July 2015

June was Stroke Awareness Month

The Neuro Becomes A Centre For Tertiary Stroke Care

Time is brain: for every minute a stroke is left untreated, 2 million brain cells are destroyed. The sooner patients are treated, the higher the chances of survival with fewer disabilities. Patients with acute strokes and transient ischemic attack (TIA) are assessed and treated at the right place, the right time and by the right professionals thanks to ultra-specialized stroke centres at the Montreal General Hospital and The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital.

The Quebec government has designated the Montreal Neurological Hospital, part of the McGill University Health Centre as a centre for Tertiary Stroke Care. Designated centres treat victims of hyper-acute stroke, which is a stroke that has occurred within 10-12 hours before the patient’s arrival at the centre. To qualify for this distinction, the centre must have an Intensive Care Unit, an interventional radiologist, neurosurgeons, and beds dedicated to stroke patients.
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Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations
Dr. Theodore Wein recently spearheaded the development and updates of the Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations. These recommendations have been recognized and adopted by healthcare professionals across Canada as the primary source for setting standards and direction for stroke care delivery. The Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations are updated every two years, and Dr. Wein was appointed as co-chair of the Secondary Prevention of Stroke module writing group for two update cycles starting with this current update. Dr. Wein is recognized and respected for his in-depth expertise and excellent leadership skills, which have lead to a successful update of the fifth edition of this prevention module. Under Dr. Wein’s leadership, along with his co-chair Dr. Shelagh Coutts, the fifth edition of the Secondary Prevention of Stroke Module was submitted and successfully published in the International Journal of Stroke in December 2014. This is a significant step forward in further demonstrating Canada’s leadership in the development of timely and comprehensive stroke best practice recommendations. The research initiatives that Dr. Wein has lead and participated in over the past several years have also contributed significantly to the research evidence base that informs the prevention recommendations. Dr. Wein has contributed not only to the prevention chapter, but also to the acute and hyperacute care, and the stroke recognition and response module, as we work to align content across these modules.

June was ALS Awareness Month

ALS care at The Neuro
The ALS Program at The Neuro is considered a model of multidisciplinary care, delivering outstanding, tailor-made care to meet the diverse needs of ALS patients, and their families. The ALS clinical research program develops and tests new ALS therapies in collaboration with the Canadian ALS Clinical Trial Consortium (CALS), and with researchers abroad.

ALS research at The Neuro
The Neuro’s experts are conducting important ALS basic research in state-of-the-art laboratories. A $2-million donation by the Reed Family / The Tenaquip Foundation enabled The Neuro to establish the new Reed Family Motor Neuron Disease Research Unit. The Neuro’s many national and international partnerships are helping to advance research into ALS and to develop effective treatments.

ALS and Community Support
The Tony Proudfoot Training Studentship in ALS provides funds for scientists at The Neuro who undertake research on ALS. Tony Proudfoot was diagnosed with ALS in 2007. Before he succumbed to the disease three years later, he made great efforts to increase public awareness of ALS and raised funds for ALS research. The current recipient of the studentship is Aaron Demedeiros-Howe in Dr. Durham’s lab.

The Neuro is active in the community and has leadership roles with the ALS Society of Quebec which provides support for people with ALS and their families, creates public awareness, and raises funds for patient services and research. The ALS Society of Quebec works in partnership with other provincial ALS agencies and with the ALS Society of Canada. Read more.

CFI board members tour

On June 15, directors, board and staff members of the Canada Foundation for Innovation toured the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre at the MNI. CFI President Gilles Patry was amongst the group that came to see first-hand how CFI funds are invested, including the space for the new 7 Tesla MRI which was part of the most recent CFI funding announcement. Neuro Director Guy Rouleau spoke at the Board of Directors’ reception in the evening.

Governor General’s Leadership Conference

On May 25 members of the Quebec delegation of the Governor General’s Leadership Conference visited The Neuro to learn about innovation in neuroscience research and patient care. The group consisted of approximately 36 people from across Canada and included federal and provincial civil servants, business people from different sectors including banking, oil industry, aboriginals, and union representatives.

40 years of PET scanning at The Neuro

40 years ago, the first ‪Canadian Positron Emission Tomography (‪‎PET) camera was installed at the Montreal Neurological Institute, thereby taking the activities of the McConnell Brain Imaging Centre to unprecedented levels. Today, our Cyclotron Unit produces the longest list of radiotracers used in PET imaging in North America and serves a community of more than 30 Principal Investigators and dozens of trainees. For more information on the First PET in Montreal, read this article by Dr. Chris Thompson.

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