Advocating for a global stroke and dementia strategy

As the International Stroke Conference comes to a close, Lawson Health Research Institute’s Dr. Vladimir Hachinski will take the stage in Los Angeles to share an updated World Stroke Day Proclamation. The updated proclamation calls for an integrated global strategy that focuses on reducing dementia alongside of stroke.

In a world first, researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute and Western University recently showed a decline in incidence of dementia at the population level. They believe this reduction is due to an overall decline in stroke as a result of Ontario’s stroke strategy. Between 2002 and 2014, stroke and dementia incidence rates in Ontario declined by 32.4 per cent and 7.4 per cent respectively.“

The risk factors for stroke and dementia are the same, including tobacco use, alcohol overuse, physical inactivity, and poor diet. In addition, all major dementias have a vascular component,” explains Dr. Hachinski, also a neurologist at London Health Sciences Centre and professor at Western University

“It’s no surprise that a decline in stroke incidence has led to a decline in dementias.”

Dr. Hachinski believes the integration of stroke and dementia strategies can accelerate the reduction of both diseases.

In October 2015, he was successful in leading the update to the World Stroke Organization’s World Stroke Day Proclamation. The update, now titled “Stroke and Preventable Dementias Proclamation”, includes a call for this integrated strategy by managing common risk factors, building interdisciplinary teams, and actively engaging the global population.

Dr. Hachinski’s International Stroke Conference presentation is titled “The New Stroke Proclamation: A Roadmap to Prevent Stroke and Dementia” and will be delivered on Thursday, February 18, 2016.