NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly references Dr. Mark Randle. A corrected version of the story is below.
More than 100 health providers from across the region learned the latest breakthroughs in neuroscience during a conference held at the Grand Ballroom in Stephen F. Austin's Baker Patillo Student Center Friday.
Nacogdoches neurosurgeon Dr. J. Michael Randle is a guest speaker each year. The first conference was 12 years ago, and they had less than 20 people in attendance that year.
"We had like 20 people at the conference," Randle said.
Fortunately for East Texas, the interest and knowledge are growing right along with the science. That's a good thing when symptoms are narrowed down to a stroke.
"I think the biggest break through is people understanding the signs and symptoms of strokes, the need to get them to the hospital as fast as possible and also to see the warning signs before strokes, as well as taking care of yourself," Dr. Randle said.
These health care professionals have had a big role in remarkable results. Back in 2008, 9 million people lived after a stroke. Today, more than 30 million stroke victims are alive. Some are learning to re-direct their brains.
"The concept that the brain can modify itself to be able to cope better with its environment if you know the right strategies to work with that patient," Laurie Hurst, the director of rehabilitation services for Nacogdoches Medical Center, said.
There would be fewer operations and less demand for rehab if healthy individuals would take the steps to prevent stroke.
"Eighty percent of strokes could possibly be prevented, and at least the outcomes would be improved because if the person knows the signs of stroke and ignores them, they don't have the opportunity for the clot buster," Hurst said.
No doubt, education is important at the public level, as well at the medical provider level.