The Asia Pacific Stroke Organisation (APSO) was formed in 1999 with the merger of two regional organisations, namely the Asian Stroke Forum (ASF) and the Asia Pacific Congress against Stroke (APCAS), in a meeting in Cairns, Australia. Based on these strong foundations, it has grown in strength over the years as an international non-profit organisation and presently has 6 sponsoring societies and 15 affiliated societies as members, spanning 21 countries, as well as a corporate member [1]. The societies include not only medical professional organisations but also patient support groups.

APSO has three pillars – advancement of stroke knowledge, research, and practice; training and education of healthcare workers and organisations; influencing policy for stroke practice; and improving health service. We have provided training grants to member societies to hold local educational activities, as well as travel grants for experts, the APSO Visiting Professorships, to speak at local conferences. We have formally endorsed national-level stroke educational conferences. To meet the need for medical education during the COVID-19 pandemic, our successful quarterly webinars with speakers from the region covering a broad range of topics have drawn large audiences. The stroke Mini-Fellowship Program was halted during the pandemic – it was to help fund young clinicians to be attached to stroke centres of excellence. The newly revamped APSO webpage provides a refreshing review of and easy access to the many APSO resources, including links to stroke journals, regional clinical practice guidelines, member societies, and stroke support organisations.

The Asia Pacific Stroke Conference is our flagship CME activity. Held annually since 2011 in various cities in the region, it has drawn large audiences, both local and from afar, across the spectrum of healthcare workers and administrators, all keen to enhance their knowledge, share research, and renew friendships as well as make new ones. The theme varied every year and reflected the pressing issues to be addressed at that time. The scientific abstracts have been published free of charge in Supplements to our partner journal Cerebrovascular Diseases, for which we are grateful to Karger – these abstracts are freely accessible on our webpage.

We are pleased this year to collaborate with the Hong Kong Stroke Society in organising the Asia Pacific Stroke Conference 2023, held from 1 to 3 December 2023 with the theme “Advancing stroke care in times of change,” that will explore the current developments and advances in a variety of speciality areas within the sphere of stroke. The topics covered include neurosonology, imaging, thrombolysis, thrombectomy, small vessel disease, intracranial atherosclerosis, extracranial large artery disease, atrial fibrillation, heart and brain, subarachnoid haemorrhage, intracerebral haemorrhage, cerebral venous thrombosis, cancer-associated stroke, rare causes, stroke genetics, translational neuroscience, secondary prevention, vascular cognitive impairment, post-stroke complications, and stroke services [2]. As this is a multidisciplinary conference, special sessions will be devoted to rehabilitation and stroke nursing as these are key areas impacting stroke recovery. The wide-ranging program comprises keynote lectures, plenary sessions, focused symposia, workshops, free paper presentations, poster presentations, and networking sessions. The expert faculty comes from the Asia Pacific region and further afar. The exhibition for leading companies in the industry will provide them with opportunities to showcase their latest technologies and products. The 278 scientific abstracts from the many countries (shown in Fig. 1), carefully reviewed by the International Scientific Committee, will share ground-breaking research that will impact clinical practice. The best presentations will be given the APSC 2023 Best Presentation Award. The best abstracts have been given the APSC 2023 Best Abstract Award. The best abstracts from lower- and lower-middle-income countries have received the APSO Travel Award. All the prizes include full coverage of the registration fee for the next APSC.

Fig. 1.

Number of abstracts by country/region (n = 278).

Fig. 1.

Number of abstracts by country/region (n = 278).

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APSO is very grateful to the Hong Kong Stroke Society for organising APSC 2023. We are aware of the tremendous hard work they and the Local Organising Committee have tirelessly put in to make the conference a success. Together, APSO and HKSS warmly welcome all to APSC 2023 in exciting Hong Kong.

Ethical approval is not needed for this paper.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

This study was not supported by any sponsor or funder.

N.V. wrote the paper and approved the final manuscript. R.L., W.C.-F., T.L., N.C.S., and B.W.-Y. guided the first author, provided critical review, and approved the final manuscript.

1.
Asia Pacific Stroke Organisation
. https://www.theapso.com/home (accessed September 28, 2023).
2.
Asia Pacific Stroke Conference 2023
. https://www.apsc2023hk.org/ (accessed September 28, 2023).