It gives me great pleasure to deliver this message to all those interested in neuromuscular diseases in Asian and Oceanian countries.
I have participated in 4 workshops of the European Neuromuscular Centre (ENMC) at which 20 to 30 experts from around the world gathered for 3 day sessions to discuss selected topics in neuromuscular disorders. These workshops have been very productive. At several of these meetings nemaline myopathy has been the main subject of discussion to plan possible future collaboration studies into the pathogenetic mechanisms and to discover possible of modes of therapy for this disease. At all the workshops I have attended I have been very impressed how important international collaboration of clinicians and basic scientists is to promote such research. Through these collaborative studies, many genes involved in nemaline myopathy have been discovered and reported in many journals. The ENMC has contributed greatly to recent important discoveries in the neuromuscular field.
Dr Sugita, the first President of AOMC, encouraged us to establish workshops similar to those of the ENMC to facilitate scientific communication and collaboration among Asian and Oceanian countries. We organized the first AOMC meeting in January 2001 in Tokyo where delegates from Australia, China, Korea, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand gathered and decided to establish the AOMC and we have held annual meetings in different member countries.
Following AOMC meeting (interim meeting) organized by Chiang Mai in Thailand, annual meetings in Beijing, Singapore, Kaohsiung, Cebu, Penang, Sydney and Mumbai were very successful. Through these meetings we shared our knowledge of neuromuscular disorders, have become better acquainted with each other, and have been developing many collaborative studies. With our collaboration, many doctors from different countries have visited our Institute and published the results of our collaborative research in important international journals.
I sincerely hope that AOMC members become more actively acquainted with each other so that we can more easily exchange information, discuss difficult diagnostic problem cases, and publish more academic research findings. The AOMC has so far been very successful in promoting these aims. Through the newly established the AOMC website, we should be able to develop warm and close friendships.
Finally I thank Dr Ichizo Nishino for establishing this web-site and the Genzyme company for technical and financial assistance.
Ikuya Nonaka, MD
National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry