Seven Minutes in Stroke: Valeria Caso

The International Journal of Stroke has incredible author and reviewer support from stroke experts around the world. Over the years I've interviewed, met with, emailed, conversed and conferenced with so many amazing people who's career path and study interest are so interesting these wonderful stories must be shared! So we have started a new blog series entitled Seven Minutes in Stroke'.

Our first 'Seven Minutes in Stroke' series kicks off with the inspiring Valeria Caso, President elect of the European Stroke Organisation.

Seven minutes in stroke

1. What inspired you towards neuroscience?
My interest for neuroscience was sparked by a conference on Childhood Neuropsychiatry that I attended during my last year of high school; listening to the speaker, showing the developmental phases of the brain and its pathologies, I knew that this was my calling.

2. Why stroke?
During my 2nd year of Neurological specialization my Director sent me to Germany,  my home country, to learn how to set up what would be the future Perugia Stroke Unit. During those 6 months, my passion for stroke care began.

3. What have been the highs so far?
Well, the Perugia Stroke Unit was established in 1998, so over the last 17 years the satisfying moments have been many. We adopted the stroke pathways that resulted in one of the lowest mortality rates in Italy. We have seen great advances in treatment which have saved, undoubtedly, hundreds of lives, as well as reducing significantly disability.

4. What have been the lows?
Still, people have not gotten the message that when they have symptoms of stroke they need to get to the hospital. In fact, because of this we see unnecessary victims of stroke.

5. How do you balance work life with the needs of home life?
I am very lucky because my family members are very supportive, especially my well-chosen husband.

6. Who are your most important mentors and how did you find them?
The first and most important is my friend and colleague Maurizio Paciaroni who was the first person I met at Clinica Neurologica. Over the last twenty years, we have been working side by side building up the Stroke Unit and carrying out research. Our dedication has produced many accomplishments in the field of stroke. The remaining three mentors have been Didier Leys, Werner Hacke and Michael Brainin who have provided me with professional opportunities that were important steps in my career. I am grateful for their genuine support and their trust.  

7. What are your most important collaborations and how have you built them?
Currently, my most important collaborations include those with healthcare professionals interested in nurturing the field of Women’s Medicine. This is because, we share the understanding  that there are inherent  differences between the sexes regarding responses to treatment, time of disease and outcome.  Building these collaborations has been possible through mutual integrity and passion for the patients. 
Seven Minutes in Stroke: Valeria Caso Reviewed by Carmen Lahiff-Jenkins on Monday, January 18, 2016 Rating: 5

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