• 01/05/2009

`The Valencia Conference Centre has played a key role in making the course an international benchmark in neuropaediatrics?

Firstly, how have the Conference Centre and Valencia helped to boost this international course?
Fernando Mulas: Having access to a venue as comfortable and private as the Valencia Conference Centre, with such excellent facilities, has helped us to improve the organisation of the event year after year. It has become a national and international benchmark and the Conference Centre has played a key part in this.
Russell Barkley: I would just like to say that I love Valencia. The people are great and it`s very easy to get around the city. It`s clean and has all the advantages you would expect of a big city, without the disadvantages.

Can we say then that it is one of the best courses in its field?
F.M.: I think people see it that way. The fact that the speakers come from a wide variety of disciplines also attracts a lot of people. Half of the delegates are doctors and the other half are psychologists, therapists, educators and specialists in particular therapies who add value to the presentations and talks. All the presentations given during the conference are included in a special edition of Revista de Neurología, a benchmark neurology publication, which also adds value to the course.

Dr. Barkley, in your speech you talked about progress that has been made in your research. Could you tell us a bit about that?
R.B.: Research and clinical practice have recently identified a series of problems using the current criteria described in version four of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) to diagnose attentiondeficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). I am working on possible solutions that should be taken into account when designing the criteria for DSM-V, which will be the most important reference guide on the topic.

What is the current state of neuropaediatrics in Spain?
Treatment in Spain has come a long way in the last ten years. Increased global awareness and the availability of eminent professionals wanting to work here have helped to move things along very quickly. Spain also has a large number of professional associations and associations of parents with children suffering from this disorder. This helps studies to be carried out and progress to be made more quickly. The public health system in Spain is also very good which helps matters. In the United States this is not the case all studies have to be done privately.

Approximately 50% of parents of children with ADHD also suffer from the disorder. What can be done to help them?
That`s right. We believe that the parents also need to be educated. They need to know about their childrens` illness and how to cope with it. There are four parts to this. The first step is assessment and diagnosis. This is followed by education on ADHD, which is essential. Then treatment is given and of course families need.