Report on the ANSS Meeting (Brussels, 28-30 April 2016)

 I am writing to thank you, one and all, for an outstanding ANSS meeting in Brussels.  The agenda, presentations and dialogue were important and productive……. We received thoughtful and insightful feedback from both the Executive Committee and the full Assembly and learned much by attending the sessions and interacting with the presidents.

Thank you all for this great (and safe) meeting in Brussels. Thank you to the BASS, especially Johan, for the organisation. Thank you to the ESRS. I believe we had a great meeting and that the ANSS will also have great future meetings. A lot of new ideas have turned up and our group is very active. I wish you all and the ANSS the very best and – as Liborio would say – “may the force be with you.”

Thanks to everybody for the wonderful atmosphere and for such a productive meeting. I would like to thank the EC of ANSS, the ESRS board, especially Johan and Liborio and of course all of you for this great meeting, accompanying hard work with pleasure!!!

Many, many thanks to Dr. Verbraecken, Liborio and to everyone for this important meeting. Really impressive the level of work and being able to share.

I echo the congratulations of others, and particularly thank Johan and Liborio for an excellent meeting and the convivial nature of the discussions. The co-operation between ANSS and ESRS is a core element in the development of sleep medicine and research in Europe, and I hope this can continue to grow in future years.

Dear Johan,
I want to thank you and the BASS for the magnificent meeting you have put together!
Also I want to thank Liborio for his great gifted way he coached us through the tough programme!
The outcome was very productive and gives us the necessary boost in the coming months and years for reaching common “somnology” goals in Europe!
The atmosphere was perfect hence all fantastic more and less private pictures!
Thanks all for the great spirit!

Thank you very much for an excellent ANSS 2016 meeting. I am sure that efforts in introducing Sleep Medicine as medical subspecialty in EU countries will solve many recent problems. We will change the paradigm.

Many thanks to our host for a very pleasant meeting, accommodation and entertainment.
Many thanks to EC of ANSS and to president of EC for all of their efforts in pushing things ahead.
Many thanks to ESRS for their support and commitment.
Congratulation to our very active colleagues who will implement the old but new great ideas.
Congratulations to the new members of EC.
It was an honour and a pleasure for me to share with all of you, members of ANSS and ESRS, these moments.

Let me join the unanimous jubilant echo from the meeting in Bruxelles.
I will certainly have very warm memories about that brief encounter with the foremost sleep people in Europe. Needless to say, first prize goes to Johan and Liborio (tied).
Thank you very much, indeed.

I would like to echo the idea of assigning a prize to Johan and to Liborio. They actually deserve it for the excellent organization, heading and hosting of the meeting.
Thanks to Erna and to all of the other ANSS, ESRS, and EU elements for the commitment, the excellent meeting and the warm atmosphere.
Thanks also to Philips for the news and for the enjoyable companionship.
It was a real pleasure to share this meeting with all of you, and I hope to meet you again in Bologna.

I join the many expressions of intense thankfulness that have been addressed to Johan and Liborio so far. It was an unforgettable meeting that may pave the way to taking new steps in the domain of Sleep Medicine. All participants have made important contributions. It was a privilege for me to have had the opportunity to attend and to assist in the ongoing work.

It is great to read all your impressions and see how positively we all reflect on such a successful meeting in Bruxelles.
I fully agree we had great and very productive discussions, and we have reached consensus on how to achieve several important goals in full synergy. I look forward to the future of sleep medicine in Europe.
Thank you Johan for being such a great host, and thanks to the EC led by Liborio for bringing another dose of enthusiasm to the group. Hope to see you all again in Bologna.

These are only some of the messages full of satisfaction and generous appreciation received after the ANSS meeting.

There certainly was something special in the sky above Bruxelles. In spite of the tragic events in March that risked jeopardizing the event, Presidents and representatives from all of Europe arrived, participated and enjoyed being there and sharing common projects and authentic enthusiasm.

Johan was an exceptional host and coordinator and an excellent dinner was offered by the Belgian Association for Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine.

The grateful comments must be extended also to the entire ANSS Executive Committee (EC), where a fundamental role was played by Erna, Marta and Michaela. And now that we have two new entries in the EC (Marielle and Barbara), the team will be enriched by additional fresh female energy.

A special gratitude must be addressed also to Philips: thanks to the sponsor’s bountiful support and forward-looking capacity to see the big-picture, they are really helping ANSS to feel at ease and encourage us towards ambitious goals.

During the ANSS meeting a special session, coordinated by Roberto Amici, European Sleep meets the European Union “Measuring sleepiness: the need for common European rules” offered an excellent framework for exploring the different facets of OSAS and safety driving and identifying common strategies and potential opportunities, which may be achieved by appropriately exploiting the EU resources. More extensive details on the European Summit are available in the ESRS Board report and in the Press Release (prepared by Johan) focused on the impact of sleep disorders on traffic safety.

In Bruxelles, a number of ANSS task forces were proposed to promote a major European involvement in the field of sleep, starting from basic science and clinical relevance to validation against clinical outcomes:

  1. Sleep medicine as a speciality and sub-speciality (Chair: Dirk Pevernagie),
  2. Horizon 2020 (Chiar: Roberto Amici),
  3. Sleepiness (Michaela D. Gjerstad),
  4. Beyond the AHI. New biomarkers/diagnostic methods for sleep disordered breathing (Chair: Erna Sif Arnardottir),
  5. Implementation of European guidelines within the different countries (Chair: Zoran Dogas)
  6. New methods for scoring of sleep architecture and microstructure (Chair: Liborio Parrino)


An additional task force on Shift work and OSAS, which requires relevant financial support, is under discussion.

Research proposals and member composition of the ANSS task forces will be submitted to the ESRS Board for comments and integrations in order to promote a coordinated action.

If the time is ripe for change for some of dominating sleep paradigms, we must be aware that this can become a potential source of conflict.  Every time somebody tries to change the conventional rules, many others immediately raise their arms to fight and restore the ongoing cultural and political settlement. And even if our paradigm can really improve the knowledge of sleep functions, demonstrative evidence will be a difficult task. The challenge is tough, but this makes the game fascinating, exciting and unmissable.

For these and several other factors, including funny jokes, priceless awards, chocolate letters and especially for the Star Wars atmosphere, the 2016 ANSS meeting in Bruxelles will remain unforgettable.

Next year the ANSS meeting will take place in Reykjavik where another famous movie or story (suggestions are welcome) will be adopted to characterize the event in Iceland. For the moment, let’s remain in the Galaxy of our wonderful adventure in Bruxelles and repeat together: May the Force be with Us!

Liborio Parrino
Chair Executive Committee ANSS