Midterm recruitment of the Zoom@SVDs study

Midterm recruitment of the Zoom@SVDs study

This text was was first published on www.svds-at-target.eu

In November 2018 the Zoom@SVDs study included the 60th participant, thereby reaching its milestone for midterm recruitment. The Zoom@SVDs study is an observational study that aims to advance our understanding of Small Vessel Disease, a condition in which the small blood vessels in the brain are damaged. We do this by zooming in on the small vessels with one of the strongest MRI scanners currently available for humans, located in the UMC Utrecht.

This study builds on a collaboration between the LMU in Munich (Germany) and the UMC Utrecht (Netherlands). In order to undergo a scan in the strong MRI in Utrecht, the 28 participants that were recruited so far in Munich travelled from all over Germany to Utrecht for an additional visit. Of course, the logistics of this study are very challenging, because flight tickets, train tickets and hotels have to be arranged as well. Also, all study information needed to be officially translated from Dutch to German and the researchers in Utrecht had to refresh their German language skills. However, these joined efforts have resulted in fast recruitment with happy participants and high-quality data.

Analyses of the first patient data have just started, of which we aim to publish the first results in the coming year. Of course, we will continue our recruitment and will continue to work in close collaboration. This study builds on our dedicated participants and good teamwork; thanks to all involved!

Researchers explore stroke’s effects on microbiome

Researchers explore stroke’s effects on microbiome

First published on ScienceDaily.com

Tumult in the bacterial community that occupies your gut — known as your microbiome — doesn’t just cause indigestion. For people recovering from a stroke, it may influence how they get better.

A recent study by Allison Brichacek and Candice Brown, researchers in the West Virginia University School of Medicine, suggests that stroke patients’ microbiomes — and even the structure of their guts — may still be out of kilter a month after the stroke has passed.

“We’re interested in the gut-brain axis — how the gut influences the brain and vice versa,” said Brichacek, a doctoral student in the immunology and microbial pathogenesis graduate program. She presented her findings at the International Stroke Conference in February.

Previous studies indicated the immediate effects a stroke can have on someone’s microbiome, but they didn’t explore whether these effects lingered. To find out, Brichacek, Brown and their colleagues — including Sophia Kenney, an undergraduate majoring in immunology and medical microbiology, and Stan Benkovic, a researcher in Brown’s lab — induced a stroke in animal models. Other models — the control group — didn’t have a stroke. The researchers compared the two groups’ microbiomes three days, 14 days and 28 days post-stroke. They also scrutinized their intestines for microscopic disparities.

Bacterial friend or foe?

One of the researchers’ discoveries was that a certain family of bacteria — Bifidobacteriaceae — was less prominent in post-stroke models than in healthy ones both 14 and 28 days out. If the name of the family sounds familiar, that’s probably because Bifidobacterium — a genus within the Bifidobacteriaceae family — is a common ingredient in yogurt and probiotics. These bacteria are known for supporting digestive health and may be associated with better outcomes in stroke patients.

Read the full article here.

#BrainLifeGoals: Brain Awareness Week 2019 starts now

#BrainLifeGoals: Brain Awareness Week 2019 starts now

Sharing #LifeGoals has become a popular trend on social media. A campaign from the European Federation of Neurological Associations [EFNA] and supported by many organisations across Europe will put a new spin on the trend by instead seeing patient advocates and supporters share their #BrainLifeGoals.
The #BrainLifeGoals campaign will raise awareness of the impact of neurological diseases by exploring the dreams and aspirations of those living with a brain disorder.

You can find out more about the campaign at www.efna.net/brainlifegoals and by following the #BrainLifeGoals hashtag on social media.

German Stroke Foundation celebrates 25th anniversary

German Stroke Foundation celebrates 25th anniversary

The German Stroke foundation started its work in January 1993. To celebrate the anniversary the foundation launched a new campaign: “I set a sign.” A newly designed website went online in October and the Integrated Care Project “STROKE OWL” enrolled the first patients.

Author: Ina Armbruster

 “I set a sign.”

A red stripe above the eyebrow represents the stroke. A sign that celebrities, stroke victims and supporters set to raise awareness and show their solidarity towards stroke-victims. The campaign “I set a sign” was launched in May 2018 at the “Rosenball”, a significant charity event for the German Stroke Foundation in Berlin. During this event many guests had their picture taken with a red stripe above their eyebrow and uploaded their “sign” on social media or the campaign-page www.schlaganfall.de.

The campaign was running on many different channels. The local billboard company supported the foundation by offering rent-free billboards for a couple of weeks which were set up all over Gütersloh, the hometown of the foundation. Thanks to the cooperation with the TV channels of the RTL Group more than 100 million viewers have seen the TV-spot “I set a sign” so far. The advertisement has been published in many magazines with an edition of 1,5 million in total. People who have set a sign were portrayed with their individual stories on facebook once a week. Up to a couple of hundred users liked or commented on these posts.

The foundation used the campaign to raise awareness of stroke – because everyone can have a stroke, regardless of age, gender or social background.

New website

The German Stoke Foundation launched their new website at the end of October (World Stroke Day). Thanks to the modern design, the information presented on the new website is now easier to find for stroke-patients and their relatives as well as for experts and supporters.

Additionally, the website is now accessible for mobile devices as well. In 2019 the website will be updated with more information. The foundation also plans to add further technical features. www.schlaganfall-hilfe.de

Project “STROKE OWL”

The project “STROKE OWL” started in 2017 and is financed by the German “innovation fund” with seven million euro. OWL stands for “Ostwestfalen-Lippe”, the region in Germany where the German Stroke Foundation is based. The foundation wants to prove that continuous case management is able to improve the situation of stroke-patients and reduce the risk of a second stroke.
About the project:

  • A specialised stroke case manager gets in touch with the patient at the stroke unit. The patient can take part in the program if he or she fulfils certain enrolement criteria. The case manager visits the patient during rehab and at home.
  • All case managers have experience with stroke patients. Most of them are nurses or therapists with further education in case management.
  • The case manager informs patients and their families about everything they need to know after having a stroke and gives them advise and support. The manager organises the treatment, helps filling out applications, and looks after the patient in general.
  • The manager supports the patient for one year. The foundation´s goal is to enrol 2000 patients in the program.

By proving the advantages of a case management not only for the patients but also for the health care system in general the German Stroke foundation wants to support the establishment of stroke case management, which in the end is payed by the insurance companies.

Looking forward to 2019

The German Stroke foundation is looking forward to 2019. Some of the events and projects the team is planning:

– seminar for parents of children who had a stroke
– implementing a second case manager in Germany for children who had a stroke and their families
– continuing the project “STROKE OWL”
– raising attention to the topic with a campaign for the “Day against stroke” in May (with a focus on “The invisible consequences of stroke”, e.g. concentration-problems, emotional imbalance or neglect)
– 4-day workshop for young stroke patients between 18 and 50

and much more…


World Stroke Organization published the Global Stroke Fact Sheet

World Stroke Organization published the Global Stroke Fact Sheet

This news first appeared in the WSO Newsletter

The World Stroke Organization is proud to share its most recent and much expected publication: the Global Stroke Fact Sheet. 

The 10-page document overviews the best available scientific evidence to provide reliable and up to date data on stroke and its impact around the world. Using reliable and consistent stroke data to support stroke advocacy helps to build awareness of the scale of the disease and supports the call for urgent action at global, regional and national levels.

The values in the document have all been extracted from the most current Global Burden of Disease Stroke Statistics Worldwide for the year 2016. The present document and all its subsequent revisions are reviewed and approved by the WSO leadership.

We hope that Global Stroke Fact Sheet will be a valuable resource and a useful point of reference in your work, practice, and research.

We invite you to share the document with your colleagues, students and partners. Thank you for your continuous support for the work of WSO.

You can access and download the Global Stroke Fact Sheet here

For more information please visit WSO website.