Study cited "Best Poster" at World Stroke Congress

July 14, 2004

WORCESTER, Mass.— Stroke, which occurs when a blood vessel to the brain bursts or is blocked by a clot, depriving brain cells of oxygen, is the world’s leading cause of disability and second leading cause of death, making advances in treatment and prevention public health priorities. At especially high risk are those who have already suffered one or more strokes. For his contributions to assessing and improving ways to prevent further strokes in these patients, UMass Memorial Medical Center neurologist , Majaz Moonis, MD, has been awarded the Best Poster Prize at the World Stroke Congress’ recent quadrennial meeting in Vancouver, Canada for his paper, “Reduced incidence of ischemic stroke with treatment at stroke prevention clinics.”

Dr. Moonis is associate professor of neurology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and director of the Stroke Prevention Clinic at UMass Memorial Medical Center. He established the clinic in 2000 to assess if intervention by stroke neurologists would reduce recurrences. “Most stroke patients have multiple medical issues that led to their stroke,” Moonis explained. “The impetus for establishing the clinic was to identify individual stroke risk factors, address them effectively with treatment based on the latest evidence-based medical developments, and ensure continued effective control through a multimodal approach to treatment.”

Of 134 patients followed by the clinic for 2 years, just five, or 3.8%, experienced another stroke, significantly fewer than the 10-12% recurrent stroke rate predicted by historical controls. The protocols detailed in the study comprise comprehensive evaluation and management of all of the   patients’ stroke risk factors including high cholesterol, high homocysteine, high blood pressure, carotid  and cardiac disease, and call for aggressive treatment of risk factors when indicated. Moonis and colleagues concluded that, “Monitoring of risk factors by neurologists in stroke prevention centers with defined protocols lowers the incidence of recurrent ischemic stroke and justifies the role of stroke prevention centers.”

Moonis’ paper was chosen from over 3,000 submitted to the World Stroke Congress, the largest gathering of stroke researchers worldwide.

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The University of Massachusetts Medical School, one of the fastest growing academic health centers in the country, has built a reputation as a world-class research institution, attracting more than $153 million in research funding annually.   A perennial top finisher in the annual US News & World Report ranking of primary care medical schools, UMMS comprises a medical school, graduate school of nursing, graduate school of biomedical sciences and an active research enterprise, and is a leader in health sciences education, research and public service.  UMMS is the academic partner of UMass Memorial Health Care, the largest health care system in the Central Massachusetts. 

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