José G. Merino, MD, MPhil


June 18, 2013

In This Article

Stroke INS at the AAN Annual Meeting

The Integrated Neuroscience Sessions (INS) are among the most exciting sessions at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). At this year's meeting, held in San Diego, California, from March 16-23, Dr. Natalia Rost from the Massachusetts General Hospital and I organized the Acute Stroke INS. We invited 4 speakers to give us an overview of new concepts in stroke pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment and heard researchers give 10 poster and 5 platform presentations of new research findings. These abstracts were among the highest-scoring abstracts submitted to the meeting.

Invited Talks

The invited speakers focused on concepts that are challenging our understanding of acute stroke. Dr. Eng Lo, Professor of Neurology and Radiology at Harvard University, spoke about the pathophysiologic cascades in acute stroke and explained how many molecular processes lead to initial damage and subsequent repair and regeneration. He reminded us that we need to understand the nature and timing of these processes before we can develop effective neuroprotective treatments.

Dr. Steven Warach, Director of the Seton/University of Texas Southwestern Clinical Research Institute, explained how imaging has expanded our understanding of stroke and described recently completed and ongoing clinical trials that use multimodal imaging to identify patients who may benefit from acute therapies.

Dr. E. Clark Haley, Professor of Neurology and Neurological Surgery at the University of Virginia, spoke about clinical trial design and showed how methodological issues, such as the choice of outcome measures, can determine whether a trial is positive or negative.

In the final presentation, Dr. Mark Mehler, Professor of Neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, explained how the fields of epigenetics, cellular reprogramming, and tissue engineering are changing how we understand stroke, and he described their potential to lead to new treatments.