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Dr. Gustavo Saposnik

As the Director of the Centre for Virtual Reality Studies Research at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute in Toronto, Dr. Gustavo Saposnik and his group are applying innovative technologies to enhance brain repair and stroke recovery. A clinician scientist and Associate Professor of Medicine (Neurology) at the University of Toronto, Dr. Saposnik is a staff Neurologist and the Director of the Stroke Outcomes at St. Michael’s Hospital.

He also holds a cross appointments at the Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), and at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation.

The primary focus of Dr. Saposnik’s research is Stroke Outcomes Research & Decision making, including 3 levels of intervention: 1) acute stroke care; 2) stroke prevention; and, 3) stroke rehabilitation.

The overarching goals of his program include:

  1. Developing new diagnostic tools to triage stroke patients to receive better targeted acute and rehabilitation therapies.
  2. Evaluating how decisions making at different points in stroke care influence patient-oriented outcomes.
  3. Developing and applying new technologies – virtual reality (VR), PC tablet applications, simulators, functional electric stimulation (FES), MRI compatible tablet – to enhance brain plasticity after stroke.

Dr. Saposnik’s innovative program has developed new diagnostic tools to help patients receive appropriately targeted acute and rehabilitation therapies. He uses these triage tools (iSCORE, PLAN, SPAN-100 score, depression & cognitive scales) to apply innovative technologies to enhance stroke rehabilitation.

Ongoing clinical trials include EVREST Multicenter (Efficacy of Nintendo Wii vs recreational therapy in Stroke rehabilitation), iHome Acute and iHome Chronic (Efficacy of iPAD software application for stroke rehabilitation for home use).

To accomplish these goals Dr. Saponsik created and leads the Stroke Outcomes Research Canada, a National & International collaborative network of scientists, methodologists, clinicians and stroke experts interested in this novel field (www.sorcan.ca).