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AAN 2021 | Infection and stroke: thromboinflammation and enhanced neurodegeneration

A bidirectional association between infection and stroke is well recognized, with evidence showing infection can lead to stroke and stroke can increase infection risk. Mitchell Elkind, MD, MS, FAAN, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, NY, talks on the relationship between infection and stroke – a topic that has become even more relevant since the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prof. Elkind discusses how thromboinflammation can drive an increased risk of stroke following common infections. Recent evidence has suggested this risk is more notable following SARS-CoV-2 infection than with others such as influenza. Additionally, emerging data is beginning to highlight post-stroke neuroimmune changes that may accelerate normal age-related neurodegenerative processes, and that a coinciding infection at the time of stroke can exacerbate the risk of cognitive decline. This interview took place during the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 2021 Annual Meeting.