(MENAFN – Mid-East.Info)
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Multiple sclerosis patients in the United Arab Emirates and beyond have a new resource to guide them through their MS journey, thanks to a website launched by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, which is an integral part of Mubadala Health.
Caused by inflammation of the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, multiple sclerosis (MS) can cause vision problems, muscle weakness, numbness, and a variety of other symptoms. Most often diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40, multiple sclerosis is twice as common in women as in men. While there is no cure yet, the vast majority of cases can be managed with medications that help stop inflammation, control symptoms, and effectively slow the progression of the disease.
“Multiple sclerosis is definitely a growing condition both here in the UAE and around the world. It usually strikes in the prime of life, causing a lot of anxiety and dread. With early diagnosis and the right treatment, most can lead normal lives. I’ve seen some of my patients do amazing things that even someone without a diagnosis could balk at, ” says Dr Anu Jacob, neurologist and director of the multiple sclerosis department at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi Neurological Institute.
The new website, in English and Arabic, provides patients and their families with practical advice on a range of topics in simple, easy-to-understand language on symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and lifestyle as well as exercise and diet. The site also provides support material and organized external links for doctors and the MS community at large in the UAE.
“The level of care offered to MS patients in the UAE is comparable to some of the best medical destinations in the world. One gap we noticed is that despite the growing community of people affected by MS, the resources and online support available have not kept up. I hope this website serves as a foundation to help patients in the region find unbiased information that can guide their decisions. We believe that empowering patients with knowledge will help them make the right choices in managing their MS. Seeing that they are not alone and participating in the experiences of other MS patients will empower them and inspire them to realize their own potential, ” continues Dr Jacob.
In addition to drugs to stop inflammation, slow progression and stop symptoms of the disease, the team at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi Neurological Institute offers a holistic approach to the management of patients with multiple sclerosis. . These range from psychological support and smoking cessation programs to physical therapy and exercise counseling.
“The most common form of multiple sclerosis that we see, especially in our younger patients, is what we call ‘relapsing-remitting’, which means that patients periodically experience a flare-up of symptoms. This form of the disease responds well to lifestyle changes which, when given with the right medication, can prolong remission and reduce symptoms – dramatically improving quality of life, ” says Dr. Jacob.
Some of the most visible effects of multiple sclerosis include muscle weakness, loss of balance, and difficulty walking. Regular exercise, including stretching and progressive weight training, helps keep muscles strong and maintain physical function.
Many people think that exercising with MS is difficult, even dangerous. In fact, it is the opposite. The right amount of exercise that improves strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility can be of great help. One piece of advice we always share is not to push too hard. Excessive exertion can sometimes make symptoms worse, so keeping the right pace is essential, ” says Vinodh Ravindran, a certified multiple sclerosis physiotherapist at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
As part of its commitment to raising the standard of care and improving the quality of life for people with MS, the Cleveland Clinic in Abu Dhabi is carrying out ongoing research projects on how certain drugs could be used to improve still the quality of life of patients.
“Multiple sclerosis can be treated extremely well right here in the UAE. Although this is a diagnosis for life, there is a whole host of approaches we can take to limit its impact and allow people to lead normal lives. I always put myself in my patients’ shoes. If I had MS, I would like my condition to be clearly explained to me and to be supported in choosing the right treatment by a team that takes into account all of my circumstances. After that, aside from the occasional hospital visits for treatments and appointments, I wish I could forget about MS and move on with my life with the confidence that my team will be there if I need them. This is what I want for our patients. MS should not define them, ” concludes Dr Jacob.
As part of its World Multiple Sclerosis Day activities this month, the Neurological Institute at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi also hosted an informative webinar and question-and-answer session on healthy living with MS and the impact of COVID-19 on patients with this disease.
About Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi :
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, which is an integral part of Mubadala Health, is a multi-specialty hospital located on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is a unique and unprecedented extension of the United States-based Cleveland Clinic model of care, specifically designed to meet a range of complex and critical care requirements unique to the people of Abu Dhabi.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has the following institutes: heart and vascular, neurological, digestive diseases, eyes, respiratory, intensive care, surgical subspecialties, medical subspecialties, emergency medicine, anesthesiology, pathology and laboratory medicine, imaging, quality and patient safety and clinical and nursing care. In all, more than 40 medical and surgical specialties are represented at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
The facilities at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi combine state-of-the-art equipment and world-class service standards. The hospital is a 394-bed facility (expandable to 490), with five clinical floors, three diagnostic and treatment levels, and 13 floors of critical and acute inpatient units. It is a medical facility run by physicians and serviced by physicians certified by the North American / European Council (or equivalent). Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi offers patients in the region direct access to the world’s best healthcare providers and the Cleveland Clinic’s unique model of care, reducing their need to travel overseas for treatment.
Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi – Al Ain started offering some medical services in December 2017. The facility is located on the campus of Tawam Hospital in Al Ain.
About Mubadala Health :
Mubadala Health is the integrated healthcare network of Mubadala Investment Company. Established in 2021, Mubadala Health operates, manages and develops a portfolio of healthcare assets including: Abu Dhabi Telemedicine Center (ADTC), Amana Healthcare, Capital Health Screening Center (CHSC), Healthpoint, Imperial College London Diabetes Center ( ICLDC) and National Reference Laboratory (LNR). In addition, the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is an integral part of Mubadala Health. With a vision to transform the regional healthcare landscape, Mubadala Health sets a new benchmark for the healthcare industry in the UAE and the region with its state-of-the-art facilities and world-class caregivers strive to put patients first in its continuum of care. Innovation, research and education are the fundamental pillars of Mubadala Health, supporting the future development of a sustainable health sector in line with the vision of Abu Dhabi and the region.
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