Advances in stroke research provide guidance not only on what care should be provided but also which practices should be discontinued. That's the consensus of more than 100 international experts who gathered recently to review the last four decades of stroke research and to mark the 40th anniversary of Stroke, the journal published by the American Heart Association.
Participants reviewed research findings on stroke to devise and prioritize ways of accelerating progress in reducing the risks, effects and consequences of this preventable cerebrovascular event. The results of their effort were published in a comprehensive, 15-page summary including a wide range of recommendations for future research directions. They concluded that to speed progress "advances can be made not only by doing, but ceasing to do. Significant savings in time, money and effort could result from discontinuing practices driven by unsubstantiated opinion, unproven approaches and financial gain."
No longer a disease of affluence, stroke is on the rise globally. Most developing countries do not have national stroke strategies and people in low- to middle-income countries (LMICs) often can't afford or don't have access to effective drugs. Developing nations could benefit from global collaborations focused on chronic diseases, the researchers suggest. Most stroke research so far has been conducted in North America, western Europe and Japan.
Stroke: Working toward a prioritized world agenda. Hachinski V, Donnan GA, Gorelick PB and others. Stroke: the Journal of the American Heart Association, June 1, 2010; 41(6), 1084-1099.