Kuopio Stroke Symposium

Kuopio in summer

Every year there is a Neurology symposium organized in the quiet and beautiful town of Kuopio in Finland. Every three years, just like this year, the topic is stroke and for that reason, I was invited to be part of the faculty. A true honor, especially if you consider the other speakers on the program who all delivered excellent talks!

But these symposia are much more than just the hard cold science and prestige. It is also about making new friends and reconnecting with old ones. Leave that up to the Fins, whose decision to get us all on a boat and later in a sauna after a long day in the lecture hall proved to be a stroke of genius.

So, it was not for nothing that many of the talks boiled down to the idea that the best science is done with friends – in a team. This is true for when you are running a complex international stroke rehabilitation RCT, or you are investigating whether the lower risk in CVD morbidity and mortality amongst frequent sauna visitors. Or, in my case, about the role of hypercoagulability in young stroke – pdf of my slides can be found here –

Opzet en interpretatie van mensgebonden onderzoek – slides online

Tomorrow I will teach at the graduate course ‘Design and analysis of clinical research’. My part is to introduce the concept of confounding which i demonstrate through the general  idea of ‘confusing of effects’.  Perhaps a bit ‘oldskool’, but it works as a nice introduction to the concept without a direct confrontation with DAGs etc, especially since it helps to think in ways to prevent / solve this problem in data analyses. What ‘arrow’ in the classic confounding triangle can be removed?

I also go into the concept of ceteris paribus, which is further explored through examples of IV analyses. These examples can be historical (Boylston and inoculation) or recent (mendelian randomisation on CRP and CVD disease).

Slides are present in the presentations section of this website.