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Vol. LXVII, No. 16
July 31, 2015
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NINDS Kicks Off Stroke Month with Twitter Chat

This graphic, part of the NINDS Know Stroke campaign, features the signs of stroke and was among the top five graphics shared during NINDS’s Twitter Chat on stroke.

This graphic, part of the NINDS Know Stroke campaign, features the signs of stroke and was among the top five graphics shared during NINDS’s Twitter Chat on stroke.

NINDS kicked off National Stroke Awareness Month this year by hosting its first ever Twitter chat. The goal of #StrokeTalk was to increase awareness of risk factors, treatment options and recent breakthroughs in research, including acute stroke therapy such as intra-arterial and endovascular approaches to breaking up and removing clots. The chat provided information on recognizing the signs of a stroke and the importance of taking immediate action once those symptoms occur. It also highlighted crucial things people can do to reduce their risk for stroke, such as maintaining a healthy blood pressure and not smoking and ways to reduce complications after a stroke. Throughout the chat, @NINDSnews (NINDS’s main Twitter handle) tweeted vivid, informative graphics from the NINDS Know Stroke campaign to help reinforce key messages.

Nearly 800,000 strokes occur each year in the United States. Stroke is a leading cause of death in the country and causes more serious long-term disabilities than any other disease. Nearly threequarters of all strokes occur in people over age 65 and the risk of having a stroke more than doubles each decade after age 55.

On hand to answer questions and provide information were several expert panelists including: NINDS director Dr. Walter Koroshetz, a noted neurologist; CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who is also a practicing neurosurgeon; NINDS stroke neurologist Dr. Salina Waddy; Dr. Janet Wright, executive director of Million Hearts—a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017; Dr. Kevin Barrett, a vascular neurologist and co-director of the Primary Stroke Center at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.; and Dr. David Miller, an interventional neuroradiologist and medical director of the Stroke Center at Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville.

More than 1,300 unique Twitter handles participated in the chat, which generated more than 2,500 tweets, reached more than 7.8 million people and rendered more than 128 million impressions, which help measure the impact and/or exposure of a message.

Koroshetz provided one of the most popular retweets: “Problem is that many people think to take a nap when they experience #stroke symptoms. Wrong response! Go to the ER!!!!!!! #StrokeTalk.” This single tweet yielded more than 2 million impressions alone.

Participants spanned a wide spectrum—from the general public to health care professionals—with questions ranging from general stroke data to specific discussions and comments on treatments and research.

Based on the popularity of Twitter chats and the success of its first effort, the NINDS social media team plans to host more chats.


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