‘Memories Matter’ campaign concludes with interactive dementia workshop
Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), marked World Alzheimer’s Day on September 21, with a number of activities designed to raise awareness and challenge the stigma associated with the condition.
Building on last year’s successful initiative, ‘Memories Matter’ highlighted to local communities QBRI’s ongoing research, supporting the efforts to early diagnose and prevent Alzheimer’s, as well as other neurodevelopmental disorders. A series of public events started with an awareness initiative at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Ambulatory Care Center (ACC) on September 24. On September 27, an information booth was set up at Villaggio Mall in collaboration with HMC. Both initiatives raised awareness among the public about the importance of leading a healthy life in order to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
On September 26, QBRI and HMC also held a joint seminar titled Dementia – Time to Accept, which highlighted the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, the importance of risk reduction efforts, and options for caregivers. The ‘Memories Matter’ campaign was led by QBRI’s Neurological Disorders Research Center (NDRC) team.
Alongside its collaboration with HMC, QBRI’s NDRC is also conducting joint research projects with Weill Cornell Medicine Qatar to identify dementia among the country’s population. On the international front, QBRI cooperates on cutting edge research with leading educational institutes, including the universities of Newcastle, Ottawa, and Oxford.
Speaking about the campaign, Dr. Omar El Agnaf, Executive Director of Qatar Biomedical Research Institute, said: “Alzheimer’s disease is associated with progressive and degenerative memory loss among sufferers who are mostly aged 65 years and over. However, research increasingly shows that lifestyle contributes more significantly to the onset of neurodegenerative diseases than genetic factors. This not only underlines the importance of initiatives like ‘Memories Matter’ but also implies that healthy lifestyles help combat the onset and effects of Alzheimer’s. It’s vital that we get that message across to the public wherever possible.
“QBRI is currently working with HMC and WCM-Q on identifying genetic and biological markers that are unique to the Arab population, in order to aid early diagnosis. The ultimate goal is to accelerate the global quest for the better treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, and eventually a permanent cure.”
QBRI is home to three research centers – the Cancer Research Center, the Diabetes Research Center, and the Neurological Disorders Research Center. The Neurological Disorders Research Center focuses on investigating neurological disorders of increasing prevalence in Qatar and the region.
For more information, please visit hbku.edu.qa