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International stroke expert, Clay Johnston

Media Release: 22 October 2008

International stroke expert, Clay Johnston

Stroke continues to be one of New Zealand’s most significant health issues. With over 7,600 strokes a year, it places major demands on health services, caregivers and taxpayers.

In keeping with its commitment to improve stroke prevention and care in New Zealand, the Stroke Foundation has put together this country’s first ever Stroke Forum and Nursing Symposium, 23-24 October 2008.

Star-billing amongst the international and national stroke experts is Dr Clay Johnston, world stroke expert based at the University of California.

Dr Johnston will be presenting at the Friday Stroke Forum, James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor, Wellington, 24 October 2008. His two sessions will be:

1.30pm –TIA: an opportunity squandered

3.30pm –Advancing stroke care: locked and loaded


S. Claiborne Johnston, MD,PhD - Director Stroke Service, University of California

Clay Johnston is the Director of the Stroke Service at the University of California, San Francisco, where he is Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology. He received his undergraduate education at Amherst College and completed medical school at Harvard University. He received a PhD in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Johnston has published extensively in the prevention and treatment of stroke and transient ischaemic attack.

He is perhaps best known for his studies describing the short-term risk of stroke in patients with transient ischaemic attack (TIA or ‘mini-strokes’) and identifying patients at greatest risk, and also for his work related to measuring the impact of research. He has led several large cohort studies of cerebrovascular disease and two multicenter randomized trials. Dr. Johnston is the Executive Vice Editor of the Annals of Neurology and has served on the editorial boards of several other journals. He has been honoured previously with the American Academy of Neurology’s Pessin Prize for Stroke Leadership, the American Stroke Association’s Siekert New Investigator Award and the Feinberg Award for Clinical Stroke Excellence.

Dr. Johnston treats patients with cerebral aneurysms, vascular malformations, and stroke in the Neurological Intensive Care Unit and on the wards. Most of his care of patients occurs in the hospital, but he also sees some patients with complex neurovascular problems in the clinic.

Dr. Johnston studies stroke treatment and prevention using the tools of computer science and epidemiology. His particular areas of interest include:

• Transient ischemic attack (TIA) evaluation, prognosis, and treatment

• Cerebral aneurysm and subarachnoid hemorrhage treatment

• Cognitive dysfunction and stroke risk factors

• Infection and stroke risk

• Optimizing the prevention of stroke

ENDS - ‘reducing risks - improving outcomes’

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