Course Report: First Middle East Camp for Parkinson's, Movement Disorders and Neuromodulation
April 12-13, 2014, Dubai, UAE
Contributed by Dr. Jawad A. Bajwa, MD
The Middle East is home to more than 500 million inhabitants. It is a land which bears few of the oldest civilizations known to man today. It is still to this date a crossroad between East and West, cultures, diversity and religions. Enriched with history and remarkable contribution to human evolution, this region is yet again going through transformation in healthcare, education and science.
The incidence and prevalence of Parkinson’s disease in this region is not known; it is assumed that it is no different than the Western hemisphere. There is also unique genotype, environment factors, cultural influences and lifestyle which without any doubt affect the phenotype of Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders which yet have not been studied in any systematic detail.
Our first inaugural Middle East Camp for Parkinson’s, Movement Disorders and Neuromodulation intended to create a dialogue between all regional stakeholders from academics, private practice and industry on how to bring about this meaningful change so to deliver evidence based care, training and research in the field of Parkinson’s, movement disorders and neuromodulation. The mission was very successfully accomplished.
We had distinguished faculty representing four countries. Drs. Vitek, Oertel, Fernandez, Tan, Boholega, Machado and Bajwa represented unique and different strengths which complimented the scientific program very well. We had over 150 participants from over 25 countries. The audience was engaged and the atmosphere was casual and interactive.
Almost all major educational themes were covered with special emphasis on medical and surgical management of Parkinson’s disease and Movement disorders. As with other MDS meetings, there was also a video dinner symposium which was well attended. Megan Daniels from the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society Secretariat did an excellent job of organizing and coordinating the meeting.
The meeting proved to achieve many milestones: It provided up-to-date discussion in the field to a very underserved region; it brought together a group of experts in the field from the region who can now start to assemble at minimum annually to discuss and plan regarding regional unmet needs; it facilitated discussion on fostering regional educational and research collaborations; and above all, it helped to bring evidence based care to this very in-need population.
The First Middle East Camp will transform into 2nd, 3rd, 4th and so on where each year a scientific themed based meeting will be organized rotating through various cities and countries in the region. It is expected that 2015 will provide a better platform and more robust interactions with the formation of “1st Middle East Movement Disorders Task Force” which will start to look at needs in the field and solutions for this ancient but evolving region.
I hope to see you all again in 2015!
Jawad A. Bajwa, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
KSBAUHS, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Program Director, Adult Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration
Clerkship Director, Neuroscience
Department of Neurology
National Neuroscience Institute
King Fahd Medical City
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
The First Middle East Camp for Parkinson's, Movement Disorders and Neuromodulation was supported by unrestricted educational grants from the following:
Other supporting organizations: