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Observations BMJ Confidential

Vladimir Hachinski: Stroke prevention polymath

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 20 June 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2223
Duncan Smith


Vladimir Hachinski is a Canadian neurologist and polymath with a distinguished record of discovery in vascular dementia and stroke. Born in Ukraine, he reached Canada by way of Venezuela, where his parents emigrated to escape Stalin. He qualified in Toronto, where he later set up, with John W Norris, the world’s first successful acute stroke unit. His research overturned the view that dementia was caused by hardening of the arteries, showing that the cause was often a series of small, almost imperceptible strokes that were, in principle, preventable. In 1980 he moved to London, Ontario, as a neurology consultant for three major hospitals. He has written poetry (in Spanish) and history, including an examination of whether Stalin experienced delusions or dementia in his final years. Hachinski also composed a waltz that premiered at Vienna’s Musikverein …

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