Message from Dr. Erol Veznedaroglu
Director, Capital Institute for Neurosciences
Chair, Department of Neurosurgery
Our 5th Annual Neuroscience Conference last month brought together health professionals from around the region, all united by a commitment to improve neurologic care and treatment. It was both an inspirational and thought-provoking gathering. Our speakers discussed the very latest in the swift and amazing advancements used to understand and treat the brain.
They talked about the latest in our understanding of back pain, headache, stroke, aneurysm, autism, brain cancer and other neurologic diseases and injuries.
The Honorable Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, our keynote speaker, delivered a powerful talk emphasizing that investment in brain research will do more to save future health care costs than any other investment our nation could make.
Another much-talked presentation came from Dr. Kenneth Liebman, who called for changes in the time-window criteria used to determine which stroke patients will benefit from endovascular intervention. Dr. Liebman showed case studies of Capital Health patients who clearly benefitted from interventions even though they exceeded the time window.
Finally, in my opening address I talked about how we can improve emergency stroke care for all patients in New Jersey. I outlined a state model with three to five comprehensive stroke centers spread throughout the state — with the high quality staff and technology needed to speed the best care to treat these brain emergencies. Currently, we have 12 comprehensive stroke centers, but not all of them meet the highest quality standards. We need to put hospital competition aside and ask: What care would you want if you were having a stroke?
And remember May is Stroke Awareness Month. Learn the warning signs — posted here — and respond quickly if you or someone you love may be having a stroke.