RIYADH: MD RASOOLDEEN | ARAB NEWS STAFF
Published — Tuesday 18 December 2012
Last update 18 December 2012 4:33 pm
As part of its awareness campaign, the Saudi Alzheimer’s Disease Association (SADA) will host a lecture program on Tuesday at the Security Forces Hospital (SFH) in Riyadh.
According to an official from SADA, the program will focus on the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and will include two lectures during the evening.
Dr. Najib Qadhi, deputy head of the neurology department and head of the neurology physicians training program at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center (KFSHRC) ,and Dr. Reema Salman, therapeutic nutrition and sports medicine specialist, from the same hospital will deliver a presentation on ways to prevent the disease.
The lecture will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Prince Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz Hall at the SFH headquarters in the capital.
The official said that it would be a comprehensive program, which will highlight the preventive measures and suggest constructive measures for the treatment of Alzheimer's patients at home.
In September, SADA launched a four-week national awareness campaign with the participation of a number of health experts, as well as delegates from social and charity organizations. In addition, more than 12 state and private universities and charity societies joined the campaign, which was held throughout the Kingdom.
The campaign also came amid calls for the inclusion of Alzheimer's patients in the health insurance system and the launching of a national registry and database for the disease.
Princess Madawi bint Muhammed bin Abdullah bin Abdulrahman, SADA’s vice chairperson, said the society’s aim in launching this awareness program is to capture and raise the public’s attention about the importance of this disease and its prevalence in Saudi society.
The chief executive officer of SADA, Deemah Al-Rais, said recently that the society successfully conducted the "Purple Sky Program", whereby 10,000 balloons were released into the sky, to mark World Alzheimer’s Day in the Kingdom.
“The campaign was an extension to SADA’s awareness, health and social programs,” she said.
She added that one of the most important projects currently under way is the opening of outpatient clinics for Alzheimer's patients in a number of government hospitals. The project was successfully planned with the vital assistance of 300 volunteers from various organizations and educational institutions. Al-Rais expressed the society’s pleasure over the fact that a large number of women and children participated in the campaign and showed their respect to their elders.
Besides community awareness programs, several contracts and agreements have been signed between SADA and strategic commercial partners, for the benefit of Alzheimer's patients and their families.
Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder named after German physician Alois Alzheimer, who first described it in 1906. Scientists have learned a great deal about Alzheimer’s disease in the last century since then.
Alzheimer’s gets worse over time and is fatal. It has been categorized as the sixth leading cause of death in the world. It is the most common form of dementia, a general term for loss of memory and other intellectual abilities, serious enough to interfere with daily life. The disease accounts for 50 to 70 percent of dementia cases. Other types of dementia include vascular dementia, mixed dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia.
SADA announced the introduction of an international prize for scientific research in Alzheimer’s disease, named after Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz at the opening of the First International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease in Riyadh recently.
Notably, the organization received the Chaillot Award from the European Union for its continued efforts to spread awareness about Alzheimer’s disease in the Saudi society and for improving the health and living conditions of Alzheimer's patients.