Women And Neurology: A Special Session of the Turkish Annual Neurology Congress

By Prof. Serefnur Ozturk

Traditional “In The Region” sessions during the annual neurology congresses have focused on a variety of subjects for more than 10 years. Many of the subjects have been explored with the contributions of delegates from countries that are in collaboration with the Turkish Neurological Society during The Turkish Annual Neurology Congress. “Women and Neurology” was the focus for this year.

Session Chairs Prof. Aksel Siva and Prof. Serefnur Ozturk, president of the Turkish Neurological Society, explained the mission of this session. Prof. Siva said the collaboration in the region with the neighbor countries is important to understand the problems and to improve solutions. Delegates of the neighbor countries are invited as speakers in “In the Region” sessions by the Turkish Neurological Society every year.

The topics of women as manpower in neurology as well as neurological disorders in women were discussed by the invited speakers. Gender-specific disorders in the region were evaluated by the delegates, and potential solutions were suggested.

Prof. Ozturk explained the current situation of manpower in neurology. She said the rate of female neurologists in Turkey is 51%. For residents, this rate is higher (35% male residents versus 65% female residents). The directors of the neurology departments consist of 56% female and 44% male directors. Neurological disorders in women must be considered as a special group of the common disorders, and differences between countries must be evaluated in the region. It was suggested that immigrant women are an increasingly vulnerable group of this population and must be cared for with a special system by the health ministry.

Prof. Vida Damarin (Croatia), Prof. Anita Arsovska (Macedonia), Prof. Nune Yeghiazaryan (Ermenia), Prof. Gennarina Arabia (Italy), Prof. Anna Lebedeva (Russia), and Prof. Ahmad Khalifa (Qatar) reported the manpower rates in neurology for their countries. The epidemiological distribution of neurological disorders in women were discussed by the invited speakers. Cerebrovascular diseases, migraine and other headaches, and multiple sclerosis were more prevalant disorders in women in the region, and risk factors were also significantly higher in women, according to the presentations.

This special meeting highlighted the importance of future collaboration to increase the quality of life in women with neurological disorders in countries that share similar conditions, cultures, and lifestyles. •

Prof. Serefnur Ozturk is the president of the Turkish Neurological Society, Selcuk University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neurology in Konya, Turkey.