The International Basal Ganglia Society (IBAGS) had its origins in 1983 at a Satellite Meeting of the International Union of Physiological Sciences held at Lorne, Australia. At that meeting Professor John McKenzie organized a symposium devoted to the structure and function of the basal ganglia that attracted some 50 attendees from 12 countries. Thirty years later, IBAGS has grown into an international organization with over 400 members from over 30 countries spanning the entire world. More information about the history of IBAGS and its previous triennial meetings can be found at www.ibags.info
The International Basal Ganglia Society (IBAGS) promotes understanding of normal and abnormal basal ganglia function including the pathophysiology of their disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, L-DOPA induced Dyskinesia, Huntington’s disease, depression and schizophrenia. IBAGS triennial meetings bring together Basic research scientists from all disciplines, as well as clinicians who are actively involved in the treatment of basal ganglia disorders and at the same time have Basic Science laboratories. All together discuss the most recent advances in the field and generate new approaches and ideas for the future.
At the moment, the field is having a technological boom with new techniques that allow the recording or imaging of multiple neurons in vivo or in vitro. Aided with optogenetical manipulation and orptoidentification of neurons, recordings in vivo are done while the animals are performing a task or behavior. These new technologies are mantaining this area of research in suspense, as new developments appear. In addition, new genetic markers for neuronal identification and viral pathways tracing are initiating a revolution in how Basal Ganglia nuclei and neurons interconnect. For example, a session about the new external Globus Pallidus with its array of neuron classes and new projections will be held. Overall, a revision of Basal Ganglia connections and role in behavior and disease is expected. Tutorials on basic science and clinical aspects of the basal ganglia will be given before the meeting.
The conference is looking forward to seeing you in sunny Merida, to enjoy together the discussion of current understanding and future directions of research on the Basal Ganglia and their disorders. Since this is a time of change in the field, for the first time the meeting will have a Discussion about the heuristic models that have been used to guide research on Basal Ganglia for the last 28 years, in particular, The Two Pathways Model or Rate Model. Leading scientists in the field will dissect what is maintained and what has to changed in our views about the Basal Ganglia.
The current IBAGS president is Dr. Jose Bargas, senior researcher at the Divisón de Neurociencias of the Instituto de Fisiología Celular at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México – National University of Mexico (UNAM).
We all look forward to IBAGS XII, which is scheduled to take place in Mérida, Yucatán, México, in March 2017, under the direction of José Bargas and Elvira Galarraga.