Gustavo Saposnik




Research Interests

Stroke outcome, health services research, pharmacoeconomic and stroke therapy, quality of care, translating new emerging therapies into clinical practice, epidemiology of cerebrovascular disease

Research Activities

My current research focuses are Stroke Outcomes and Health Services Research. Specifically, I have looked at the domains of stroke care delivery, prevention, and improved stroke recovery. Both my research training and publications reflect my longstanding interests in these 3 areas. Ultimately, my personal goal is to identify innovative strategies which aim to improve access of care, stroke prevention, and reduce disability in stroke survivors.

Specifically, our team has looked at the domains of stroke care delivery, prevention, and improved stroke recovery. Both my research training and publications reflect my longstanding interests in these 3 areas. The first includes the assessment of how organized inpatient care affects stroke outcomes. We have developed and validated a risk score (called iScore) and a web tool to assist clinicians estimate clinical outcomes after a stroke. The iScore also showed to predict clinical response to thrombolysis (clot-buster medication) after an acute ischemic stroke. The second includes adherence to the guidelines and risk of stroke in selected populations. The last relates to a novel area: the use of virtual reality of stroke rehabilitation. More recently, we have taken it a step further by exploring the use of virtual reality with Nintendo Wii gaming technology in patients with recent strokes. We are also in the process of comparing different virtual reality systems.

To accomplish these tasks, I formed and led a working group on stroke outcome research involving many leading stroke researchers in Canada, and other specialists interested in stroke, called SORCan (Stroke Outcomes Research Canada). This has led to a series of publications, and others being submitted or in press. Our work has been highlighted in two summary reviews on ‘Advances in Health Policy and Outcomes’ published in STROKE Journal (Rudd et al. Stroke 2009;40;e301-e304 and Williams et al. Stroke 2010;41: e77-e80) and LANCET (Lancet 2011; 377: May 14). SORCan has the potential to be expanded and make worldwide contributions. Some of my success in these areas resulted from this productive network of colleagues and researchers in the field.

Our research program includes four main areas: stroke outcome research, stroke epidemiology, stroke & health policy, and new emerging therapies in cerebrovascular disease.

Accomplishments: Since my academic appointment at St. Michael’s Hospital (and creation of the Stroke Outcomes Research Program) in July 2006, I have obtained 3 personnel award (the 2008-2011 Heart and Stroke Foundation Ontario Clinician-Scientist Award, the 2012-2017 Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Distinguished Clinician Scientist Award and the HSFO MacDonald Research Award), 13 peer-reviewed operating grants (8 as PI). I have over 90 peer-reviewed papers published/in-press, 9 editorials, 4 book chapters, and more than 100 abstracts.

I have now established a successful research program involving a network of researchers studying Stroke Outcomes and Health Services Research that is unique within Canada, and perhaps globally.

Recent Publications

  1. Muir, RT, Kapoor, A, Cayley, ML, Sicard, MN, Lien, K, Southwell, A et al.. Language discordance as a marker of disparities in cerebrovascular risk and stroke outcomes: A multi-center Canadian study. Cereb Circ Cogn Behav. 2023;4 :100163. doi: 10.1016/j.cccb.2023.100163. PubMed PMID:36909680 PubMed Central PMC9996323.
  2. Al-Ajlan, FS, Gladstone, DJ, Song, D, Thorpe, KE, Swartz, RH, Butcher, KS et al.. Time Course of Early Hematoma Expansion in Acute Spot-Sign Positive Intracerebral Hemorrhage: Prespecified Analysis of the SPOTLIGHT Randomized Clinical Trial. Stroke. 2023;54 (3):715-721. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.121.038475. PubMed PMID:36756899 .
  3. Armstrong, BA, Dutescu, IA, Tung, A, Carter, DN, Trbovich, PL, Wong, S et al.. Cognitive biases in surgery: systematic review. Br J Surg. 2023; :. doi: 10.1093/bjs/znad004. PubMed PMID:36752583 .
  4. Kapustin, D, Zarei, S, Wang, W, Binns, MA, McLaughlin, PM, Abrahao, A et al.. Neuropsychiatric Symptom Burden across Neurodegenerative Disorders and its Association with Function. Can J Psychiatry. 2023; :7067437221147443. doi: 10.1177/07067437221147443. PubMed PMID:36637224 .
  5. Yu, D, Liang, N, Zebarth, J, Shen, Q, Ozzoude, M, Goubran, M et al.. Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase Derived Linoleic Acid Oxylipins, Small Vessel Disease Markers, and Neurodegeneration in Stroke. J Am Heart Assoc. 2023;12 (1):e026901. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.122.026901. PubMed PMID:36583428 PubMed Central PMC9973594.
  6. Ballesteros, J, Bueno-Gil, G, Rodríguez-Antigüedad, A, Sempere, ÁP, Del Río, B, Baz, M et al.. Assessing care-related regret among nurses specialized in multiple sclerosis: A psychometric analysis of a new assessment battery. Mult Scler J Exp Transl Clin. 2022;8 (4):20552173221144226. doi: 10.1177/20552173221144226. PubMed PMID:36518229 PubMed Central PMC9742695.
  7. Saposnik, G, Ismail, Z, Rivard, AM, Knifton, D, Bromfield, G, Terzaghi, M et al.. Decision making under uncertainty in the diagnosis and management of Alzheimer's Disease in primary care: A study protocol applying concepts from neuroeconomics. Front Med (Lausanne). 2022;9 :997277. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2022.997277. PubMed PMID:36330061 PubMed Central PMC9623110.
  8. Sunderland, KM, Beaton, D, Arnott, SR, Kleinstiver, P, Kwan, D, Lawrence-Dewar, JM et al.. Characteristics of the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative cohort. Alzheimers Dement. 2023;19 (1):226-243. doi: 10.1002/alz.12632. PubMed PMID:36318754 .
  9. Haddad, SMH, Scott, CJM, Ozzoude, M, Berezuk, C, Holmes, M, Adamo, S et al.. Comparison of Diffusion Tensor Imaging Metrics in Normal-Appearing White Matter to Cerebrovascular Lesions and Correlation with Cerebrovascular Disease Risk Factors and Severity. Int J Biomed Imaging. 2022;2022 :5860364. doi: 10.1155/2022/5860364. PubMed PMID:36313789 PubMed Central PMC9616672.
  10. Huo, X, Klein, P, Raynald,, Drumm, B, Chen, Y, Qureshi, MM et al.. Perceptions on basilar artery occlusion management in China versus other countries: Analysis of the after the BEST of BASICS (ABBA) survey. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2022;31 (11):106804. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2022.106804. PubMed PMID:36206608 .
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Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Director, Stroke Research Unit, Mobility Program, St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Associate Professor, Medicine, St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto
  • Cross-appointment, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Education (IHPME), University of Toronto
  • Adjunct Scientist, Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES)