What’s Happening Here At The International Stroke Conference in Hawaii?

Getting to Hawaii was quite the event! I underestimated the flight and how I would feel with such time zone changes. However, the International Stroke Conference 2019 (#ISC19) was worth all the efforts. The meeting objectives were sufficiently described in the program book and my previous blog. As promised, there were sessions to equip scientists and clinicians with tools in diagnosis, treatment, prevention, management, and rehabilitation of cerebrovascular disease as well as nursing. The sessions that I was able to partake in were the following:

  1. Clinical Rehabilitation and Recovery Oral – I spent the first part of the morning here learning about the biomarkers to improve stroke rehabilitation covered in the clinical trial data and predictors of post stroke depression using qualitative data in patient after ischemic stroke. Although these presentations were informative, I had my eye set on other topics as well, so I had to leave the session a tad early.
  2. Medical therapy for Symptomatic Carotid Stenosis: Time for Modern Data – Seemant Chaturvedi, MD shared his research on ‘Genetic Guidance for Antiplatelet Therapy’ followed by Brian Hoh, MD discussing the answers he found to the question ‘Do HTN Targets Matter?’ Studies presented here show there is a link between hypertension and changes in white matter in the brain that affect cognitive functions. Dr. Bath expounded on his recent article in Stroke (2018) sharing mechanisms of how this damage could potentially occur.
  3. Looking into the Brain Through the Eye: Re-examining the Retina as a Surrogate Marker for Cognitive Disorders – There is growing evidence that the dental and optical examinations can be a window into health. I previously blogged about the bacteria found in the mouth is also identified in atherosclerotic plaques. In this session, clinicians/scientist looked at the retina as a window to the brain and subsequently health. These sessions suggested the retina can assist in the post-mortem prediction of Alzheimer’s disease and stroke based on the linear relationship between number of plaques in the retina and the brain. Current research tools are extremely invasive thus predictions are not feasible in living patients. The tools described here included Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT, not to be confused with over-the-counter) as a diagnostic tool, adding to repertoire of skills to increase the ability to interpret cognitive impairment.

I am looking forward to the information presented on tomorrow. I will give more insights into what I think is the highlights of the meet in my next blog. Keep following me on Twitter @AnberithaT and be sure to ask any question that may be answered during the ISC19 or after.