Statement from Dr. Brian H. Rowe: Stroke Awareness Month

June 2017

June marks Stroke Awareness Month. As one of the leading causes of death, disability and illness in Canada, 10,000 Canadians die from a stroke each year, and over 740,000 Canadian adults live with its effects afterwards.

CIHR-ICRH is committed to supporting Canadian researchers who work tirelessly to understand the underlying mechanisms, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of strokes. Their work saves lives and improves the quality of life of individuals who have suffered one.

Canada’s leading multidisciplinary stroke researchers are part of CIHR-ICRH funded groups, such as Canadian Stroke Prevention Intervention Network (C-SPIN) and the Canadian Stroke Trials for Optimized Results (CaSTOR). Dr. Michael Hill, a member of C-SPIN and lead researcher of the CaSTOR team, pioneered the development of a new treatment for embolic strokes called thrombectomy. This treatment helps radiologists insert a catheter into an artery near the groin of a patient and move it up through a blood clot in the brain, so that the clot can be removed and blood flow to the affected area can be restored. As a result, thrombectomy has reduced mortality among embolic stroke patients by approximately 50%.

It is also critical to acknowledge the efforts of our funding partners, such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and their contribution to supporting the advancement of stroke research. They provide support for those who have suffered strokes, and act as a reputable source of information for its prevention and treatment.

Through research, it has been determined that many of the risk factors for stroke are modifiable. For example, hypertension is one of the key risk factor for stroke. Our Institute works closely with Hypertension Canada to address this important condition and prevent future strokes. During this Stroke Awareness month, I encourage you and your family to consider the lifestyle changes that can be made to minimize your risk of having a stroke.

Dr. Brian H. Rowe
Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health

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