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Arab Health to focus on Multiple Sclerosis

The effects of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) the debilitating neurological disorder that attacks the central nervous system will be in focus during a dedicated one-day conference at the Arab Health Congress 2011.

Arab HealthMS strikes twice as many women as it does men, generally affecting adults between 20 and 40 years of age, however it is known to affect young children as well. Although no accurate data is available, according to US-based, MS is estimated to affect in excess of 400,000 people in the US and extrapolating that prevalence across the Middle East suggests the region has over 350,000 sufferers.

Chairing the conference of the new Multiple Sclerosis Update, which takes place on 27 January 2011, is Dr. Shareefa Abdool, President of the UAE-based Emirates Neurological Society (EMINS) who will give the welcoming address to the conference delegates.

“MS is a complex disease with a variety of symptoms which can range from impaired vision, loss of balance, to lack of mobility and bladder control. It is imperative that diagnosis is made as early as possible so that a course of treatment can be prescribed which can at least manage the symptoms and offer patients a near normal life,” said Dr. Shareefa Abdool.   

Recognising the potential scale of the problem, The Middle East Multiple Sclerosis Patients Platform, an affiliation of independent MS organisations, groups of healthcare professionals and commercial corporations was launched last year in Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi aiming to at least enhance the quality of life for MS sufferers.

During the one-day MS conference experts will discuss and debate the latest in MS research, diagnosis, management and rehabilitation. The event has attracted top international and regional neurologists, physiatrists and physical therapists.

“MS was once predominant amongst Caucasian women living in colder climates, typically in North America and Europe. However it has become more common in the Middle East and with so little known about the disease and no known cure, that is a concern,” said Simon Page, Group Director of Life Sciences at IIR Middle East, the organiser of Arab Health 2011.

The one-day MS conference is just one of the highlights of the Arab Health Exhibition and Congress which takes place at Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre on 24-27 January 2011. Elsewhere on the conference agenda, highlights include 16 seminars ranging from Anaesthesia to Chronic Respiratory Diseases as well as the Leaders In Healthcare conference.

Arab Health is supported by the UAE Ministry of Health, Dubai Health Authority and the Health Authority Abu Dhabi. For further information, please visit: