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What Women Need to Know About Stroke Prevention & Recovery

Release Date: June 11, 2024 |  Run Time: 46:56 |  Download Episode 7 transcript

A stroke happens when there is a sudden blockage of blood flow to the brain or bleeding in the brain, which can result in symptoms such as numbness or weakness, trouble speaking, confusion or dizziness. The type of symptoms one might experience depends largely on the type of stroke, and the area of the brain affected. But one thing is clear – despite the many advances in stroke care over the past 30 years, it's women who often suffer the most.

In today's episode, we discuss why women are more susceptible to stroke, what the unique risk factors are and what women need more of to help them recover, not only from the medical condition, but the impacts to their careers, their mental health and their families, as well.

Listen to the full episode and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and everywhere else you get your podcasts.

Bonus Content: Listen to an extended version of Shruti Kothari's story, where she talks about the day her life changed and her road to recovery, as well as why she hopes to help others.

Shruti Kothari | Run Time: 22:25 |  Download bonus content transcript


Dr. Aleksandra Pikula  
Dr. Aleksandra Pikula

Dr. Aleksandra Pikula is a neurologist and clinician-investigator at UHN's Krembil Brain Institute and the newly appointed Jay and Sari Sonshine Chair in Stroke Prevention and Cerebrovascular Brain Health at UHN. She is quadruple board-certified in Medicine, Neurology, Vascular Neurology and Lifestyle Medicine. She completed her Neurology and Vascular Neurology Fellowship and postdoctoral training at Boston University, Harvard University and the Framingham Heart Study, supported by a National Institute of Health (NIH-NINDS) institutional grant and a National Clinical Research Award from the American Heart Association. Her primary clinical and research focus lies in stroke prevention and stroke outcomes, with a particular emphasis on women's brain health. Dr. Pikula advocates for a holistic approach to brain care, specifically targeting stroke and dementia prevention during midlife through evidence-based lifestyle medicine pillars.

Dr. Patrice Lindsay  
Dr. Patrice Lindsay

Patrice Lindsay is currently the Lead for People with Lived Experience (PWLE) Engagement and Stroke Strategy at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and a stroke survivor herself. Dr. Lindsay leads strategic directions for health systems design and change for people with stroke and heart conditions across Canada and internationally. She develops innovative knowledge translation and implementation initiatives that bridge, integrate and support the needs and interests of people living with these conditions and their families. Dr. Lindsay is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for her efforts to improve stroke care and outcomes in Canada and internationally. She has a degree in nursing from the University of Western Ontario and a PhD from the University for Toronto focused on health systems performance. She is a Fellow of the World Stroke Organization.

Shruti Kothari  
Shruti Kothari

Shruti Kothari is an actress born, raised and residing in Toronto. Her career was focused largely on Shakespeare and Musical Theatre until her life took an unexpected turn when she suffered a life altering brain hemorrhage and stroke at the age of 30. Over the past four years, Shruti has focused on reshaping her life and raising awareness about brain injuries in younger people. Together with her sisters, she organizes Stroke of Genius, an annual trivia night which has raised over $135,000 in two years for Brain Injury research at the Krembil Brain Institute and Toronto Rehab. Check out

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