WISH presents research findings on dementia & autism

 08 Nov 2017 - 9:16

WISH presents research findings on dementia & autism
WISH senior management with Dr Mona Fahad Al Said, Assistant Vice-Chancellor for International Cooperation, Sultan Qaboos University, and organisers of the International Workshop on Food and Brain Health in Oman.

The Peninsula

The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), an initiative of Qatar Foundation, has presented its findings from research into dementia and autism to the fifth International Workshop on Food and Brain Health, held at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) in Muscat, Oman.

The two-day event, which was held under the patronage of Dr Mona Fahad Al Said, Assistant Vice-Chancellor for International Cooperation at SQU, from recently, brought together delegates from around the world to investigate the impact of food and nutrition on brain health. 

Discussions covered topics from the definition, causes, and treatment for neurodegenerative diseases to research findings on dietary practices and their unique role in health. 

Also Sultana Afdhal, Acting Chief Executive Officer, WISH, and Dr Walid Qoronfleh, Director of Research and Policy Development, WISH, met with Dr Al Said in order to outline WISH’s work and to discuss areas of potential future collaboration between WISH and SQU.

Sultana Afdhal said, “I’m pleased to have had the opportunity to accompany the WISH research team to SQU, where we were given the chance to join the discussion on food and brain health and to share our research on autism and dementia, two very important mental health-related topics. Further studies within both can bring great benefit to the population of Qatar, the region, and beyond. It was also an honor to meet with Her Highness Dr. Al Said and be able to discuss with her how WISH and SQU can collaborate in the future.”

Dr Qoronfleh delivered a keynote address on dementia on the first day of the workshop, which was organised by SQU’s Food Science and Nutrition Department at the College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, in association with the Ageing and Dementia Research Group. 

Dr Qoronfleh highlighted the main learnings accumulated from the two research reports produced by WISH to date, namely a 2015 dementia forum report titled ‘A Call to Action: The Global Response to Dementia through Policy Innovation’ and a 2016 meeting report titled ‘Enhancing the Response to the Burden and Impact of Dementia Through Policy and Social Innovation in the Eastern Mediterranean Region’.

A presentation about WISH’s autism research findings were delivered on the second day by three members of WISH’s Qatar-based research team, Sanaa Taha Alharahsheh, Senior Associate of Research and Policy, and Research and Policy Development Officers Faras K. Almeer and Maha El Akoum. Their presentation was based on the WISH 2016 report titled ‘Autism: A Global Framework for Action’.

Dr Qoronfleh said, “WISH has been active in advancing the dementia agenda in Qatar and I was grateful to have the opportunity to come to Oman to share our research findings in this area. Additionally, the workshop provided an opportunity for the WISH research team to present details of our autism research. WISH’s research reports on dementia provide a novel framework that combines three pillars – prevention, diagnosis, and care – in a way that helps lead to an understanding of how best to deal with the global burden of dementia and to improve outcomes of people living with dementia.” 

The reports also offer policy recommendations that focus on effective dementia management for successful public health that is particularly applicable to the Eastern Mediterranean region, a region that includes the Arabian Gulf.”