The University recently received a generous donation of HK$5 million from Mr Ko Chi-ming and Mrs Ko in support of the establishment of a research centre for Parkinson’s disease. To recognise Mr and Mrs Ko for their generosity to the University, a naming ceremony for the “Mr and Mrs Ko Chi Ming Centre for Parkinson’s Disease Research” in the University’s Jockey Club School of Chinese Medicine Building was held today (8 October). Officiating at the ceremony were Mr Ko Chi-ming and Mrs Ko, Professor Albert Chan, President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Lu Aiping, Dean of the School of Chinese Medicine (SCM), and Professor Li Min, Associate Director of the Clinical Division, SCM.
In his welcoming remarks, Professor Albert Chan expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Mr Ko Chi-ming and Mrs Ko for their generous support to the University. Their donation is indeed recognition of the achievements by the University’s School of Chinese Medicine and serves to encourage the School to advance its study and analysis on pathogenic factors and search for new drugs for the prevention and treatment of Parkinson’s disease to benefit the community.
According to statistics, Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common degenerative diseases for the elderly worldwide. In Hong Kong, about 18,000 people aged 50 and above suffer from this illness. With Hong Kong’s ageing population, where the proportion of people aged 65 and above is forecasted to account for 30% of the total population in 2030, the number of Parkinson’s disease patients is expected to increase substantially. At present, Western medicine does not attain an obvious curative effect in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, only providing a certain level of symptom relief without effectively alleviating neurodegeneration or facilitating the rehabilitation of cranial nerve cells. Moreover, there are numerous treatment side effects. Chinese medicine on the other hand emphasises a moderate approach which helps strengthen qi and can complement Western medicine treatment when early consultation is adopted.
The School actively strives to promote the integration and development of academic and clinical knowledge on Chinese and Western medical practices. The establishment of the “Mr and Mrs Ko Chi Ming Centre for Parkinson’s Disease Research” will help strengthen the School’s endeavours in the study on the prevention and treatment of a variety of persistent diseases. The Centre will adopt Chinese medicine perspective and the findings from long-term clinical practice as the fundamental basis for its pharmacological studies of Parkinson’s disease and its etiology and pathogenesis. It is hoped that more effective, non-toxic or low toxicity drugs could be invented through integrating the application of molecular/cell biology and pharmacology techniques in order to benefit Parkinson’s disease patients.
Professor Albert Chan (centre), Professor Lu Aiping (right) and Professor Li Min officiate at the naming ceremony of the Mr and Mrs Ko Chi Ming Centre for Parkinson’s Disease Research