By Dr. Justin McArthur
Stroke care needs to be a team sport. To ensure patients get the right care at the right time, stroke treatment has to bring together experts from across disciplines and medical departments to instill new knowledge about brain repair, neural plasticity and cognition.
I am honored to serve as the director of the new Sheikh Khalifa Stroke Institute, which Johns Hopkins will open in Baltimore, thanks to a recently announced gift of $50 million from the United Arab Emirates. The agreement also includes opening a stroke institute in the UAE. As highlighted in this video, the UAE’s generous support will bring global stroke research and patient care to a new level.
Stroke is a worldwide health threat. In the UAE, in particular, someone suffers a stroke every hour, making it the second-leading cause of disability in the country. Also troubling is the fact that half of all stroke patients in the UAE are in their mid-forties, as compared to the global average, where 80 percent of stroke patients are older than 65.
Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE’s ambassador to the United States, says the Emirati government was looking for a partner who would deliver the best solutions for diagnosing, treating and preventing stroke. The UAE has had a longstanding relationship with Johns Hopkins, so he calls this new collaboration a natural fit.
Johns Hopkins has successfully treated thousands of Emiratis throughout our health system here in Baltimore, and we have sustained strong global affiliations in the UAE, including at Tawam and Al Rahba hospitals. In 2012, The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the UAE dedicated the Sheikh Zayed Tower, our state-of-the-art adult care center that also was made possible through a gift from Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the UAE.
This new gift from the UAE is an incredible opportunity to spur work that will guide us toward a world where stroke and stroke recovery is substantially improved.
Dr. Justin McArthur is the director the of the Johns Hopkins/National Institute of Mental Health Research Center for Novel Therapeutics of HIV-associated Cognitive Disorders. He is also the director of the Johns Hopkins Department of Neurology and holds the John W. Griffin Professorship in Neurology. Dr. McArthur is nationally and internationally recognized for his work in studying the natural history, development and treatment of HIV infection; multiple sclerosis; and other neurological infections and immune-mediated neurological disorders.