Dr Siti Hanna Muharram (C) at the Second International Neurological Conference in Brunei Darussalam. Also seen are Professor Datin Seri Laila Jasa Dr Uta Meyding-Lamade (L), head of Neuroscience, Stroke and Rehabilitation Centre at Jerudong Park Medical Centre and Dr Francisco Javier Martinez-Torres (R), one of the speakers at the conference. Picture: BT/Nurhamiza Hj Roslan
PREPARATIONS are under way for a first study on neuroinfections in the country that would begin next year.
In an interview with The Brunei Times on the sidelines of the Second International Neurological Conference here yesterday, Dr Siti Hanna Muharram, a medical microbiology lecturer at the Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah Institute of Health Sciences (PAPRSB IHS) said the three-year study, still in formative phase, would begin in 2013.
"Neuroinfection is a study of infections in the brain caused by many diseases. The study (Study on Neuroinfections in Brunei Darussalam) is one of the first being undertaken in the area of brain infections," she added.
"Under the proposal, the study will be carried out in small projects."
"Involved in the study will be researchers from the Institute of Health Sciences together with those from Jerudong Park Medical Centre. The researchers will be collaborating with the experts from Germany — Professor Datin Seri Laila Jasa Dr Uta Meyding-Lamadé's team — and people from the University of Heidelberg as well as Krankenhaus Nordwest," she said.
Dr Siti Hanna said at the moment there are two researchers from PAPRSB IHS who will be taking up the study. The two researchers are Dr Siti Hanna and Dr Suwarni Hj Mohd Diah.
She further said the study on neuro infections will also be open to graduate, including those doing PhDs and masters degree at PAPRSB IHS.
She said the aim of the study is to analyse and look into the prevalence of neurological disorders in Brunei. The study also aims to establish laboratory methods for neuro-virological diseases as well as to promote essential research in viral pathogens.
In her presentation, Dr Siti Hanna also explained the various steps involved in the study.
The first step involved the understanding of Brunei's typical pathogens that affects the nervous system. Also included in the first step, Dr Siti Hanna, said was the setting up of a registry for infections of the neurological systems.
In the second step, she said they would like to validate established routine diagnostics for daily application for neuroinfectious diseases.
"What we like to include as well is the analyses using telemedicine tools. This has already been successfully established for cerebrospinal fluid analysis between Brunei Darussalam and Frankfurt," she said added.
In the third step, Dr Siti Hanna said they would like to integrate scientific issues and research applications. The Second International Neurological Conference in Brunei Darussalam was a one-day conference that took place at the UBD Chancellor Hall.
It was organised by the Jerudong Park Medical Centre together with the Pengiran Anak Puteri Rashidah Sa'adatul Bolkiah Institute of Health Sciences.
A total of seven papers were presented including the keynote address titled "New Advances in Neurology in Brunei Darussalam" by Professor Datin Seri Laila Jasa Dr Uta Meyding-Lamadé, Head of Neuroscience, Stroke and Rehabilitation Centre, JPMC and Head of the Department of Neurology, Krankenhaus Nordwest, Frankfurt, Germany.
The Brunei Times