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March 30, 2015

Symposium on genetic diseases begins at PIMS today

Islamabad

March 30, 2015

Islamabad
A two-day symposium-workshop on ‘New Trends in Prevention of Genetic Diseases’ will be held at the Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (SZAB) Medical University, PIMS, beginning today (Monday).
The symposium is being organised by the SZABMU, Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology, University of Punjab, Genetic and Epigenetic Networks in Cognitive Dysfunctions (GENCODYS) Department, Radboud University, Netherlands; Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery School of Medicine, University of Maryland, USA, Wilmer Ophthalmology Institute, and The Johns Hopkins University, USA.
The purpose of the symposium is to discuss latest research in genetic diseases with an emphasis on hearing impairment, vision impairment and cognitive disabilities. Lead speakers from home and abroad will present plenary lectures in the area of genetic diseases followed by a 2-hour workshop session to develop strategies for early diagnosis and prevention of genetic diseases.
The workshop will be held in two sessions. The first session will deal with neonatal screening for hearing/vision impairment, mental retardation and metabolic disorders which are all preventable diseases if diagnosed in early infancy. The presentation will include country statements from Netherlands, France and Germany.
The second session will specifically address telemedicine for vision impairment in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA. The panellists will discuss various options to develop a plan of action for approval by the government.
During the last 50 years, a number of infectious diseases such as small pox, cholera, and typhoid have been harnessed as a result of the revolutionary invention and prodigal use of antibiotics and vaccines. Unfortunately, genetic diseases have remained unattended. Furthermore, incidence of genetic disorders in Pakistan is higher than the world average, presumably, a consequence of consanguineous marriages. It is believed that

50% of the children in this country are born from cousin marriages; therefore, strategies will be developed keeping in mind the social requirements which are not easily breakable.

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