The goal of the DISCOVERY Study is to better understand what factors contribute to changes in thinking and memory abilities in patients who have had a stroke. The purpose of this study is to help doctors identify patients at risk for dementia (decline in memory, thinking, and other mental abilities that significantly affects daily functioning) after their stroke so that future treatments may be developed to improve outcomes in stroke patients. The DISCOVERY study aims to enroll thousands of stroke patients of all genders, races, and ethnicities to allow researchers to better understand what types of care may benefit future generations of stroke survivors.
Below, you will find some trusted stroke and dementia support resources for patients and families:
- Massachusetts General Hospital Stroke Service - Patient and Family Resources:
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health – Stroke Early Warning Signs:
- American Stroke Association Stroke Support Group Finder:
- American Stroke Association Caregiver Support and Resources:
- Massachusetts General Hospital ADRC Family Resource Page:
- Family Caregiver Alliance (Dementia Fact and Tip Sheets):
- Mayo Clinic Memory Loss & When to Seek Help:
- The National Alliance for Caregiving – Brain Health Conversation Guide:
- Cleveland Clinic – Healthy Brains Website:
- Dementia Friendly America Resources:
DISCOVERY FOR PATIENTS
The goal of the DISCOVERY study is to better understand brain function and memory after stroke survival and learn more about what factors make some people more or less likely to develop dementia (loss of mental capacity). The DISCOVERY study aims to enroll thousands of stroke survivors of all genders and races to allow researchers to better understand what types of care future generations of patients may need. Each enrolling hospital site within the DISCOVERY Network is designated as either Tier 1, 2, or 3, based on their capacity to conduct additional cognitive testing and neuroimaging (e.g. MRI scan, PET scan). Please find our Study Inclusion & Exclusion criteria below:
- 1. Age ≥18 years
- 2. Admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis of AIS, ICH, or aSAH
- 3. Radiographic confirmatory evidence of: (1) AIS (based on a focal area of restricted diffusion on MRI), (2) non-traumatic ICH (based on evidence of acute parenchymal hemorrhage CT or brain MRI) or (3) non-traumatic acute aSAH (based on evidence of subarachnoid hemorrhage on CT or MRI and evidence of aneurysm on CT angiography, MR angiography, or conventional catheter-based angiography)
- 4. Able to complete baseline visit in person or by phone within 6 weeks of stroke onset
- 5. Able to provide informed consent by self or proxy
- 6. Fluent in English or Spanish prior to stroke onset
- 1. Documented history of pre-stroke dementia or fails dementia pre-screen
- 2. Concurrently enrolled into a study that is not approved under the DISCOVERY Co-Enrollment Policy
- 3. Unable to complete study protocol (advanced directives such as comfort measures only, or inability to complete the study due to severe medical/behavioral co-morbidities), as determined by physician investigator during screening process
Additional exclusion criteria for Tier 2 participants:
- 4. Contraindication to MRI: presence of electrically, magnetically, or mechanically activated implants (such as cardiac pacemakers, cochlear implants, implanted pumps); or metallic clips in the brain
- 5. Age <50 years
Additional exclusion criteria for Tier 3 participants:
- 6. Women who are pregnant or seeking to become pregnant
- 7. Known to have one of the following genetic conditions which can increase the chance of cancer: Cowden disease, Lynch syndrome, hypogammaglobulinemia, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, Down’s syndrome
DISCOVERY Digest Newsletter - Issue 2:
STARTING A FITNESS & WELLNESS JOURNEY: Meet Jocelyn Bourassa continued…
What qualities make someone successful in setting and reaching fitness/wellness goals?
Consistency. Adaptation. Ability to embrace change and defy their comfort zone.
You have to be able to stay determined in the beginning stages. Beginners often find themselves tired, sore and frustrated after their first few weeks of a fitness/wellness routine. This is their body feeling unaccustomed to the physical demands of exercise and lifestyle changes these are often times the hardest weeks to push through. But, if you stay consistent your mind and body will adapt and thrive, you will begin to enjoy the exercise endorphins and feel and see the positive changes as they emerge. Don’t quit!
What is your advice for someone who has perhaps started a health and wellness goal and it fell off?
Also very common. Forgive yourself but try your best to stay true to your goal. Begin again, moving forward and remember why you started. Challenge yourself, ask yourself what led to your losing motivation - what can be done to prepare yourself for the next time you start to feel like a “fall off” is coming?
Don’t beat yourself up on the way down to bringing yourself back up. Some weeks will be easier than others but making health and wellness a priority is key. The more you keep up with it, the more it will become second nature. Once it becomes second nature you’ll owe yourself some rest days and indulgences now and then and you should enjoy them.
Internal Dialogue plays a huge roll in wellness success. If I hear a client talking about themselves or their body in a negative way I ask them to reframe the sentence. I don’t let my clients put themselves down or compare themselves to other people while they are training with me, I always ask them to reframe their words in hopes they will carry that way of thinking into their everyday thoughts.