SLEEP Meeting 2017

Foundation Attends SLEEP Meeting in Boston for Second Year in a Row The annual SLEEP Meeting, hosted by the Associated Professiona...

Foundation Attends SLEEP Meeting in Boston for Second Year in a Row

The annual SLEEP Meeting, hosted by the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS), is a three-day conference that brings together the best and the brightest clinicians and researchers in sleep medicine. It is the leading world forum to present and discuss the latest updates in the field - and the RLS Foundation was there to give the RLS community a seat at the table.

“The annual SLEEP meeting is the largest gathering of sleep professionals, featuring course presentations and an exhibit hall with other sleep organizations and businesses in the sleep industry," Executive Director Karla Dzienkowski said. "This forum provides the RLS Foundation the unique opportunity to spread awareness and to educate sleep professionals about RLS.”

Restless legs syndrome was a popular topic in Boston this year, covered in a number of presentations. All Foundation staff members attended one particular course, "RLS Treatment Advances in Post-Mainly-Dopamine Era," moderated by the Foundation's Scientific and Medical Advisory Board (SMAB) member Dr. Richard Allen. A panel discussion and Q&A session followed the presentation, featuring Drs. Christopher Earley, Daniel Picchietti and Diego Garcia-Borreguero. Earley and Picchietti are also both active members of the Foundation's SMAB, while Garcia-Borreguero is a former member of the Foundation's Medical Advisory Board. Research conducted around iron, opiates, augmentation, and RLS and children were discussed.

"The audience was engaged and many physicians asked the panel of experts about RLS treatment standards and findings to implement current standards for their practice," Program Coordinator Chiara Corey said. "The topic of prescribing opiates was frequently asked as many physicians expressed roadblocks on the legislative side that impact their patients."

When they weren't attending sessions, Foundation staff were managing a booth in the Exhibit Hall of the Hynes Convention Center, distributing information about RLS to healthcare professionals and researchers. In fact, many healthcare providers were particularly interested in learning about pediatric RLS, scooping up multiple copies of the RLS Teen Guide and Children's Booklet that staff had available at the booth.

"This year we had more clinicians who knew who we are and have sent patients our way," Chiara said. "Last year more physicians were just learning about who we are and what we do, and even seemed surprised we were there. We met many pediatric care providers and gave them the Children's Booklet and the link to the 'Kids & RLS' section of our website. We heard from researchers that were just beginning to get involved in RLS research, and we pointed them towards our research grant program. "

The Foundation also used this gathering of sleep medicine professionals as an opportunity to hold the annual in-person meeting of its SMAB. During the meeting, the prestigious Ekbom Award was presented to Dr. Earley for his longtime dedication to the RLS Foundation and its goals. Additionally, Dr. Michael Silber, active member of the SMAB and chair of the Opiate Committee, was awarded the Outstanding Educator Award during the SLEEP Conference by APSS. Congratulations to them both!

Next year SLEEP 2018 will be held in Baltimore, Maryland - we'll see you there!

SLEEP 2017 was the 31st Annual Meeting of APSS, a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the Sleep Research Society (SRS). This annual meeting provides evidence-based education to advance the science and clinical practice of sleep medicine, disseminates cutting-edge sleep and circadian research, promotes the translation of basic science into clinical practice and fosters the future of the field by providing career development opportunities at all levels.

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