What's Hot at the 2015 AHA/ASA International Stroke Conference


Kyra Becker, MD, chair of the International Stroke Conference 2015 Program Committee, discusses several key topics of interest to watch for at this year's event.

The eyes of health care professionals who treat stroke patients will be on Nashville, TN, next week when the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association host the annual International Stroke Conference.

Kyra Becker, MD, chair of the conference program committee and a professor of neurology and neurological surgery at the Washington Medical Stroke Center at Harborview, said the event promises to provide significant information that will help those in attendance when they return to their practices.

“This is the premier stroke meeting,” she said. While there will be results from many clinical trials presented during the event, Becker said the focus of many will be on the usage of endovascular therapy. Topics will include ways to prevent stroke in patients with arterial dissection, the impact of a Mediterranean diet on stroke, and a look at the impact of general anesthesia for patients undergoing endovascular treatment.

“This is really going to be the year of endovascular therapy for stroke,” Becker added.

While there had been questions in the past about the benefits of the treatment, Becker said the results of these studies could cause momentum to shift back in favor of this option.

“There was a large group of people who believed it had to work,” she said. “They were very dogged and continued to pursue the idea.”

The results of these studies will also be heavily scrutinized by a group that Becker referred to as the “who’s who in stroke,” among the 5000 people scheduled to attend the conference. “You don’t get this high level of discussion anywhere else,” she said.

Whatever the results of the studies are, Becker said the impact could be felt in practices not long after the doctors leave Tennessee.

“I think the stroke community in general are pretty quick adaptors, so if the data do show that endovascular therapy works, I think it will be picked up pretty quick.”

Along with the endovascular therapy discussions and presentations, Becker said the organization accepted “more abstracts this year than we ever have in the past.”

Whether it is a doctor or nurse looking to learn about the latest treatment, or a practice manager looking to learn the newest tips and tricks, Becker said Nashville will provide them a wealth of information.

“If there’s an area that you really want to know about and be as informed as you want to be, you could find something that could suit your interests there.”

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