Stroke Conference Helps Translate Scientific Discoveries to Patient Care

Stroke Conference attendees

More than 100 physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses and scientists gathered to learn the latest on stroke recovery and rehabilitation during an educational conference on March 23, 2018 at the University of Missouri School of Medicine.

This event, the second in a series of stroke care conferences sponsored by The Mizzou Advantage Initiative: One Health/One Medicine, was organized by a multi-disciplinary committee made up of stroke experts from the MU School of Medicine, the School of Health Professions and the Sinclair School of Nursing.

“Conferences like this one help us translate scientific discoveries to patient care,” said Timothy Wolf, OTD, PhD, associate professor and chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Missouri’s School of Health Professions and conference co-chair. “It is important to understand what types of research others are doing so that we can continue to make advancements in the science of stroke care, and use those breakthroughs to improve how we care for patients. It also helps us focus future research by asking the right questions.”

Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in developed world. Given the higher prevalence of stroke in the elderly, the burden of stroke is likely to increase as our population ages. As stroke mortality decreases in parallel with advances in acute stroke care, it is also expected that more patients will survive over the next decades. This is an issue of considerable impact for the U.S. health care system. About 7 million patients are suffering from stroke, with about 800,000 joining this group every year. Missouri is hit particularly hard, ranking fourth among states in per-capita stroke prevalence.

“When a patient is recovering from stroke, it takes a whole team of health care professionals to guide that process,” said Carmen M. Cirstea, MD, PhD, assistant research professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the MU School of Medicine and conference co-chair. “Therefore, we invited leading experts from many fields of stroke care to discuss current high quality research evidence and recent innovations, such as non-invasive brain stimulation, robotics, in stroke recovery and rehabilitation.”