Thursday, April 10, 2008

Media release: Cairns World Voice Day Neurological Movement Disorders Symposium.


In celebration of World Voice Day a Neurological Movement Disorders Symposium hosted by the Atherton Tablelands and Cairns Dystonia Support Group will be held on Wednesday 16th April at the Cairns Colonial Club Conference Centre commencing at 6 PM. Dr Nichola Davis is Medical Chair for the symposium.

Specialist speakers are providing information to our local medical and allied health professionals about a variety of movement disorders, many of which affect voice. Consultant Neurologist Dr John O’Sullivan from the Royal Brisbane and Woman’s Hospital Department of Neurology is principal speaker. Another prominent Consultant Neurologist, Dr Steven Dommann from Townsville General Hospital Department of Neurology, is also speaking at this event.

Ms Karen O’Maley, Clinical Nurse Consultant from Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Department of Neurology and Ms Maree Brockie from the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Queensland are also travelling from Brisbane and presenting papers at the symposium.

Ms Gail Rogers from Cairns Speech Pathology Clinic, Ms Melanie Mirotsis from Diagnosys Physiotherapy and Ms Kerry Stingel from Cairns Occupational Therapy are all local practitioners presenting papers at the symposium. Two additional speakers from the Atherton Tableland and Cairns Dystonia Support Group have recently returned from a dystonia symposium in the United States of America. They are Ms Maureen Slocum, a workplace assessor and trainer and also a numeracy and literacy tutor and Ms Sue Bayliss, a retired social worker.

This event is possible due to very generous support by Allergan Australia Pty Ltd and Ipsen Pty Ltd. These companies provide botulinum toxin (BTx) in Australia. BTx is the preferred treatment recommended by neurologists to treat muscular spasming associated with symptoms of dystonia and other neurological conditions.

Dystonia is a neurological syndrome characterized by involuntary, sustained, patterned, and often repetitive muscle contractions of opposing muscles causing twisting movements of abnormal postures. It can affect just one part of the body or several different areas. Dystonia can also be secondary to other illnesses that affect the nervous system such as Wilson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

Specific goals for the event are,
. to present the opportunity for the medical / health professional community in FNQ to increase their knowledge from specialists regarding movement disorders,

. to communicate with the medical / health professional community in FNQ educational and promotional material specific to movement disorders,

. to establish a network of medical / health professionals in FNQ interested in movement disorders,

. to establish a movement disorders network / support group in FNQ,

. to increase support from the community by raising awareness of movement disorders,

. to increase resources for individuals to access
1. timely referrals,
2. specialist assessments,
3. management services and,
4. appropriate equipment & support.

Anyone interested in further information may contact Sue Bayliss, 0407624578 or email


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