SCIENTIFIC MEETINGS. In May more than 4,000 delegates will gather at the Swedish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Gothenburg for the 4th European Stroke Organisation Conference. Stroke Centre West is behind the successful efforts to attract the conference here.
The conference takes place May 16-18 at the Swedish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Gothenburg. Until March 13 you can register at a reduced registration fee.
The fact that the conference is being held in Gothenburg highlights the fact that western Sweden has cutting edge stroke research. Work of the local organizing committee is headed by Professor Turgut Tatlisumak, a world leader in stroke research who was recruited by Sahlgrenska Academy from Helsinki nearly three years ago. Stroke Centre West, a meeting place for stroke researchers in Region Västra Götaland, was a driving force in efforts to attract the conference here.
“We’ve worked hard to attract the conference in competition with Copenhagen, among others,” says Lars Rosengren, director of Stroke Centre West and adjunct professor at Sahlgrenska Academy. “Naturally, it’s very gratifying that it worked out. There are not many cities that can host such large conferences in Europe.”
This is the fourth time that the European Stroke Organisation has arranged the conference, which is expected to attract more than 4,000 participants to Gothenburg. The conference is interdisciplinary and is oriented toward not only doctors specializing in areas such as neurology, internal medicine, geriatrics, neurorehabilitation, neurosurgery and radiology, but also to a wide range of other professionals including nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and neuropsychologists.
“Stroke is caused by changes in the heart or vessels that afflict the brain,” says Christina Jern, chair of Stroke Centre West and professor of neurology focusing on vascular diseases and vascular genetics. “The disease can give rise to a wide range of impairments, which require cooperation among many different professions. Increasing interaction among researchers in different disciplines is the driving aim of Stroke Centre West.”
At the Sahlgrenska Academy stroke research extends across virtually all institutes.
Bringing together experts from all over the world
The three day conference will bring together stroke experts from Europe and other continents to discuss and learn from each other. Several researchers from the Sahlgrenska Academy will give lectures, including Annika Rosengren, Pia Löwhagen Hendén, Hanna Persson, Annie Pedersen, Erik Lindgren, Amanda Niklasson, Lena Rafsten, Helena Selander and Ann Blomstrand. In addition, Erik Lindgren will be awarded the “young investigator award.” Participants will also gain insight into results from the latest clinical trials.
“Fortunately, several major treatment breakthroughs have been made in stroke research in recent years, especially regarding thrombectomy,” says Christina Jern. “These treatments have been shown to effectively reduce both mortality and severe impairments as a result of stroke. I’m personally looking forward a great deal to hearing more about this at the conference.”
Thrombectomy is a way to remove a thrombus (blood clot) from a blood vessel supplying the brain using a catheter that is introduced through an artery in the groin.
Running against stroke
The local organizing committee, to which both Christina Jern and Lars Rosengren belong, is also arranging several ancillary activities. Among other things, stroke researchers from other countries will lecture in schools in Gothenburg. Professor emeritus Christian Blomstrand, who chairs Stroke Invest will lead a seminar on stroke for the public in the university’s auditorium in Vasaparken, where several researchers from Sahlgrenska Academy will participate. There are also lectures on physical activity and stroke in collaboration with Mats Börjesson, who is a professor in sports physiology.
With participants of the conference in mind, the organizing committee has taken note of the fact that the world’s biggest half-marathon, the Göteborgsvarvet, takes place immediately after the conference:
“We’ve arranged an opportunity for conference participants to run Göteborgsvarvet under the slogan ’Run FAST against stroke,’ which is a really neat idea that we hope will attract attention,” says Lars Rosengren.
TEXT: ELIN LINDSTRÖM CLAESSEN