Georgios Tsivgoulis is Associate Professor of Neurology in the Second Department of Neurology in National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Medicine. He is the Director of Division of Cerebrovascular Diseases, the Director of Neurosonology Laboratory, the Director of Resident Training and Cerebrovascular Fellowship Program. Dr Tsivgoulis is also a Visiting Associate Professor of Neurology and Director of Stroke Research, in the Department of Neurology in The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN. He is also the Chair of ESO`s International Liaison Committee (ILC) and the first in our series of interviews of young stroke professionals.

Marialuisa Zedde, Chair of the Public Relations Committee, interviewed him about his role in ESO, his current research and his vision for the future of stroke care.

Q: Regarding the ESO International Liaison Committee: could you explain to ESO member the objectives, activities and relevance of this committee for ESO?

A: The membership of ILC (n=10) has has a good distribution across Europe (including Turkey) as well as including South America, China and North America. The  main activities of the ILC are the following:

  • Endorsement by ESO of educational activities focused on stroke that are organized by other scientific societies or academic institutions all over the world. ESO ILC supports activities that benefit the stroke community and complement ESO’s mission to reduce the burden of stroke.
    • The ESO ILC will in general not endorse meetings that promote single commercial products or services, distribute advertising or promotional material or provide information that is inconsistent with current scientific knowledge. Meetings supported by commercial funding will only be considered if the funding is given as an unrestricted educational grant. The application process for endorsement is straightfoward and is regulated by specific recommendations that are available in ESO website. The interested party completes an application form (that is also available in ESO website) disclosing event description, event organizer, event funding, event venue, targeted participants and the reason for requestiong ESO endorsement. This form is submitted to the Chair of ILC along with the detailed scientific program of the event. The chair of ILC evaluates the application and circulates all material to the members of the ILC making a short recommendation. All members of ILC vote in favor or against endorsement and discuss the reasons to grant or decline endorsement. The final decision is made based on the number of positive or negative votes. The vast majority of ILC decisions in favor or against endorsement are unanimous.
  • Promote the affiliation of national stroke and other scientific societies with ESO.
  • Draft and sign (head of ILC) in collaboration with ESO Executive Committee memorandums of understanding (MoU) with other scientific societies. For instance, ESO has recently signed MoU with the Chinese Stroke Association and the European Society of Neurosonology and Cerebral Hemodynamics (ESNCH).

Q: What are your ongoing or future scientific projects and your main areas of interest in stroke?

A: My main current research projects and main research interests include:

  1. applicability of systemic reperfusion therapies in real world settings (off-label use of intravenous thrombolysis, expanding the applications of Mechanical Thrombectomy)
  2. potential efficacy of sonothrombolysis as a potential novel therapy in patients with acute ischemic stroke
  3. applications of neurosonology in acute stroke care and secondary stroke prevention
  4. testing the inflammatory hypothesis in the secondary prevention of non-cardioembolic stroke in the context of a randomized-controlled trial
  5. applicability of non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants for stroke prevention in real world settings
  6. stroke epidemiology in Greece

Q: What is your personal vision of the “ideal” stroke care organizational model?

A: My personal vision of the “ideal” stroke care organizational model is the following:

It is essential that the management of patients with stroke or TIA be part of a continuum of care including the following elements: primary prevention, health promotion and public awareness, hyperacute and acute stroke management,stroke rehabilitation, prevention of stroke recurrence (secondary prevention) and community reintegration. The ongoing Stroke Action Plan by ESO aims to promote such a model by reviewing current evidence, setting up fixed targets, and identifying prioritized areas of stroke research. The increased availability of certified Acute Stroke Units and certified Tertiary Care Stroke Centers remains a major challenge for all health authorities and scientific organizations aiming to improve stroke care standards.

Biography

Dr Tsivgoulis serves in the Board of Directors of European Stroke Organization. He is the current chair of International Liaison Committee (ILC) of European Stroke Organization. He also serves in the International Stroke Conference Scientific Program Committee. He is an Associate Editor (Neurosonology Section) in the Journal of Neuroimaging and a Guest Editor in “Stroke” Journal. He is the Editor of Greek Journal “Nevrologia” and General Secretary of the Hellenic Society of Cerebrovascular Diseases. Dr Tsivgoulis has authored 333 papers (185 original articles) published in PubMed (First Author: 110, Second Author: 39, Senior Author: 38). He has authored 11 book chapters that have been published in International Medicine Books. He has presented 79 invited lectures in International Scientific Conferences and Institutions. His research has received 7508 citations (Google Scholar) and his H-index is 45 (Google Scholar). Dr Tsivgoulis has been the recipient of international awards and competitive grants both from academic institutions and industry. He enjoys spending his free time with family at home.