Teleconsultations in times of crisis: Rehabilitation for recently discharged stroke patients in Italy

Teleconsultations in times of crisis: Rehabilitation for recently discharged stroke patients in Italy

SIMFER – Italian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine has activated a teleconsultation service aimed at recently discharged stroke patients and their families who should continue rehabilitation treatments.

A.L.I.Ce OdV (Italian Stroke Association) spreads this new important free remote support and consultancy service offered by SIMFER Italian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine.

In consideration of the difficulties that many patients find in accessing physiatric visits and rehabilitation treatments, due to the limitations imposed by the current situation, SIMFER has activated (in Italy) in collaboration with A.L.I.Ce Ferrara odv a telemedicine-rehabilitation service, a sort of “virtual clinic”, made available in totally free form, which makes use of a selected group of physiatrists, able to offer indications and information support relating to the needs of people with disabling conditions of different origin.

The patient or caregiver who needs it, can write an email to SIMFER ITALY  and will be contacted as soon as possible to carry out a teleconsultation with one of the SIMFER volunteer doctors.

For any additional information please visit

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

#BrainLifeGoals Project Grants 2020 by EFNA

#BrainLifeGoals Project Grants 2020 by EFNA

In 2020, within the framework of the #BrainLifeGoals campaign, the European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA) will again provide grants to support work in one of their focus areas. This year the focus will be on:

Ensuring Equitable Access to Treatment, Services and Support for Neurology Patients and their Carers.

Donna Walsh, EFNA Executive Director, explained “Access to treatment is one of the central #BrainLifeGoals of many neurology patients, and we want to help make that a reality across Europe! Therefore, EFNA will provide up to 10 grants of €3,000 each to selected organisations.”

The closing date for applications is May 1st.

Find out about eligibility and requirements here:



Stroke and dementia rank among the most pressing health issues in Europe. Cerebral small vessel diseases (SVDs) have emerged as a central link between these two major co-morbidities. SVDs account for more than 30% of strokes and at least 40% of dementia cases. They encounter multiple distinct diseases that can be separated based on their underlying genetic defects, risk factors, and clinical presentations. Despite this profound impact on human health, there are no treatments with proven efficacy against SVDs. The network “Small vessel diseases in a mechanistic perspective: Targets for Intervention in Stroke and Dementia(SVDs@target)” brings together top scientists with a wide range of complementary expertise. We spoke with Danielle Kerkhofs, PhD candidate from the Maastricht University about this project and the latest developments.

SAFE: If you were to explain the project’s aim to a person without any medical background, what would you say?
DK: The SVDs@target project aims to elucidate underlying mechanisms of cerebral Small Vessel Disease (cSVD) and discover new treatment options for this disease.  CSVD is an umbrella term used for different pathologies affecting the smallest vessels in the brain. It contributes to a quarter of all strokes and almost 45% of all dementia’s. With revealing the underlying mechanisms of the disease we hope to create possibilities to develop new treatments specific for CSVD.

SAFE: What types of partner do you need to carry out a project like this?
DK: The partners that we need for this project should have both clinical as pre-clinical research experience. To further reveal the underlying mechanism of the disease we need to start at a basic level, followed by clinical studies in patients. I think this balance between the pre-clinical and clinical research is one of the strengths of this project.

SAFE: Can you briefly describe your role in the project?
DK: I am working as a PhD student on this project at Maastricht University, participating both in pre-clinical as clinical studies. Our main research topic in Maastricht is to investigate the specific role of inflammation, and more specific different immune cell populations, in the development of cSVD. Further I participate in the clinical studies Investigate@SVDs and TREAT-SVDs.

SAFE: What personally attracted you to be in this project?
DK: What I really like in this project is the internationally collaboration between the different research groups and the focus on both preclinical as clinical work.

SAFE: When this project ends, what do you expect to change, i.e. how it will reflect on stroke treatment?
DK: This project will give us more insight in the mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of cSVD. The acquired knowledge will hopefully make the next step possible were we can investigate more specific treatments that can reduce progression of the disease. Further this new knowledge can also provide us new chances for earlier detection of the disease.

SVDs@Target has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 666881.

ESO: Stroke Care During COVID-19 Pandemic

ESO: Stroke Care During COVID-19 Pandemic

In the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic, several European physicians have reported a reallocation of stroke resources and reduction of hospital staff due to quarantine or infection. Francesco Corea, FESO, Chair of the ESO Social Media Committee and Marialuisa Zedde, Chair of the ESO PR Committee, each took some time to record their experiences and observations in Italy, one of the first and hardest hit European countries thus far.

“While the price in terms of victims for COVID19 increases there can be further dramatic repercussions for many other diseases and clinical fields. The toll could be very high. My personal point of view, the Italian health care system suffers the shock of corona virus pandemic. From the news that I have available, several stroke units of large hospitals have been reorganized, moved or even closed to meet the need to assist hundreds of patients with serious infectious and respiratory problems” says Francesco Corea, Ospedale San Giovanni Battista Foligno, Italy. Read the full text here.

“Some practical considerations on how the organization of our daily work has already changed and is still changing in taking care of patients with acute stroke. My point of observation comes from a hospital earlier and more directly involved in the ongoing emergency, being close to Lombardy region. Anyway, it is only a personal view but I hope these experiences and reflections may be useful for other colleagues in different countries” said Marialuisa Zedde, Reggio Emilia Hospital, Italy. You can read her full text here

We recommend you keep an eye on ESO blog about the Covid19 crisis to stay up to date with the latest developments.

Featured image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The ESO-WSO Conference is Postponed to 6-9 November 2020

The ESO-WSO Conference is Postponed to 6-9 November 2020

by ESO | 12.3.2020 | ESO |

Due to the latest developments regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, and in an effort to prevent spreading the virus and for the sake of event participants, the European Stroke Organisation together with the World Stroke Organization, have decided to postpone the ESO-WSO 2020 Conference, scheduled to take place in Vienna from 12-15 May 2020.

The new dates for ESO-WSO 2020 are 6-9 November. Answers to FAQ related to this postponement can be found on the conference website.

The conference will take place at the same venue, Austria Center Vienna and current registrations will be transferred to the new Conference dates.
In the coming weeks we will be updating the website with new registration deadlines, new programme scheduling and additional information.

Image by ESO.