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Stroke Expert Shares Knowledge on Prevention

Leading Stroke Expert Shares Knowledge on Stroke Prevention and Recovery

Help is at hand for the 7000 New Zealanders who will suffer a stroke this year, with the release of an easily understood book, offering practical advice both for preventing strokes, and caring for those who have suffered one.

‘When Lightening Strikes’ is written by Dr Valery Feigin, a neurologist and Senior Research Fellow at The University of Auckland who is regarded internationally as a leading expert on the disease.

Strokes are the number two killer in the world but Dr Feigin, who has drawn on his 20 years of practical experience in stroke medicine and research into the causes and effects of the destructive brain disease to write the book, says 85% of strokes are preventable.

“Most stroke risk factors, whether medical causes such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and heart disease, or lifestyle factors such as unhealthy diets, excessive alcohol, and smoking, can be controlled thus lowering the risk of stroke considerably,” he says.

In New Zealand there are about 7000 new strokes a year, and 40,000 stroke victims alive. A quarter of all strokes occur in people under 60 years old. The estimated costs of the disease are about $400 billion a year, Dr Feigin says.

Recent research forecasts a pronounced increase in the numbers of New Zealanders suffering a stroke in the future as a result of an aging population and higher survival rates.

Dr Feigin is an Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the Clinical Trials Research Unit at The University of Auckland. He came to New Zealand from Russia to join the University in 1999, and was one of the founders of the Acute Stroke Unit at Middlemore Hospital in 2001 – a first for New Zealand.

He worked for several years at the Mayo Clinic in the United States, and has been nominated as a Visiting Professor at the clinic. He is the author of many scientific articles on various aspects of stroke, including a number of guidelines and textbooks for doctors and medical students and a WHO handbook.

Dr Feigin says ‘When Lightening Strikes’ will be equally useful for stroke sufferers and their families, and for medical professionals caring for them.

The book is the first fully illustrated handbook to be published that has easy to follow step by step tutorial pictures and instructions on caring for stroke sufferers and helping with their recovery and rehabilitation. Dr Feigin also gives a comprehensive yet easy to understand overview to the causes of strokes, and how they can be controlled and prevented.

The book has been endorsed by the New Zealand Stroke Foundation and the National Stroke Foundation of Australia.

‘When Lightening Strikes’ by Dr Valery Feigin, (published by HarperCollins, $34.99) is in bookstores from November 8.

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