Newsletter No. 168

2 No. 168 4th September 2000 CUHK Newsletter New Cent re for E l d e r l y with Dementia Mr. Alan Li (left), chairman of the Board of Stewards of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, at the opening ceremony with Prof. Arthur K.C. Li The Jockey Club Centre for Positive Ageing was officially opened on 24th June. The centre is operated by the University and funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. The first of its kind in southeast Asia to combine day-care, short-term residential service, training, and research on dementia, the centre is housed in a four-storey building, located within Shatin Hospital compounds and equipped with a garden. It has been specially designed to provide high quality and comprehensive community- based care for elderly persons with dementia. Top level professional care is provided by the team of specialists stationed at the centre. MORE CARE FOR CHILDREN OF DIVORCING PARENTS The divorce rate in Hong Kong has shot up in an alarming manner over the past decade. Currently divorce studies concentrate mainly on the physical and mental health, f i nanc i al hardship, legal problems, and childcare difficulties of divorcing couples. Investigations on the impact of divorce on the children are rare. Prof. Miranda Cheung of the Depa r tment o f Soc i al Wo rk conducted a large-scale survey using self-rating questionnaires to examine, from a child's perspective, the impact of parents' marital well-being on their children's psychosocial well-being. The academic performance, self-esteem, depression level, f ami l i al and peer relations, and parents' marital relationship of over 3,000 school students aged between 11 and 18 were measured in this study entitled The Influences of Parents' Marital Relationship on the Emotions, Behaviour, and Academic Achievement of Secondary School Students'. Results of the survey showed that marital relationship between the parents has adverse effects on the f ami l i al relations and emotions of these adolescents but little influence over school performance. Many suffer from depression, low self-esteem, and poor social relations, and are in need of timely intervention during the family crisis. The study calls for the concerted efforts of social workers, teachers, and parents in creating a loving, caring, and supportive social environment for the children of divorcing parents, and in cultivating in them a positive life philosophy. Prof. Miranda Cheung (right) at a press conference to announce survey results FromCMMRC toICM Consolidating Chinese Medicine Research Activities The University has been a pioneer in research relating to Chinese medicine in Hong Kong and boasts an internationally recognized record. Since the establishment of the Chinese Medicinal Ma t e r i al Research Centre (CMMRC) ill the 1970s, the University has been active in Chinese medicine research, conducting scientific investigations, and providing consultation and educational services to medical practitioners, industry, and government agencies. In January 2000, the University, to consolidate research activities related to Chinese medicine, established the Institute of Chinese Medicine (ICM), drawing on the existing strength of over 60 active Chinese medicine researchers from the Faculties of Medicine, Science, and Engineering. The transition of CMMRC to I CM was formally completed on 31st July 2000. A l l CMMRC programmes have since been taken up by the relevant sections under ICM, which is located on the second and third floors of the Science Centre East B l o c k, and houses a museum, a library, a conference room, laboratories, and research facilities. It has also rented two laboratories in the Hong Kong Institute of Biotechnology (HKIB) and is collaborating with the HK IB on projects of common interest. The mission of I CM is to establish evidence-based Chinese medicine with a view to facilitating cooperation between Chinese and modern medicines, and b r i ng i ng research and modernized practices of Chinese medicine to the international front. Other than the tasks of authentication, quality control, safety assurance, and database development, I CM also actively engages in clinical trials, drug development, and public education. I CM has secured donations to the tune of HK$10 million for setting up a Clinical Trials Centre in the Prince of Wales Hospital last July to offer manpower and funding support for clinical trials on Chinese medicine. It also collaborates w i th Kwong Wall Hospital in carrying out clinical trial research projects. The School of Pharmacy is a close partner of I CM. The school's drug development centre, to be established with a grant from the Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF), will eventually be housed in the I CM laboratories. The four colleges and the Estates Management Office have also been offering their support to ICM. Herbal plants on campus are being identified and labelled with brief introductions, while herbal corners under different themes are being planned by the colleges. ICM has been working closely with the drug and herbal industries. As of today, four successful ITF projects have attracted research funds of about $22 mi l l i on from industrial partners and the government. Four other ITF applications related to Chinese medicine research are being processed. More information about I CM and Chinese medicine research is available at the I CM website ( http://www. ).