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Publication date: Wednesday 16 October 2018

The European Stroke Organisation Conference (ESOC) 2018 is currently happening between 16-18 May in Gothenburg, Sweden.

ESOC is being attended by over 4,400 delegates this year.  The conference facilitates learning, discussion, and exchange among European and international stroke specialists and is guided by the motto “The Voice of Stroke in Europe." Delegates learn about the latest clinical trials and developments in all areas of stroke management, treatment and prevention.  

The first day of ESOC included some truly inspiring scientific sessions, such as the WAKE-UP, RIGHT-2 and CROMIS-2 trials.

To find out more about these studies visit our news pages:

  • WAKE-UP suggests that thousands of people who wake up with a stroke each year in the UK could now benefit from life-changing thrombolysis treatment.
  • CROMIS-2 investigated signs of very small brain bleeds (cerebral microbleeds) on routine brain scans. It suggested that their increased presence in ischaemic (clot-type) stroke patients with an irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation), and on anticoagulant ‘blood thinning’ drugs, was associated with an increased risk of a bigger bleed in the brain (intracerebral haemorrhage).
  • TICH-2: Tranexamic acid (TXA) is a drug that is commonly used to treat blood loss from major trauma and bleeding after childbirth. It reduced the number of deaths, bleeding in the brain and serious complications in the early days following a stroke from a bleed in the brain (intracerebral haemorrhage). However, there was no difference in the number of people who were left disabled or had died at three months after their stroke.

Professor Rustam Al-Shahi Salman, University of Edinburgh, was awarded the conference's ESO Scientific Excellence Award 2018. We're delighted to say that Professor Al-Shahi Salman was also presented with a Stroke Association Priority Programme Award for his research at our Keynote Lecture event earlier this month.

Further research highlights from the day:

EXTRAS assessed the clinical and cost-effectiveness of an 'Extended Stroke Rehabilitation Service', which was provided for 18 months to 285 patients and 103 carers, and compared with a ‘control group’ of 288 patients and 91 carers. The Extended Stroke Rehabilitation Service did not improve stroke survivors' participation in extended activities of daily living, nor did it lead to improved patient mood. However, differences were seen in favour of the intervention in terms of satisfaction with services.                                               

Watch the interview with Professor Helen Rodgers, Newcastle University, UK.

POINT: treatment with a clopidogrel-aspirin drug combination soon after a minor stroke or TIA reduced the risk of an ischaemic (clot-type) stroke, heart attack and death in these patients, at the cost of a smaller increase in the risk of major brain bleed (haemorrhage), compared to aspirin.

Watch the video interview with Professor Clay Johnston, University of Austin, Texas, USA.

DATAS-II: In this study of treating acute stroke with novel anticoagulant drugs (NOACS), compared to aspirin, there was no significant increase in the risk of symptomatic bleeding in the brain (haemorrhage), which suggests that this new treatment approach to prevent early recurrent ischaemic (clot-type) stroke should be tested in large trials.

Watch the interview with Dr Ken Butcher, University of Alberta, Canada.

NAVIGATE-ESUS: Treatment with the anticoagulant drug ‘rivaroxaban’ in patients with embolic strokes (which travel to the brain from elsewhere in the body), and of unknown source, showed no reduction in recurrent stroke compared with aspirin, but major bleeding was increased.

Watch the interview with Professor Robert Hart, McMaster University, Canada.