Dubai: World’s leading neurologists and neurosurgeons are in Dubai to speak to clinicians and medical students on the latest advancements in neurology and neurosurgery to upskill local talent and inspire students to choose these fields as their future speciality.
The leading experts from the London Neuroscience Academy are in the emirate for the International Symposium on Neurology and Neurosurgery that kicked off on Monday.
The three-day symposium is part of a two-year partnership between King’s College Hospital London and Mohammad Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU). Students and clinicians will learn about the latest treatment of brain tumours, migraines and headache therapy, and hydrocephalus.
According to Neil Buckley, CEO of King’s College Hospital London in the UAE, there are only 280 neurologists registered with the Dubai Health Authority catering to the more than 2.4 million residents in Dubai and, possibly, the more than 9 million people in the UAE. Having more doctors specialising in neurology and neurosurgery is therefore important as the population will continue to increase and age.
“What better way to do this than inspire and train budding UAE medical students to close this gap, and become the next generation of ‘home-grown’ world leading neurologists and neurosurgeons?” Buckley said.
Andrew Phillips, Associate Chief Commercial Officer at King’s in the UAE, said the current number of neurologists in Dubai is “low” which is a contributing factor to patients having to travel abroad for treatment.
“That is essentially quite a low number given the prevalence of neurological conditions that are being seen. Over the last five years, there have been a 100 complicated cases treated in London that are UAE patients and that I think will grow,” Phillips said.
“What we would like to do is to sow the seeds to inspire young people to put neurology on their shopping list of specialities and therefore they’d become great contributors to the future vision of our UAE leadership.”
The inaugural event is just the beginning of a series of seminars and workshops that will benefit every health care professional in Dubai and the UAE, said Dr Amer Sharif, Vice Chancellor of MBRU.
During the forum, Dr Nicholas Thomas, world expert and pioneer of endoscopic skull base surgery, spoke about this minimally invasive procedure to remove brain tumours.
Dr Richard Gullan, world leader and a pioneer at revolutionary migraine and headache therapy, shared his expertise on neuromodulation, a technology that directly stimulates the nervous system with electric signals for pain relief. An example of which is the Occipital Nerve Stimulation therapy, a highly effective new therapy for the treatment of migraines that consists of using electrical stimuli to improve the abnormal function of the occipital nerve.
Research shows that 3,000 of every one million people in the general population experience daily migraine episodes, which suggests that around 27,000 people in the UAE may be experiencing a migraine attack daily.
Dr Gullan cautioned against over prescription of painkillers in treating headaches and migraines.
“The important thing with pain is to get on top of it quickly and to look for a genuine treatable cause. When you find there’s no real justified cause, then you have to go more widely and think more laterally,” Dr Gullan said.
He said some of the causes of migraine and headaches could be lifestyle, excess weight, food and other activities. Identifying the triggers and avoiding them can help in pain management. But if the problem persists, patients can consult their neurologists for further investigation.