By Dr. Jan Scheitz
Charité University Hospital and the Center for Stroke Research Berlin (CSB), Germany
With an introduction from Dr. Inna Lutsenko, on behalf of the ESO Social Media Committee
In the upcoming weeks, we will introduce to you our prominent ESO members, stroke researchers and neurologists, who made the sessions at ESOC 2022 unforgettable, vivid and brought to us a high quality evidence data in stroke diagnostics and management.
At ESOC 2022 Dr. Jan Scheitz presented the findings from The TRoponin ELevation in Acute Ischemic Stroke (TRELAS) Study where he was one of the primary investigators. We learned that levels of troponin T (cTnT) are frequently elevated in patients with acute ischemic stroke and elevated cTnT may predict poor outcome and mortality (1). Jan also reveals the connection between the brain and the heart. In his last paper “Stroke–Heart Syndrome: in his recent article Recent Advances and Challenges” he with collaborators showed us that local cerebral and systemic mediators, which mainly involve autonomic dysfunction and increased inflammation, may lead to altered cardiomyocyte metabolism, dysregulation of leukocyte populations, and microvascular changes (2).
Jan, please tell us a little bit about yourself and why you are a member of the ESO?
I am consultant stroke neurologist and professor of ‘clinical stroke research’ at the Charité University Hospital and the Center for Stroke Research Berlin (CSB) in Germany. My major research interests include all aspects of Heart & Brain interaction, especially mechanisms and prognostic impact of post-stroke cardiac complications (stroke-heart syndrome), takotsubo syndrome, and cardiovascular MRI in acute stroke. I have been a member of the ESO since 2014. At that time, to be honest, one of the major motivations was to get a fee reduction for the annual conference. Nowadays, I am a member of the ESO because I fully support its mission to improve the quality of stroke care and to reduce the burden of stroke in Europe and beyond. Moreover, I would like to promote the many educational activities of ESO.
Why are you attending ESOC 2023?
There are two major reasons why I will attend the upcoming ESOC in Munich: science and networking. In contrast to many other societal meetings, the clear focus of ESOC is on providing the most timely scientific advances including many guideline-relevant trials that will have an impact on clinical practice. Having a glance at the preliminary programme, I got excited to see that several sessions will be centered around my favorite topic: heart & brain research. The second reason is the unique networking opportunity. During the last years, many joint research projects have been conceived during coffee breaks and dinners with colleagues from all across the world.
Please share the experience of presenting during one of the ESOC if you ever had one, the topic and the emotions which you experienced during the preparation of the abstract and the presentation itself?
My first presentation was an oral presentation at ESOC 2016 in Barcelona about the impact of statin treatment on post-stroke hemorrhagic complications. It was a collaborative research project using the Virtual International Stroke Trials Archive (VISTA). I well remember the excitement of sharing our results with the community and a sense of honor to see many of the leaders in the field sitting in the audience.
Why is sharing the research results on the ESOC platform one of the steps for building the network with peers and how do you encourage this?
Sharing your scientific results with the community is basically what being a researcher or clinical scientist is all about. ESOC offers a vibrant platform to communicate your findings and defend your rationales and conclusions. Presenting at ESOC will also be a unique learning experience. Peers may have encountered similar problems during a research endeavor and may sometimes provide useful tips for potential solutions. Therefore, do not hesitate to ask questions and get in touch with your peers. This is often the first step to establishing research collaborations.
Which ESOC experience will you never forget?
There are so many unforgettable ESOC moments that it is hard to select a single one. I will always remember the opening speech delivered by Kennedy Lees during the welcome session of the first inaugural ESOC in Glasgow 2015. Due to his engaging ‘presidential’ personality and inspiring speech together with the ground-breaking results of the thrombectomy trials that were presented in this session, I had the feeling that stroke care in Europe will enter a new level and was enthusiastic to be part of this movement. A similar unforgettable experience was during ESOC 2016 in Barcelona when I entered the main stage for a brief moment during the reception of one of the prestigious ESO Young Investigator Awards. Finally, there were countless memorable meetings with colleagues, some of them being friends now.
- Scheitz et al.: Troponin elevation in acute ischemic stroke (TRELAS) – protocol of a prospective observational trial. BMC Neurology 2011 11:98. https://bmcneurol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2377-11-98
- Scheitz JF, Sposato LA, Schulz-Menger J, Nolte CH, Backs J, Endres M. Stroke-Heart Syndrome: Recent Advances and Challenges. J Am Heart Assoc. 2022 Sep 6;11(17):e026528. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.122.026528. Epub 2022 Sep 3. PMID: 36056731; PMCID: PMC9496419. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.122.026528
ESOC is Europe’s leading forum for advances in research and clinical care of patients with cerebrovascular diseases. ESOC 2023 will live up to its expectation, and present to you a packed, high quality scientific programme including major clinical trials, state-of-the-art seminars, educational workshops, scientific communications of the latest research, and debates about current controversies. ESOC 2023 preliminary programme is now available, and registration and abstract submission will open on 2 November 2022. Learn more here.