Diagnosing Disney: Strokes Go Beyond Older Men

There’s no way neuroanatomy can be entertaining … can it? Well, leave it to a session at NTI to find a way.

Stroke is a serious condition that mainly affects men older than 60 years. When a stroke occurs in this demographic, it is easily recognized and diagnosed so that critical care staff can quickly intervene to ensure the best outcome.

If, however, a young woman presents with slurred speech, confusion and/or partial paralysis, are you likely to suspect stroke? Unfortunately, stroke is often missed in this population simply because it occurs less often. Delay in diagnosis leads to delays in treatment, worsening the impact of the stroke on the patient’s functional status.

Presenters DaiWai Olson, associate professor, department of neurology and neurotherapeutics at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and Michael Rogers, bedside RN at University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, want to change your perception of stroke at their session, “Snow White® Had a Stroke,” Tuesday, 4:15-5:30 p.m., in General Assembly room C.

“I want attendees to be less apprehensive about approaching the topic,” Rogers says. “If you’re white-knuckling it through your daily routine, the likelihood that you’re going to remember stroke symptoms in an unconventional demographic is pretty low.”

Olson and Rogers will guide attendees through age- and gender-specific risk factors for stroke, while using functional neuroanatomy to link stroke signs and symptoms to specific areas of the brain.

“Case studies are a phenomenal way of educating people, but they likely have little relevance to you,” Olson says. “You know Snow White, you can picture her, you can relate to her and you already know her symptoms. We plan to present case studies of patients you know and whom you’ve known all along had strokes, but you just didn’t recognize the signs.”

Olson and Rogers hope to drive home an important point: Stroke doesn’t discriminate, and neither should you.