(MENAFN Press) Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Following the enormous success of the first-ever Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patient forum in March of this year, the UAE MS Task Force has announced that the second forum will take place on Friday 21 September in Dubai.
More than 100 patients and their relatives attended the first forum sponsored by global healthcare leader Novartis, in addition to educational sessions held in hospitals all over the UAE, where as many 50 patients and their caregivers attended.
"The feedback from the first forum will encourage more patients, and even doctors, to attend this second meeting," said Dr. Suzan Nouri, Consultant Neurologist at Rashid Hospital, a key member of the Task Force and a member of the Emirates Neurology Society (EMINS).
"We expect at least 100 patients this time from all hospitals across the country, and they will benefit from the two eminent international speakers we have invited to share best practice, as well as local speakers from various disciplines including rehabilitation, psychology “ MS patients need a combined approach to their treatment," she added.
Professor Sven Schippling, Deputy Head, Department of Neuroimmunology and Clinical Multiple Sclerosis Research, Department of Neurology
University Medical Center Zurich and Professor Volker Limmroth, Professor of Neurology, Chairman, Department of Neurology at Cologne City Hospitals in Germany, will be presenting up-to-date scientific data on the newest treatment option for MS.
"These forums are an excellent way to meet with other patients and learn more about how each person manages their illness “ once we all have help in knowing what to do and what not to do, we'll all have better lives," said a local MS patient, who attended the first forum in March.
MS is a nervous system disease with no known cause that affects the brain and spinal cord. MS damages the myelin sheath that surrounds and protects the nerve cells which slows down or blocks messages between the brain and the body, leading to the symptoms of MS: these include visual disturbances, muscle weakness, trouble with coordination and balance, sensations such as numbness, prickling, or "pins and needles", and thinking and memory problems.
Research figures show MS affects around 25 to 50 people in 100,000 in Arabic populations and about 100 per 100,000 in Northern Europeans who display the highest risk of MS across the world, with prevalence seeming to increase with further distance from the equator [1, 2].
Globally, MS affects women more than men  and often begins between the ages of 20 and 40. The disease can be mild but some people lose the ability to write, speak or walk. There is no cure for MS, but medicines can slow disease progression and help control symptoms.