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Funct Neurol. 2017 Apr/Jun;32(2):103-110.

Ixcellence Network®: an international educational network to improve current practice in the management of cervical dystonia or spastic paresis by botulinum toxin injection.


Botulinum toxin is a well-established treatment for a number of conditions involving muscle hyperactivity, such as focal dystonia and spastic paresis. However, current injection practice is not standardized and there is a clear need for structured training. An international group of experts in the management of patients with cervical dystonia (CD) and spastic paresis created a steering committee (SC). For each therapeutic area, the SC developed a core slide set on best practice, based on the literature. International sites of expertise were identified for training and courses were designed to include lectures and casebased learning. Where possible, courses received accreditation from the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS). Each course was peer reviewed by the SC, the UEMS accreditation board and the attendees themselves (through evaluation questionnaires). Attendees' feedback was shared with the SC and the trainers to tailor future training sessions. From the program launch in 2012 to December 2014, 328 physicians from 34 countries were trained in a total of 58 courses; 67% of the courses focused on spastic paresis and 33% on CD. Of the 225 (69%) physicians who completed feedback forms, 95% rated their course as 'above average/excellent' in meeting the preset learning objectives. Most (90%) physicians declared that attending a course would lead them to change their practice. The development of the 'Ixcellence Network' for continuous medical education in the fields of spastic paresis and CD has provided a novel and interactive way of training physicians with previous experience in botulinum toxin injection.

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