Wednesday, June 19, 2024

65 out of every 100,000 people in the country suffer from “Multiple Sclerosis”.


A member of the Board of Directors of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Executive Director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program at the Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Center, Dr. Fatima al-Gabi reported an incidence of “multiple sclerosis” of 65 for every 100,000 people. In the United Arab Emirates, the incidence in females is higher than that in females, three times higher in males.

This disease is diagnosed in the early stage in young people between 20 and 40 years of age.

In detail, Dr. Fatima Al-Kaabi confirmed to Emirates Today that international research and studies show that more than 2.8 million people worldwide suffer from multiple sclerosis (which affects the brain and spinal cord). The actual number of victims is believed to be twice that.

He said, “Statistics show that the infection rate among women is three times higher than that of men. He explained that its symptoms are unpredictable and often cause physical and emotional challenges for its victims.

Multiple sclerosis is defined as affecting the central nervous system and disrupting the flow of information within the brain. Forms, which may be temporary or permanent, include numbness, tingling, mood swings, memory problems, pain, fatigue, blindness, paralysis, and others.

Al-Kaabi confirmed that the prevalence of multiple sclerosis in the UAE is 65 per 100,000 people, according to most experts’ estimates. Therefore, efforts were coordinated and the government quickly established the National Multiple Sclerosis Society last April. -Government organization, with the aim of enabling patients to live better lives, through awareness, assistance and improved global efforts to find a cure.

Research grants

He emphasized that the establishment of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society reflects the state’s interest in raising awareness and coordinating the importance of early diagnosis and treatment as the society seeks to consolidate its position as a scientific partner and researcher for international organizations. Works in the field of Multiple Sclerosis.

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Two million dirhams have been allocated to support research grants to be shared with local and international researchers to better understand multiple sclerosis in the UAE and its most important characteristics and symptoms and provide innovative treatments.

National record

Al Gabi launched the first national multiple sclerosis registry, developed in collaboration with the Department of Health in Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Center for Public Health and the G42 Institute. position, and is an important step towards helping researchers and clinicians in the emirate deliver advanced and personalized treatment plans. It includes all data from patients, patients and health care providers, and aims to track and report clinical outcomes, which will advance the future. Developing disease research, healthcare models, clinical care pathways and the patient journey.


Since its establishment earlier this year, Al-Kaabi has confirmed the association’s interest in launching several initiatives targeting people with recently diagnosed multiple sclerosis to promote awareness of the disease and facilitate engagement with the association. Providing support services for them, which will contribute to developing solutions to enable patients with the disease to lead better lives.

These initiatives include a series of group discussions with people living with the disease called “MS Circles” and recently launched a virtual program called “Your Journey from Disease to Treatment and Recovery” aimed at people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. , in addition to the association’s interest in digital presence in communication channels, social and website, it is a comprehensive platform that provides all information about Multiple Sclerosis.

It seeks to organize several additional projects to be announced later, including a volunteer initiative that will provide an opportunity for members of the UAE community to support the multiple sclerosis community.

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Adopting the slogan “Our stories are many, our commitment is one”, he pointed out that the role of the association’s work in the next phase is crucial for people with multiple sclerosis to practice their lives better. Creating an integrated system to support the UAE by listening to their needs and the challenges they face, and contributing to the development of local and global research efforts to find a cure for the disease and discuss the best ways to tackle it.

It is worth noting that researchers believe that multiple sclerosis is not directly classified as an infectious or genetic disease. At the same time, epidemiologists noted that people with multiple sclerosis were infected with the Epstein-Barr virus during their lifetime. There are four general types of MS, including: isolated clinical syndrome, relapsing MS, secondary progressive MS, and primary progressive MS. People who have a family member with multiple sclerosis have a higher risk of developing multiple sclerosis, and it is not classified as a genetic disease.

Children of parents with multiple sclerosis have a 2% chance of developing symptoms.

6 Research Areas

Dr. Fatima Al-Kaabi, the association supports research in six areas, including: the development of innovative and emerging treatments that can slow, stop or reverse multiple sclerosis, the identification of clinical characteristics and epidemiological research, the incidence and prevalence of the disease in the UAE and multiple in the world. Understanding the role of genetics in multiple sclerosis, identifying suspected risk factors for developing multiple sclerosis in the nation’s population, and knowing the effectiveness and impact of certain treatments in the population, including:

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(New treatments in clinical trials, medical and radiological isolation treatments for the syndrome, disease-modifying therapies, “Covid-19” and the impact of pregnancy, as well as exploring ways to achieve treatment in the United Arab Emirates, Middle East and North Africa. Region and around the world).

Disease management

Dr. Fatima Al-Kaabi stressed that multiple sclerosis does not normally affect the practice of life, as most of the affected people live their lives with some lifestyle adjustments, including healthy nutrition and exercise, the physical and emotional impact of multiple sclerosis. The diagnosis should be revised.

He added: “The disease can affect the patient’s ability to work, medical care, rehabilitation, housing changes and other costs, especially since there is currently no cure. Currently there is medicine in the management of the disease. Treatments for acute inflammatory attacks or relapses, and drugs that reduce the risk of infection, disease- Modifiable therapies, as well as treatments that slow disease progression, are available to relieve and improve various symptoms.Successful management of multiple sclerosis includes healthy diet, exercise, and rehabilitation.

• 2 million dirhams to support research grants related to multiple sclerosis.

• “Epidemiologists observed that multiple sclerosis patients were infected with the (Epstein-Barr) virus.”

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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