INGELHEIM, Germany, May 27 /PRNewswire/ --

- For Healthcare Media Outside the U.S.A., Canada, and Japan

Boehringer Ingelheim announced today that it will become the founding sponsor of the World Stroke Academy, a novel training initiative for stroke professionals being developed by the World Stroke Organization (WSO). This latest educational initiative from the WSO will bring together an international group of stroke experts - led by Professor Michael Brainin of the Danube University Krems, Austria - to provide information about stroke and knowledge for health professionals and medical doctors in order to improve prevention, therapy and management of stroke.

Professor Bo Norrving, President of the WSO said: The World Stroke Academy is a project of the World Stroke Organization and aims at improving education on a global scale. It is a platform open to all stroke societies aiming at global effectiveness of fighting stroke and its physical and mental consequences.

Dr. Manfred Haehl, Corporate Senior Vice President Medicine, Boehringer Ingelheim said: Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to patient care and we are proud to support initiatives that have potential to benefit all patients. Stroke is one of the biggest causes of death and severe disability worldwide, and a great many patients simply don't have access to specialist care. We hope the World Stroke Academy will contribute to training a new generation of specialists who can help provide that care.

The World Health Organization estimates that 5.7 million people in the world die each year from stroke.[1] Among survivors, 40% experience moderate to severe disability and 10% require institutional care.[2]

The World Stroke Academy aims to provide a mixture of online and conventional activities to educate and help facilitate training of stroke professionals across all regions of the world. Key objectives of the initiative include:

- Promoting knowledge and education on stroke management on a global level according to the WSO mission statement - Improving and standardising educational standards in primary and secondary stroke prevention, acute management and rehabilitation - Leveraging guidelines to ensure best practice is implemented within all regions of the world - Further developing the WSO as a leading global educator.

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Notes to Editor

About the World Stroke Organization

The World Stroke Organization (WSO) was established in October 2006 from the merger of the International Stroke Society (ISS) and the World Stroke Federation (WSF), the two lead organisations representing stroke globally. The mission of WSO is to provide access to stroke care and to promote research and teaching in this area that will improve the care of stroke victims throughout the world.

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Boehringer Ingelheim

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 138 affiliates in 47 countries and 41,300 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

In 2008, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of 11.6 billion euro while spending one fifth of net sales in its largest business segment Prescription Medicines on research and development.

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[1] Cardiovascular diseases. Fact sheet No.317. February 2007. WHO.

[2] National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Stroke Rehabilitation Information.

INGELHEIM, Germany, May 27 /PRNewswire/ --

Contact: Judith von Gordon, Corporate Division Communications, Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, 55216 Ingelheim/Germany, Tel: Phone +49-61-32-77-3582, E-mail: