ANMA Message
The 3rd Biennial Congress of the Asian Neurogastroenterology & Motility Association 2013 Penang

Theme: Celebrating Diversity in Asia

Welcome message

Neurogastroenterology and Motility, a term unfamiliar to many, is the scientific inquiry into the working of the enteric nervous system and how this impacts on the various functions of the gastrointestinal tract. It has been estimated that the quantity and complexity of the nervous tissues in the gastrointestinal tract is second to only the brain, thus qualifying the enteric nervous system to be called the second brain. The common conditions associated with this field of study are the irritable bowel syndrome, dyspepsia, constipation, diarrhoea, vomiting, dysphagia and defecation disorders. This science is at the core of our understanding of every symptom and disturbance that a patient with a gastrointestinal problem presents with. Symptom reporting is however, not determined solely by activation of the enteric nerves, but also how the first brain processes, interprets and communicates these signals. The programming of this bi-directional gut-brain communication is a fascinating study of the ways socio-cultural factors drive how patients and physicians perceive and respond to the most basic activities of existence, eating, nutrition and defecation.

The scientific committee has put together a bold and innovative programme for this 3rd Biennial Congress of the Asian Neurogastroenterology & Motility Association. We have strived to purposefully bring out the rich tapestry of Asian cultures. The purpose is not just to make the programme relevant to clinicians working in Asia. We hope that by celebrating the diversity of Asian cultures, to open the eyes of researchers in Asia to clues in their own backyard. Penang Island, home to an eclectic mix of peoples from all over Asia, is the ideal venue. The way of life reflects a paradox - an easy sharing of different Asian cultures and at the same time, confidently holding on to the roots of people from India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand and China. We welcome you to join us in this relaxing and at the same time stimulating environment. Whether you are from Asia or outside, come and experience for yourself, and allow new ideas to flourish.

Yours sincerely,

Prof Kok-Ann Gwee, FRCP, PhD,
President, ANMA
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