December 2016 | Issue 27
Extending health for the silver tsunami

Following the success of the first Diabetes & Musculoskeletal Health Week in August, LKCMedicine held the second Musculoskeletal Health, Ageing and Regeneration Seminar on 26 October to allow participants to delve deeper into key areas of musculoskeletal health that underpin many aspects of health in later life.

Enabling people to lead healthy lives for longer is especially key for Singapore, whose elderly population is set to double to 900,000 by 2030 from the current 440,000, bringing with it numerous challenges from individual health concerns to challenges of manpower, policy and support services for healthcare institutions, government ministries and befriender associations.

Highlighting the urgency to study and understand musculoskeletal health, LKCMedicine Executive Vice-Dean for Administration Professor Lionel Lee said in his opening address that in old age, our two greatest fears are becoming frail and falling.

“When someone in old age who is frail falls, that is the beginning of a poorer quality of life. That is why this seminar is important not only for general health and ageing concerns but also for our individual challenges as we age. Indeed, musculoskeletal health issues have implications on our total societal, economic and emotional well-being,” said Prof Lee.

Over the course of the day, stakeholders and experts with diverse backgrounds came together to discuss different musculoskeletal concerns, causative factors and explore treatment or preventive options, such as the use of Zebrafish as a viable model to study and analyse skeletal muscle development, disease and regeneration.

LKCMedicine Visiting Professor and Professor of Sports Medicine at Australia’s La Trobe University Peter Brukner said, “A seminar like this gathers people from different disciplines with different approaches. We have seen presentations from a surgeon, a bone scientist, a sports medicine doctor and other researchers. If we can understand how the other groups are doing, we can work together to overcome this huge issue in our society.”