Title of the project: “Occurrence of vascular events in a cohort of spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhages: incidence, predictive factors and influence on long-term outcome”.
It has been a great honour for me to be awarded with the EAN Research fellowship: thanks to this opportunity, I have worked for one year in the Department of Neurology & stroke centre directed by Pr Charlotte Cordonnier at Lille University Hospital, France. It was an invaluable experience, which allowed me to be fully immerged in a very stimulating environment. In Lille I found a multidisciplinary team, composed of talented physicians and researchers. The clinical activity is very extensive: the Lille University Hospital “Roger Salengro” (Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire, CHRU) is the reference centre for mechanical thrombectomy (more than 300/year) and hemicraniectomy (32 in 2015, 24 in 2016) in the region of the “Hauts de France”, serving as a tertiary hospital for about 4 million people. A “tele-medicine” network has been developed in the region and a stroke specialist settled in Lille provides 24 hours assistance for the management of cases needing endovascular or surgical therapies. Regular multidisciplinary meetings provide outstanding niches for discussion of complicated clinical cases and rare diseases. Moreover, the field of research is very active. The two main axes of research are acute stroke, both ischaemic and haemorrhagic, and degenerative and vascular cognitive disorders. The integrated research Unit U1171 of INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale,) directed by Pr Régis Bordet, provides full facilities for basic and translational research. The cooperation between clinicians and professionals of basic research, throughout meetings and exchanges, represent a real added value. Many clinical trials are ongoing, among them, the stroke unit of Lille is the coordinator centre in France of the international “EuroHyp” (a phase III clinical trial which will assess the benefit of therapeutic cooling in patients with acute ischaemic stroke) and “RESTART” trial (a randomized control trial on antithrombotic drugs after a spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage). Last but not least, the educational activity of medical students and neurology resident is considered a priority, contributing to create a young and interactive environment. In one-year experience I improved my professional skills beyond any expectations. I had the opportunity to carry on a project focused on the incidence of vascular events in a large ongoing prospective cohort of patients with spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage (the relevant article is in progress), an important piece of evidence that could possibly contribute to improve clinical management of patients. I also worked on other stimulating research and educational projects that are actually ongoing, as the educational project on the use of simulation in acute stroke care. This year in Lille also gave me the chance to share with many French fellows professional and personal experiences: people from this region of France really have the “sun in their heart”, as they love to say. I would like to express my gratitude to Pr Charlotte Cordonnier, for being a great Mentor and my future guidance in professional life and to Pr Didier Leys, for his meticulous and passionate supervision and for the uncommon attention he always demonstrated. I highly encourage my colleagues to apply to international fellowship programs of the EAN, an important chance to promote collaborative network through Europe and improve professional and personal skills. Thank again to EAN to make it possible!