Saturday’s highlights from the Canadian Stroke Congress

Canada’s leading stroke experts meet in Quebec City today for the final day of the 2016 Stroke Congress. The unique and collaborative forum continues to highlight the latest research and best practices which will reduce the impact of stroke on Canadian families.

“The lectures, workshops, and research presented at this year’s Congress showcase the commitment to excellence and the collaboration within Canada’s world-class stroke community,” says Dr. Jeffrey Minuk, co-chair of the Canadian Stroke Congress. “We look forward to seeing their hard work come to life in our health system and have a real impact in people’s lives.”

Saturday Sept. 17 Conference Highlights:

Canadian Stroke Congress 2016’s top research breakthroughs: Highlights of this year’s top breakthroughs in Canadian stroke research will be presented today, including the Co-Chair Impact and Innovation Awards. (See the Congress program for full list)

Caring for caregivers: The 2016 Co-Chair Award for Impact Winner

A tremendous amount of research has gone into how to help survivors cope with stroke’s impact on their lives. But what about their families and caregivers? Family caregivers play one of the most important roles in the recovery and rehabilitation of stroke patients yet they can struggle in navigating this new role. Timing it Right Stroke Family Support Program addresses caregivers changing needs as people with stroke transition from acute care, through rehabilitation, and return to community living. (Jill Cameron, Toronto ON)

Putting stroke on ice: The 2016 Co-Chair Award for Innovation Winner
How does cooling the body help treat the brain? Research is still gaining insight into the benefits of therapeutic hypothermia in treating ischemic stroke and this study aims to better understand the treatment effectiveness and complications in hemorrhagic stroke. This “cool” therapy could help treat stroke. (Frederick Colbourne, Edmonton AB)

Stroke in the Young, Younger & Youngest: Stroke can happen at any age, including infants and children. It is important that the public know the stroke FAST warning signs and that healthcare professionals think of stroke early when determining a diagnosis and not lose valuable treatment time, even in children. The age where stroke starts to affect people is getting younger and this could potentially become a major health crisis. Canada’s stroke experts are leading the way in prevention and management of stroke in younger populations. In this presentation, stroke experts discuss the most common causes, recommended investigations and treatment approaches in children and young adults. (Tom Jeerakathil, Edmonton AB & Mahendra Moharir, Toronto ON)

Putting stroke prevention on the map: In a country as large and diverse as ours, new research finds that 90 per cent of all Canadians live within an hour’s drive of stroke prevention services. This study geo-mapped the access of patients who are a high-risk of stroke to prevention services. Unfortunately not all access is equal though, due to gaps such as geography, equipment availability, and hours of operation. While close to 90 per cent of Ontarians are within an hour of prevention services, only 70 per cent of those in Saskatchewan, 53.7 per cent of those in Newfoundland, and 39.3 per cent of those living in New Brunswick are within an hour drive. These maps will help identify the disparities in access and potential areas of need to help optimize stroke prevention service delivery and resource allocation planning across Canada. How can Canada address these gaps? Looking at the stroke prevention services criteria identified by this study, the Heart and Stroke Foundation will drive improvements and inform prevention services of the critically needed elements to close these gaps. (Patrice Lindsay, Toronto ON & Lauren Jewett, Calgary AB)

Life after stroke: Stroke experts look at some after-effects of stroke ─ depression, cognitive impairment, and sexuality ─ and how these challenges impact recovery and can, in fact, become more of an issue than the stroke itself. Information and resources to support the important role of healthcare providers in assessing and helping survivors work though these challenges are addressed in this presentation. (Michel Shamy, Ottawa ON & Leanne Casaubon, Toronto ON)

“Enhancements to this year’s program have resulted in increased participation, enthusiasm and greater networking opportunities,” says Dr. Patrice Lindsay, director of stroke for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. “Experts will return home to their labs and stroke clinical practices armed with new tools and knowledge that will improve the health of people in communities across Canada.”
She notes that more than half of Canadians have been directly touched by stroke. “There’s an urgent need to ease the burden for survivors and their families. Despite tremendous progress in prevention, treatment and recovery, strokes still occur once every nine minutes and are responsible for 13,000 deaths each year.”


  • 62,000 strokes occur in Canada each year – that is one stroke every nine minutes.
  • More than 400,000 Canadians are living with long-term disability from stroke.
  • In the next two decades, the number of people living with long-term stroke disability will increase by 80 per cent to 726,000.
  • Brain cells die at a rate of 1.9 million per minute after stroke.
  • Each year, more than 13,000 Canadians die from stroke.
  • Half of Canadians report having a close friend or family member who survived a stroke.
  • Stoke is a powerful predictor of dementia: Having a stroke more than doubles someone’s risk of developing dementia.

The Congress is being held in Quebec City from September 15 to 17, 2016. Follow us on Twitter @strokecongress, #CanadianStrokeCongress.


Statements and conclusions of study authors are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect Foundation or CSC policy or position. The Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Stroke Congress make no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability.

Co-hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Stroke Consortium, the Canadian Stroke Congress is a uniquely Canadian forum for experts to share the latest research findings, exchange ideas, and make the connections which will change the future of stroke. It brings together researchers, neurologists, nurses, rehabilitation specialists, policy makers, health system decision makers – and many others – in an unprecedented opportunity to improve the brain health of Canadians.

The Canadian Stroke Consortium (CSC) is the professional organization for stroke neurologists, leading continuing education, advocacy and research for health care professionals. The CSC has several membership categories allowing a broad spectrum of health care professionals to benefit from its educational programs, clinical research, and advocacy efforts.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s mission is to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery. A volunteer-based health charity, we strive to tangibly improve the health of every Canadian family, every day. Healthy lives free of heart disease and stroke. Together we will make it happen.

For media interviews, please contact:
Diane Hargrave
416-467-9954, ext. 104

After September 17, 2016, contact:
Jane-Diane Fraser
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (613) 691-4020
Cell from Sept 15-17: 613-406-3282