Great science at ISC 2020 moves forward from milestone beginnings

Science takes center stage at the International Stroke Conference 2020. From late-breaking science to symposia, ISC will feature more than 1,700 presentations in 21 categories showcasing the latest education, research, clinical trials and treatment of cerebrovascular disease and brain health.

According to ISC Chair Miguel Perez-Pinzon, PhD, Peritz Scheinberg endowed professor in neurology at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and Vice Chair Louise McCullough, MD, PhD, the Huffington distinguished chair of neurology at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth in Houston, this year’s conference continues to raise the bar with quality, timely and applicable programming, including an array of oral, moderated posters (professor-led poster rounds) and poster presentations.

“The breadth and depth of the programming make it a unique offering for those interested in stroke and vascular disease as well as in brain health. Programming runs through community and primary prevention, through pre-hospital and hospital acute care, secondary prevention and epidemiology,” McCullough said. “Pre-clinical basic science is also very well represented. The ISC allows bench researchers to interact with clinicians and other translational researchers. These interactions often spark new collaborations and new scientific discoveries.”

The conference begins with four separate pre-conferences: The State of the Science Stroke Nursing Symposium, the returning Pre-Conference I and Pre-Conference II, which feature clinical and pre-clinical world-renowned speakers, Perez-Pinzon said, and the new Pre-Conference III. Pre-Conference II programming will be held again in conjunction with the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism.

As an understanding of stroke pathophysiology evolves from basic, clinical and translational science data, more therapies will no doubt follow, McCullough said. This evolution further strengthens the value ISC brings to the profession.

“We anticipate the presentation of several late-clinical trials, including the results of one of the first neuroprotective strategies combined with endovascular therapy,” McCullough said. “This year, we have added two new tracks, one specifically examining endovascular therapies, and a second focusing on overall brain health across the lifespan.”

During the conference, the focus of basic science sessions will cover vascular biology in health and disease, basic and pre-clinical neuroscience of stroke recovery, and experimental mechanisms and models. Presenters will delve deeper into specialized topics related to pediatric stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, nursing, preventive strategies, vascular cognitive impairment, aneurysms, subarachnoid hemorrhage, neurocritical care, vascular malformations and ongoing clinical trials.

“ISC programming is very relevant to practicing clinicians,” McCullough said. “New trials and new approaches to prevent and treat stroke are highlighted throughout the program. This ensures that new findings are rapidly translated into clinical practice and provides attendees with new findings that are immediately applicable upon returning home from the conference.”

Sessions and symposia are geared to a wide range of career professionals and investigators spanning the fields of cerebrovascular function and disease. As an international conference, many symposia are a joint venture between the ISC and other international or governmental institutions. Joint sessions involve collaboration with the Japan Stroke Society, the African Academy of Neurology, the World Health Organization, the World Stroke Organization, the American Academy of Neurology, the Neurocritical Care Society, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and others, Perez-Pinzon said.

The conference plenary will hail several milestone anniversaries, including the 25th anniversary of the approval of intravenous tPA, a groundbreaking change in the way we treat acute ischemic stroke patients, the fifth anniversary of the positive trials leading to changes in the standard of care for the use of endovascular therapies for acute stroke, and the 50th anniversary of the profession’s landmark journal, Stroke.

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