Ep 134 - Sex Disparities in Stroke Research


We know that fast treatment is critical to surviving a stroke and reducing long-term disability.

We know that there are a lot of studies that look at treatments that work and don't work.

We know that the results of those studies will inform ER procedures and major spending projects at hospitals around the world.

We know that men and women are biologically identical and that treatment for one sex will be just as effective on the other sex, right?


Okay. Maybe we don't know that because it's not true. So how do sex differences impact the efficacy or safety of stroke treatments? Well, we don't really know that, either.

Because it turns out women are underrepresented in acute stroke research studies by 6 - 20 percentage point.

Brent Strong and Julia Pudar published a meta-analysis of more than 100 stroke research studies this spring. And they published in in JAMA Neurology, which is really impressive, especially since they are still students.

Bent and I talk about this research and why it matters in this week's episode.


Brent Strong sits near an office window with the blinds down and open wearing a purple shirt and dark jacket

Brent Strong is a recent graduate of Michigan State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in physiology. As an undergraduate, he collaborated with Dr. Mathew Reeves to study issues in stroke medicine such as biases in clinical trials, sex disparities in treatment, and post-stroke depression. Brent will be attending graduate school in statistics at the University of Glasgow in the fall, where he hopes to continue his research on stroke.

Hack of the Week

The pump bottles that Kristen and Ruth recommended for shampoo and other bath products are great, but they're not the only solution.

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If you're using a shower chair in the shower, you can place a nonfunctioning limb on your lap and then apply your shampoo to that arm. Then put down the bottle, and scoop up the bath substances with your un affected arm.

If you're further along in your recovery and standing up, hopefully you have some arm use back. Now you can do the same thing, but instead of putting your arm on your lap (since you don't have a lap while standing), bend your arm to get your forearm slightly horizontal. Or let the tone and spasticity do it for you. Then pour the shampoo on your forearm, put down the bottle, and scoop it to elsewhere on your body.

It’s a great way to get clean and get some bonus exercise in.

Like Minded

I'm thrilled to announce a new sponsor this week -- the Like Minded program by Jane Connely.

Like Minded is a membership program that offers online classes, workshops and support groups for stroke survivors. There's an impressive list of presenters in the community, including Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Fitness Experts and Survivors. Many of the instructors have been guests in the Strokecast. You can find those interviews here.

Membership in Like Minded includes a subscription to NeuroFitVR. This program uses Virtual Reality to help stroke survivors experiencing cognitive challenges.

Membership costs just $45 a month and you can save 20% off on your first month when you use the promo code Strokecast. You can learn more and sign up if you so choose here: http://Strokecast.com/LikeMinded


Where do we go from here?

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast

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