Saturday, February 26, 2011
A US medical team visited the Kingdom last week to seek partners to conduct cooperative programs
Dr. Barth A. Green, professor and chairman of Neurological Surgery at the University of Miami.
A US medical team visited the Kingdom last week to seek partners to conduct cooperative programs on injuries relating to the spinal cord and the brain.
The Saudi Arabia to carry out a partnership program in research, treatment and education on spinal cord and brain trauma injuries considering the current medical needs of the Kingdom in the particular field," said Dr. Barth A. Green, professor and chairman of Neurological Surgery at the University of Miami.
Green, who led a medical team from the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, met with the key officials of leading hospitals in the Kingdom during his three-day tour to the capital.
“The Kingdom has recorded the highest number of brain and trauma injuries in the world,” said Green, adding that the main cause of the high incidence in the Kingdom is solely due to traffic accidents.
He also said that studies had shown that brain injury caused to newborn babies could also be prevented by lowering the infant’s body temperature within 24 hours of delivery. “Lowering the body temperature following cardiac arrest increases the chance of survival among patients who have undergone heart attacks,” he said.
He said the world spends some $50 billion on spinal cord injuries and the expenditure is manifold on brain injuries. Green also described the increasing incidence as a socioeconomic burden.
In 1985, Green founded The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Today, The project is the world’s most comprehensive spinal cord injury research center, housed in the Lois Pope LIFE Center, a Center of Excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
The Miami Project’s international team of more than 200 scientists, researchers and clinicians take innovative approaches to the challenge of spinal cord injury. The project team is lead by W. Dalton W. Dietrich, professor of neurological surgery, neurology and cell biology and anatomy, who was also a member of the visiting team.
Green said there is a large number of Saudi medical students studying both in and out of the Kingdom, but the students who are specializing in the field of brain and spinal cord injuries are few. He said that his institution could train a section of these students in this particular field, which has a high demand for qualified personnel in the Kingdom. “Our focus is on medical, surgical, clinical and rehabilitative programs among patients affected by brain and spinal cord injuries,” he said.
Explaining some of his projects, he said neuro protection researchers focus on understanding the damage that occurs during the hours and days after traumatic injury. “With a better understanding of the early injury processes, Miami project scientists are designing and testing specific therapies to prevent damage, rescue neurons and preserve nerve function," he said, adding that the new knowledge is also contributing to the design of repair strategies.