The division of Neurology at Shifa International Hospital, Islamabad hosted a public awareness program on World Multiple Sclerosis Day, with the theme of “My life with Multiple Sclerosis”, on Wednesday, 26th May, 2010.
The event was attended by a large audience including patients of multiple sclerosis, their families and people from different walks of life. In the start of the program Dr. Ismail A. Khatri, head division of neurology at Shifa International Hospital gave introduction and purpose of organizing such events. Dr. Arsalan Ahmad, assistant professor and consultant neurologist in his talk gave an overview of multiple sclerosis including the symptoms and signs of illness, possible causes and treatment options. He informed the audience that multiple sclerosis is a disease of inflammation of myelin (the insulating layer on brain cells) of the brain and spinal cord. He said that the disease can result in significant disability and the patients usually need assistance in walking in about 15 years of onset of disease and many patients may become wheel chair dependent. He emphasized that since this is the disease of young people and starts mostly in twenties and thirties the life long burden of disease is heavy. It is important to recognize and diagnose the disease early and intervene early.
Maj. Dr. Farooq Azam Rathore, consultant in physical medicine and rehabilitation department at Armed Forces Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, gave a talk on “Rehabilitation in Multiple Sclerosis”. He explained the uses and effectiveness of rehabilitation in MS patients. He emphasized that rehabilitation is not just an exercise program but it is a multidisciplinary team approach that has proven to improve the quality of life in patients with multiple sclerosis. Early involvement of rehabilitation team in the care of multiple sclerosis can improve the long term quality of life and outcome in these patients.
In the end question answer session was held and panel of experts including Prof. Mohammad Tariq from Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr. Arsalan Ahmad and Dr. Ismail A. Khatri from Shifa International Hospital and Dr. Farooq Azam Rathore from AFIRM gave detailed answers to patients regarding their queries.