Thursday, May 7, 2020

Epidemiologic profiling for stroke in Nepal: Endeavour towards establishing database

Resha Shrestha @avi_neuro., MS1, Avinash Chandra, MD1, Samir Acharya, MS1, Pranaya Shrestha, MS1, Pravesh Rajbhandari, MS1, Reema Rajbhandari, MD1, Sharad Gajuryal, MBBS1, Basant Pant, MD, Ph D1
*1 Department of Neurosciences, Annapurna Neurological Institute and Allied Sciences, Maitighar Kathmandu, Nepal 
Stroke is the second most common cause of death and disability worldwide. The burden of stroke is increasing in an exponential manner in low-income countries like Nepal. Despite this fact, the data of actual stroke patients in Nepal is very scarce. 
To collect and form a common and robust database online and to call the global community to in this regard.
An electronic medical health record (MHR) was formed. Each patient at admission was assigned a unique identifier number in which all the information including diagnosis was stored which could be retrieved at the desired time. 
This prospective study was carried from 2016 January through 2018 May. More than 500 patients were identified as stroke of both types (total admitted patients 3942). Majority was (63%) were identified as ischemic stroke. Hypertension was present in 87.1% in hemorrhagic and 59.3% in ischemic stroke. Risk factors like smoking and alcohol were moderately prevalent (27 % smoking and alcohol consumption in ischemic and 30.9% smoking and 36.1% alcohol consumption in hemorrhagic population). Poor outcome was associated with presence of diabetes (OR: 1.31, 95% CI: 0.52-3.33, male sex (OR=1.53, 95% CI: 0.70-3.33). 
This epidemiologic study is established on a proper electronic database with majority of information stored and secured with good safety and privacy rules and is the first time ever done in Nepal. Common database on the global basis is necessary for stroke or cerebrovascular disorder.
Stroke is rising in number as witnessed in several parts of the world especially in Asian countries. (1) However, there is lack of many epidemiologic studies representing a larger population. (2) Similarly, there has been paucity of any kind of researches on the risk factor analysis for stroke. Although CDE of National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) was developed as a part of the project in standardizing data in research,(3) there has been no uniformity in data in stroke research performed in Nepal and other many low-income countries. The reason for this is the lack of common stroke database. There has either been small single institutional study done or the case series that are not enough to depict the nationwide situation. As a result, there is also some level of uncertainty to the best approach for post stroke care including medical management, rehabilitation, or prevention of other complication in stroke sufferers. The low-income countries follow the guideline of management as published by the research done in the high-income countries which is unpragmatic to some extents. (4) In the last four decades, stroke incidence in low-income countries have more than doubled while it has declined to half in high in high-income countries.(5)
Materials and Methods
In this study we have tried to analyze the different (traditional) risk factors among the patients with the diagnosis of stroke and put effort into establishing a common and uniform stroke database which can become a helpful resource for analyzing different risk factors, role of ethnic difference on stroke on a global basis. The cases and information was collected from the database that we established in our center. The study was prospectively carried in our institution and the study time period was from 2016 January through 2018 May. Stroke (hemorrhagic or ischemic type) was identified on the imaging basis (CT or MRI) and subsequently admitted at our center (a center dedicated for neurological care). The history and other details were obtained through the interview with the patients and their family members as well as the medical documents (if they had). Common elements for risk factors (modifiable and non modifiable) that were included in this study were: Sex, Age, Hypertension, Diabetes, Smoking, Alcohol consumption. Unpaired t-test, χ2 test and multiple logistic regression were used to analyze associations between risk factors and outcome.  
From total hospital admission (3942 patients) through this one and half years, nearly 531 (13.5%) patients were identified as stroke based on stroke imaging and clinical criteria. Patients were grouped into ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke 63% and 37% respectively.  Age varied between 15 years till 95 years old but the mean (both type) age was 63.3 years old.  Male preponderance was seen in both types of strokes (male 66.5%, female 33.8% in ischemic stroke and male 67.5%, female 32.55% in hemorrhagic stroke). Hypertension was seen to inclined more towards hemorrhagic stroke (87.1% in hemorrhagic and 59.3% in ischemic) while diabetes was seen to be inclined more towards ischemic stroke (16.5% in hemorrhagic and 24.9% in ischemic). Other factors like smoking and alcohol were moderately prevalent in our stroke population (27 % smoking and alcohol consumption in ischemic and 30.9% smoking and 36.1% alcohol consumption in hemorrhagic population). Risk factors were investigated, and primary outcomes were defined as mortality and morbidity measured via the Modified Rankin score (mRS). mRS of >3 was categorized as poor outcome. Poor outcome in hemorrhagic stroke was found to be associated with diabetes (OR: 1.86, 95% CI: 0.91-3.90) and alcohol consumption (OR: 1.62, 95% CI: 0.60-4.40). In patients with ischemic stroke, poor outcome was associated with presence of diabetes (OR: 1.31, 95% CI: 0.52-3.33, male sex (OR=1.53, 95% CI: 0.70-3.33), hypertension (OR=1.4795% CI: 0.65-3.38) and alcohol consumption (OR=1.56, 95% CI: 0.60-4.0) but none were significant. When all stroke cases were combined (ischemic and hemorrhagic), diabetes patients were significantly more than twice as likely to have a poor outcome (OR: 2.206, 95% CI: 1.24-3.90, p=0.006). There were few noticeable points from this research. 
Discussion and Conclusion
There is always a limited information available on stroke care in LMICs. Although it was a small study, we received numbers (>500) of stroke patients within short duration which depict the dreadful situation of stroke in Nepal. Unfortunately, the robust record keeping system in Nepal is not yet practiced in any systematic way and as a result, the nation-wide epidemiologic study of stroke has not yet been possible and we still do not know the exact number of stroke patients. The weakness of our study was that it was a small centered study, and the NIHS score was not available for each patient. We hope the findings of the risk factors and their association with stroke in this study will help garner the attention of the global scientific community to sit together and make a common stroke database where the data of low-income countries can also be kept. The analysis of such study can help health policy makers to bring or modify their future policy on public health basis. The uniformity in data collection and establishing a common database on the global basis will help the further research in future. 

Statement of Ethics
An informed consent was taken for each patient and the study protocol was approved by the Institution’s review committee.
Disclosure Statement
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
Funding Sources
This study has no funding source to declare.
Authors Contribution
Resha Shrestha- Study concept, draft
 Avinash Chandra - Study concept, analysis and design, editing and revision of draft
Samir Acharya- Study concept, administrative works
Pranaya Shrestha- Study design
Basant Pant - Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content
Pravesh Rajbhandari - Acquisition and interpretation of data
Sharad Gajuryal- Acquisition and interpretation of data
Reema Rajbhandari- Studydesign


Organization of stroke care in Japan

Takafumi Kubota1,2, Arsalan Anwar3, and Sidra Saleem3
1.     Department of Neurology, Teine Keijinkai Hospital, Sapporo, Japan
2.     Department of Neurology, University Hospitals of Cleveland Medical Center/Case Western Reserve University, OH, U.S.A.
Department of Internal Medicine, Dr. Ruth Pfau Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan.

In Japan, stroke is one of the major health problems. In particular, stroke has become a major factor in disability-adjusted life-years as the population ages, and is a significant burden on medical expenses. Therefore, Japan makes many efforts to lower age-adjusted mortality from stroke and extend a healthy life expectancy.
Stroke is the second most common cause of mortality and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), worldwide [1]. In Japan, the mortality rate of stroke has declined from 180 per 10000 in 1970 to 87 per 10000 in 2018, however, it still remains the fourth most common cause of death after cancer, cardiovascular disease, and senility [2]. The DALYs impact produced by this disease is 30% of the Japanese population. Therefore, the economic health care burden produced by stroke is 1.56 trillion dollars in health costs and 1.74 trillion dollars in nursing care costs [3]. The subtypes of ischemic stroke have also been changing. In the last four decades, as a result of changes in the salty traditional diet to the western fatty diet as well as the prevention of hypertension, the incidence of lacunar infarction in ischemic stroke steadily declined by 59% for men and by 28% for women [4]. On the other hand, the percentage of cardio-embolic and atherothrombotic stroke in ischemic stroke increased from 44.9% in 1984-1998 to 60.7% in 1998-2000 [5]. 
  The decline in stroke incidence is due to the contribution of Japan Stroke Society (JSS), which was established in 1975. It has provided a wide range of initiatives such as acute care, prevention, education, and rehabilitation. Currently, the JSS works with the Japanese Circulation Society (JCS) on two main goals to improve individual lives and reduce the economic burden. The first goal is to lower age-adjusted mortality from stroke and cardiovascular disease by 5% in 5 years and by 10% in 10 years.  The second goal is extending a healthy life expectancy. To achieve these two goals, the JSS has five strategies as follows; (1) Human resource development, (2) Enhancement of the medical system, (3) Promotion of registration business, (4) Prevention, and (5) Strengthening of clinical and basic research [6].   
  In Japan, there are 1,369 certified training institutions of the Japan Neurosurgical Society, the Japanese Society of Neurology, and/or the JSS. The institutions are divided into two types of the center. First, the primary stroke center (PSS) can perform standard evaluations such as MRI or CT and treatment including recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA) at any time in twenty-hour seven.  The necessary requirements for PSS were published in 2017, and the application of the primary stroke center was started in July 2019. Second, the comprehensive stroke center (CSC) is capable of advanced neurosurgery, endovascular surgery, stroke care unit and/or intensive care unit in addition to PSS requirements. The distribution, number, and mutual relationship of each other will be organized within a few years [3,7-9].
  For functional recovery after acute stroke care, rehabilitation medicine for stroke in Japan has improved since the beginning of the convalescent rehabilitation ward in 2000.  The patients can be hospitalized for rehabilitation up to 180 days with national health insurance, 3 hours per day including weekends of rehabilitation.  The convalescent rehabilitation hospitals have increased up to 1,348 hospitals and 76,631 beds (60 beds per 100,000) in 2015 which can cover the demand of 25 beds per 100,000 [10].  After being discharged from the convalescent rehabilitation hospitals, the patients are treated by the regional comprehensive care system such as outpatient clinics, visiting nursing stations, and home rehabilitation [7].
  The JSS also actively works to prevent stroke through lifestyle modifications and educating people about prevention. The prevention is primarily divided into four stages based on the severity as follows; (1) Improvement of lifestyle through public education, (2) Intervention for lifestyle-related diseases through primary care, (3) Early detection and intervention of stroke, and (4) Decrease in the mortality associated with stroke.  The JSS sets each goal in four stages and monitors the results [7].
  In conclusion, Japan is aware of the impact of stroke on individual life and economic burden. In the last 40 years, Japan makes many efforts to lower age-adjusted mortality from stroke and improve the outcomes.



Monday, March 2, 2020

🎧Peter Knapp on the 📻Frequency of #anxiety after #stroke

🎧Peter Knapp on the 📻Frequency of #anxiety after #stroke: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis of #observationalstudies👉CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Eivind Berge 1964-2020

It is with great sadness we announce the death of Professor Eivind Berge.  
He died in early February from aggressive prostate cancer. He  was a major contributor to stroke science and to evidence-based medicine. 

He ran large clinical trials of his own, but also had major roles in key international stroke trials.  

He was a research leader, a mentor to junior researchers, and a good friend to many in the stroke community. 

His wise judgement and broad experience were highly valued by colleagues around the world. 

His work with trials, systematic reviews and guidelines have improved the treatment and prognosis of stroke patients. Eivind had a unique combination of wisdom, kindness and determination and our community has lost a wonderful friend and colleague. 

Our thoughts are with Eivinds’s family. 

Monday, December 16, 2019

POCAST RELEASE IJS 🎧 LISTEN Informal caregivers in stroke: life impact, support and psychological well-being - a Swedish🇸🇪 Stroke Register (Riksstroke) study with Stefan Sennfalt

🎧LISTEN Informal caregivers in stroke: life impact, support and psychological well-being - a Swedish🇸🇪 Stroke Register (Riksstroke) study with Stefan Sennfalt

Find the article here!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Hundreds gathered to raise awareness and support life after stroke in Singapore and Malaysia

WSO Stroke Support Organisations in Singapore and Malaysia led inspiring events to raise awareness and celebrate life after stroke. The events also raised the flag for the World Stroke Campaign virtual relay Asia route #DontBeTheOne

Stepping out for Stroke in Singapore

Singapore National Stroke Association (SNSA) held its fourth Stepping out for Stroke event on Saturday 12th October. The event had over 800 registered participants including nearly 100 stroke survivors and carers.

Stepping out for Stroke is SNSA’s annual fundraising event, where it encourages participation from people affected by stroke, medical professionals, students and the wider community in whatever way they choose; walking, running, cycling, and in wheelchairs and pushchairs. The Mayor of Central Singapore CDC, Denise Phua was the guest of honour and talked passionately about the need to prevent avoidable strokes and to support life after stroke.

Aanandha Sharurajah, who had a stroke in 2012 and is a member of the SNSA Executive Committee said, 'Stepping out for Stroke was a really important day for me, as it was a day my whole family was involved in. We all wore our purple t-shirts, showing that we were standing for stroke survivors and greater awareness of this illness, and it was the largest number of people I've witnessed so far standing for stroke'. 

The event was an opportunity to mobilise the community to raise funds, increase awareness of stroke and engage in physical activity. The day also included the launch of the FAST Heroes 995 Programme in Singapore, which is a collaboration between SNSA, Boehinger Ingelheim’s Angels Initiative and the World Stroke Organization The programme is a kindergarten-level education initiative aimed at equipping children with knowledge about what stroke looks like and what to do in an emergency.

The event also joined the World Stroke Campaign virtual relay Asia Route, getting behind the #DontBeTheOne 2019 Campaign theme.

Ng Wai May, President of SNSA said 'Our signature Stepping out for Stroke community event was held on 12th October 2019.  The event was very successful with over 800 participants and we have raised over $60,000 so that we can offer free programmes for stroke survivors and caregivers'.

For more information about SNSA visit:

Stroke Games 2019 – paving the way for more champions

Stroke Games 2019 kicked off on Saturday 19th October with a vibrant opening ceremony, with flags from Malaysia, the National Stroke Association of Malaysia (NASAM), World Stroke Organization #DontBeTheOne and the nine NASAM contingents from across Malaysia. The event was declared open by YABhg Tun Jeanne Abdullah, Patron of the Malaysian Paralympic Council. Before its arrival into the stadium, the Stroke Games torch was passed on by a relay of stroke champions who ran, walked or wheelchaired it along the way.

'How do you inspire someone who is down and out after a debilitating stroke?' asked Janet Yeo, Founder Chairperson of NASAM, in her opening speech.  'How do you inspire that person to climb mountains, to aim high and excel? To aspire to be a champion and to believe there is life after stroke?'

'When you are inside a stroke damaged body, believe me the last thing on your mind is sports or competitiveness,' said Yeo, a stroke survivor herself.  'We at NASAM want to reach out and mend such broken spirits and one of the ways is through sports. For a whole year we carefully crafted and designed sporting events and then transferred them into our daily rehab regime before our first Games in 2017.  Suddenly rehab was no longer a boring word. It was not a passive, repetitive routine'. 

Yeo added that the Stroke Games 2019 is bigger and will generate more champions who will inspire others to achieve greater recovery.  'The Games is NASAM’s contribution to the stroke community around the world. We wish that this fighting spirit of a stroke champion is ignited into every person affected by a stroke no matter where they are’. 

The Games involved more than 800 participants from NASAM’s nine clubs across Malaysia as well as volunteers from corporations, universities and hospitals. There were 25 events including: 50m and 300m walk/run; hand cycle; modified weight lifting and seated volleyball. The youngest athlete was Lee Yong Xian aged 16, who represented Kuantan in the 300m for men.  The oldest was Mariya Pillay aged 81, representing Malacca in hand cycle for women. 

NASAM Petaling Jaya and Malacca emerged as champions with a tie, with Perak finishing runner-up.

For more information about NASAM visit: |

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

World Stroke Organization Launches Strategy to Cut Stroke in Half


On World Stroke Day Oct 29th, the World Stroke Organization has announced the launch of an ambitious global strategic framework that has the potential to cut global stroke incidence by half.  

The framework, developed by an international network of leading stroke clinicians and researchers, builds on strong evidence of impact in the prevention of stroke and circulatory disease. It provides a roadmap for governments and health systems that points prevention focus towards low and medium risk populations with an approach that combines improved access to stroke preventive treatment, development of a stroke trained community health workforce, improved public awareness and mobile technologies that support the identification of risk factors and individual behavior change. A study trial that aims to prove the efficacy of the WSO strategy and the feasibility of implementation in other locations is scheduled to start in Brazil, through a partnership of the Ministry of Health and the Hospital Moinhos de Vento.

‘The latest data analysis shows that 1 in 4 of us will have a stroke in our lifetime, just 10 years ago that risk was 1 in 6. Stroke is a devastating disease and is a leading cause of disability and death worldwide. It is essential that we act urgently and focus our efforts on where we can have greatest impact on prevention’ said WSO President Prof Michael Brainin. ‘We need action at every level, from governments we need policies to address the drivers of stroke such as taxation of diet, alcohol and tobacco. We also need them to invest to ensure access to screening and preventive treatments. For individuals we need everyone to understand their risk and to commit to taking the steps they can to prevent a stroke.’

This year’s World Stroke Day #DontBeTheOne campaign aims to raise public awareness of stroke with a high profile social media campaign a patient information website complemented by on the ground activities by WSO members urging people to get informed about stroke risk.

For more information contact 

Featured Post

Epidemiologic profiling for stroke in Nepal: Endeavour towards establishing database

Resha Shrestha  @avi_neuro. , MS 1 , Avinash Chandra, MD 1 , Samir Acharya, MS 1 , Pranaya Shrestha, MS 1 , Pravesh Rajbhandari, MS 1 , Re...