition, identification of the underlying genetic defect may end the diagnostic odyssey, further stratify management, and may provide (im)partial answers to future health issues.
Furthermore, it provides answers to potential recurrence risks in the offspring of patients and relatives as well as the use of diverse reproductive options.
Finally, connecting with peers provides support and encourages participation into patient-centered research aiming at a better quality of life and-hopefully- more directed therapeutic options.
The aim of this event dedicated to research was to set up collaborative research among researchers interested in Cutis Laxa, worldwide. It was also to ask patients to work together with researchers to let them know what main topics they would be interested in.
Pr Callewaert presented the main challenges, strength and weaknesses Cutis Laxa represents. Then Dr Jens Detollenaere talked about how patients’ participation is organised as partnership in research in Belgium
After working in 2 groups (clinic and research, and patients) with those interested in taking part in the research collaboration, we reported our work in a general session.
We ended this working day on research collaboration with the decision to set up an International Research Consortium on Elastic Fibers including a Patient Advisory Board. What a Success !!!!
Pr Bert Callewaert, Dr Karolien Aelbrecht, Mrs Deborah Wille and the full team of the medical genetics department in Ghent University Hospital welcomed us to allow patients to consult one-to-one in Genetics, Cardiology and Ophthalmology. They also had blood tests as well as a biopsy.
All those tests aimed at evaluating the consequences of Cutis Laxa on the organs examined, confirm the diagnosis initially given, allow molecular diagnosis when needed, inform patients on the medical follow up their case deserves, but also include all those willing to join the research programme led by Pr Callewaert.
Several rooms had been mobilized, as much for the consultations as to offer a waiting and resting room for patients and for children, whether patients or not, and their siblings to have a place to play.
We want to deeply thank Pr Callewaert and his team for their attentiveness, their patience, their commitment and their great expertise in Cutis Laxa.
“Cheers and thank you to Bert’s team. They were adorable and educationalist, together with a great medical expertise. We felt we were in good hands.”
“Activities for children were great, games and colour books, toy cars in the hospital and during the symposium”
We also thank Ghent University Hospital for the catering.