• Fifty years ago, the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke was conceived, and now it is the premier journal in the field.
  • Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., will take the reins as Stroke’s editor-in-chief beginning with the July 2020 issue.

Embargoed until 11:05 a.m. PT / 2:05 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 18, 2020 — Fifty years ago, the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke was conceived as the most comprehensive publication in cerebrovascular disease. Now, it’s the premier journal in the field focused on stroke and cerebrovascular health.

Stroke’s 50th anniversary will be celebrated during the Opening Main Event at 10:30 a.m. PT, Wednesday, Feb. 19 at the International Stroke Conference and will include the following presentations:

  • Stroke: The First 40 Years - Vladimir Hachinski, C.M., M.D., D.Sc., former editor-in-chief
  • Stroke: Accomplishments and Innovations Over the Past 10 Years - Marc Fisher, M.D., current editor-in-chief of Stroke, , professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, senior stroke physician on the Stroke Service at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and professor emeritus in the department of neurology at University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Mass.
  • The International Impact of Stroke - Stephen Davis, M.D., professor and chair of translational neuroscience at the University of Melbourne Brain Centre in Australia
  • Stroke: A Vision for the Future - Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., FAHA, chair of the department of neurology, the Olemberg Family Chair in Neurological Disorders and executive director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Miami Leonard Miller School of Medicine, in Miami, Fla. Sacco is a past president of the American Heart Association and will be editor-in-chief of Stroke beginning with the July 2020 issue.   

“Of about 3,500 manuscripts submitted to Stroke last year, about 15% were accepted,” said Marc Fisher, M.D., editor-in-chief of Stroke since July 2010. “There were also more than 11 million online views of the journal, and the journal continues to evolve to meet the needs of the field. For example, over the last three years, 20% of our original research submissions were related to endovascular treatments. We help people in the field to disseminate information, to grow their careers and to improve outcomes for millions of patients worldwide.”

Among key events in the annals of Stroke:

  • A preclinical checklist was developed by Fisher to verify sample size, blinding, randomization, accounting for all animals in an experiment, conflicts of interest and other key elements that strengthen basic science data. This checklist was implemented in all 12 AHA journals beginning in 2016.  
  • Stroke was one of the first AHA journals to offer ‘visual abstracts’ for basic science articles, beginning in 2017. Visual abstracts provide research authors with the opportunity to distill complicated data via one easy-to-follow graphic of the abstract.
  • Fisher was one of the first AHA journal editors to develop an outreach for the next generation of scientists with the implementation of a trainee reviewer program, recruiting from U.S.-based stroke fellowship programs as well as international programs. Many of these trainee reviewers have continued as reviewers for Stroke
  • The InterSECT article was introduced as an opportunity for early career colleagues to write about topics of particular interest and importance as they develop their research career. Early career programs and resources are critical investments in the next generation of researchers and have since been implemented in all of the AHA’s journals.

“I am honored and excited to succeed Marc’s (Dr. Fisher’s) incredible tenure as editor-in-chief,” said Sacco, incoming editor-in-chief of Stroke. “We have an outstanding foundation to build upon to move Stroke into the next decade. Our mission will be to drive innovative interdisciplinary research, influence patient care and enhance our understanding of disorders of the cerebral circulation while striving to be an indispensable, inspiring and trusted source of high-quality scientific knowledge for all disciplines. We are expanding the editorial team and have many ideas for broadening the impact of Stroke on our field.”

Sacco is also the winner of the inaugural American Stroke Association Edgar J. Kenton III Lecture Award, which will be presented Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 11:05 a.m. PT, during Sacco’s ISC Pre-Conference Symposium III “HEADS-UP: Health Equity and Actionable Disparities in Stroke: Understanding and Problem-solving.”

Additional Resources:

Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Stroke Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect Association policy or position. The Association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The Association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific Association programs and events. The Association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at https://www.heart.org/en/about-us/aha-financial-information.

The American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference (ISC) is the world’s premier meeting dedicated to the science of stroke and brain health. ISC 2020 will be held February 19-21 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in California. The 2 ½-day conference features more than 1,600 compelling scientific presentations in 21 categories that emphasize basic, clinical and translational science for health care professionals and researchers. These science and other clinical presentations will provide attendees with a better understanding of stroke and brain health to help improve prevention, treatment and outcomes for the more than 800,000 Americans who have a stroke each year. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the U.S. Worldwide, cerebrovascular accidents (stroke) are the second leading cause of death and the third leading cause of disability, according to the World Health Organization. Engage in the International Stroke Conference on social media via #ISC20.

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is a relentless force for a world with fewer strokes and longer, healthier lives. We team with millions of volunteers and donors to ensure equitable health and stroke care in all communities. We work to prevent, treat and beat stroke by funding innovative research, fighting for the public’s health, and providing lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based association was created in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit strokeassociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


For Media Inquiries and ASA Expert Perspective: 214-706-1173

Karen Astle: 214-706-1392; karen.astle@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

Feb. 19-21, 2020: AHA News Media Office, Los Angeles Convention Center: 213-743-6201

heart.org and strokeassociation.org