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The best in stroke science is waiting for you

Find out why the world’s experts in cerebrovascular disease and brain health return year after year to the International Stroke Conference. From researchers to rehab specialists, physicians to paramedics, there’s something for everyone who works with the science of the brain. Plan to attend the International Stroke Conference 2020, Feb. 19-21 in Los Angeles. Register now.

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.

Learn more and register now at strokeconference.org.

One-day symposium dedicated to rapidly changing acute stroke care

A day-long pre-conference symposium at the International Stroke Conference 2020 will celebrate advances in acute stroke management while looking to the future for cutting-edge applications across a broad spectrum of care. An expert panel of clinicians will delve into every facet of the rapidly evolving field of acute stroke management, including triage, thrombolysis and thrombectomy during the Feb. 18 symposium “Stroke in the Real World: A Star is Born: Thrombolysis and Thrombectomy.”

Acknowledging past achievements in stroke care will lead the discussion, according to Mollie McDermott, MD, MS, of the University of Michigan and pre-conference co-chair, particularly as the specialty marks the 25th anniversary of the advent of IV tPA and the fifth anniversary of mechanical thrombectomy for acute ischemic stroke. Speakers will spotlight “real world” issues in acute stroke treatment, including exciting advances in the use of tenecteplase, extended-window thrombolysis and thrombectomy as well as the role of mobile stroke units, she said.

“With new acute stroke diagnostics and treatments emerging seemingly yearly, acute stroke diagnosis and treatment is becoming more and more complex. Long gone are the days when a non-contrast head CT and IV tPA within three hours were the mainstays of acute stroke care,” McDermott said. “In this symposium, we will look at the history of acute stroke care, and we will provide a forward-looking update on the exciting, rapidly evolving field of acute stroke management.”

In the short term, the future of acute stroke management will include ever-more precise and user-friendly tools to help providers determine who will benefit from acute stroke therapies, McDermott said. Acute stroke therapy options are expected to expand with new thrombolytic agents and fourth-generation thrombectomy devices. In the long term, less invasive therapeutic techniques such as cerebral hypothermia and directed sonothrombolysis may prove effective, McDermott said.

“Given how rapidly our field is progressing, valuable diagnostics and therapies we can’t even imagine now are almost certainly on the horizon,” she said.

Among the topics to be addressed at the symposium are the history and future of telestroke. This videoconferencing technology to guide acute stroke treatment for patients in remote (“spoke”) sites enables a stroke-trained physician (at a “hub”) to assist a local emergency medicine (or in-patient) physician with acute stroke decision-making for his or her patient. In a telestroke consult, a stroke-trained physician interviews and examines the stroke patient over video and reviews his or her medical imaging. The stroke physician makes recommendations about appropriate stroke work-up and treatment.

Stroke outcomes are far better when stroke patients can be treated quickly, and one of the major goals of telestroke programs is to allow patients to be treated promptly at their local hospital without having to be transferred, potentially delaying care. Similarly, telestroke is cost-effective from a societal perspective in that it can lead to prompt stroke treatment and obviate the need for ground and air transportation of stroke patients to larger centers.

“There is a lack of stroke expertise in many emergency rooms, especially those in more rural settings. The standard of care for acute stroke is rapidly changing, and local emergency medicine physicians may understandably not be able to keep up with the evolving guidelines and recommendations,” McDermott said. “In addition, one of the positive consequences of telestroke care is the ability to keep stroke patients in their home communities where their support systems are.”

The Pre-Conference Symposium will cover a number of other stroke management issues, including endovascular reperfusion, the pros and cons of mobile stroke units, deciding whether to “drip and ship” or use direct center routing, and even how to read a CTA. The session will provide ample opportunities for questions and answers, case studies and audience response.

According to the symposium’s other co-chair Ted Wein, MD, FRCPC, FAHA, of McGill University in Quebec, the one-day emphasis on acute stroke management will provide health care providers with a new comfort level in treating patients.

“The treatment of stroke is evolving at a rapid pace. The ISC pre-conference will challenge clinicians and academics to test their knowledge on the ever-evolving treatment of acute ischemic stroke,” Wein said. “As time windows for acute stroke intervention are rapidly changing, there is a need to provide a forum to update physicians on the latest modalities available for acute stroke therapy.”

Learn more and register now at strokeconference.org.