Alzheimer's disease is a major health problem and the leading cause of dementia in the Americas and Europe. There has been little work done on dementia in the Middle East. This is an important issue because of the progressive aging of the populations of the world, including the Middle East. For example, the size of the population of Egyptians 60 years and older is expected to increase by 316% from 2000 to 2030. Also, public awareness of dementia in the Middle East is low, and in many cases demented patients do not receive medical attention. The goal of this proposal is to obtain support for the Sixth International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders in the Middle East. The objectives of this conference are to focus attention on neurodegenerative disorders of the aged, particularly Alzheimer's Disease, in the Middle East, to raise scientific, medical and social awareness of these disorders, and to enhance communication between Arab and Jewish medical and scientific personnel as well as communication between Middle Eastern workers and their counterparts in other countries, particularly the USA. It is anticipated that the meetin will lead to increased studies of dementia in the Middle East, a region with unique features valuable for research, including a high rate of consanguinity and smoking, relatively homogenous populations, and high fat diet. The primary organizers are from Middle Eastern background and are thoroughly familiar with the cultural traditions of the region, and along with the past organizer of these conferences, have built continuing collaborative relationships with works in the Middle East. A target audience of clinicians, scientists, nurses, social workers, government representatives and other agencies, pharmaceutical and other biotechnology companies will attend the meeting to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, March 23-24, 2013. Attendees will be from the majority of Middle Eastern countries including Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the West Bank and will include will include workers from Europe, North America and other parts of the world. Topics to be covered include clinical and basic science aspects of dementia, diagnoses, history, management, treatment, and ethics, with consideration of the unique cultural traditions of Arab and Jewish populations. The organizers have successfully convened five editions of this conference in the past, and based on past experience expect an even more successful sixth conference.

Public Health Relevance

There is limited awareness concerning geriatric neurology and Alzheimer's and related disorders in the Middle East and there has been relatively limited investigation of dementia in this region. As a result, the overwhelming majority of patients who suffer from dementia in the Middle East receive no medical attention. Furthermore, the Middle Eastern populations present with unique features, such as high rate of consanguinity and smoking, valuable in investigations of dementia. The proposed conference will increase awareness concerning Alzheimer's Disease and related disorders in the Middle East, will help establish networks for collaboration and information flow on this topic in the region and will promote and strengthen cross-cultural and cross-national collaborative efforts and investigations, involving links between health workers and researchers in the Middle Eastern countries on the one hand and between these individuals and their counterparts in the US, Canada and Europe on the other.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Conference (R13)
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National Institute on Aging Initial Review Group (NIA)
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Petanceska, Suzana
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Northwestern University at Chicago
Schools of Medicine
United States
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