The Next Wave of Stroke Care Beyond the Acute Phase: Matthew Schrag, MD, PhD


The associate professor of neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center discussed exploring promising opportunities in other phases outside of the acute phase of ischemic stroke. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

“I think we've seen massive developments in the acute phase of treating ischemic stroke and I think we're getting to this stage where we're probably beginning to maximize what can be done there. There's certainly room, I think, for continued improvement but the huge gains we've seen are going to be hard to replicate in that phase of care. I think looking hard at the next stage as in the recovery phases after stroke, early and long-term, are going to have huge opportunities there.”

American Heart Month, held February 2024, is an event dedicated to raising awareness about heart health and cardiovascular diseases in the United States. During this time, various stakeholders in the medical and patient community promote healthy lifestyles, preventive measures, and provide education about the risks and signs of heart-related diseases. The initiative aims to empower patients to maintain healthy habits and reduce their risk of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, which is a leading cause of permanent disability not only in the United States but worldwide.1

According to a previous review published in Critical Care Medicine, recent advancements in stroke management research highlight the importance of early recognition and emergency interventional treatment to reduce stroke-related morbidity and mortality.2 Researchers recommend a multidisciplinary approach in managing stroke that starts and extends beyond admission at the hospital. The recovery process of ischemic stroke for patients has different phases from early on when the stroke occurs to the longer-term when the patient may have recovered more from rehabilitation. Although there’s been progress made in the acute phase of ischemic stroke, there may be potential in exploring other phases of the recovery of this heart disease.

At the 2023 International Congress on the Future of Neurology (IFN) annual meeting, held September 22-23, in Jersey City, New Jersey, Matthew Schrag, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, presented talk about progress in ischemic stroke prevention and recent advancements in poststroke care. Schrag sat down in an interview with NeurologyLive® at the meeting to discuss how the successes in the acute phase of ischemic stroke treatment can be leveraged to enhance recovery and rehabilitation strategies in other phases. He talked about the key challenges and potential breakthroughs in developing techniques for stroke care that extend beyond traditional medical interventions. Schrag also spoke about how academic neurologists can effectively communicate their genuine optimism surrounding potential stroke treatments to patients.

Click here for more coverage on IFN 2023.

1. Chugh C. Acute Ischemic Stroke: Management Approach. Indian J Crit Care Med. 2019;23(Suppl 2):S140-S146. doi:10.5005/jp-journals-10071-23192
2. Herpich F, Rincon F. Management of Acute Ischemic Stroke. Crit Care Med. 2020;48(11):1654-1663. doi:10.1097/CCM.0000000000004597
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