The mission of the Northwestern Medicine Stroke Program is to improve the life of patients with stroke by providing the best treatments to patients with complex cerebrovascular issues through Feinberg-affiliated hospitals, and to advance the state of the art through research.
We offer two stroke fellowships. First, we offer a traditional one year clinical vascular fellowship which provides extensive training in the comprehensive management of patients with all forms of cerebrovascular disease. Fellows will work out of Feinberg-affiliated Northwestern Memorial Hospital, which is a Joint-Commission Primary Stroke Center, and work with an interdisciplinary team composed of neurologists, neurointensivists, vascular neurosurgeons, endovascular radiologists, vascular surgeons, and rehabilitation medicine specialists. Work environments include a dedicated Neuro-ICU, a dedicated stroke unit, and daily rounds, outpatient stroke clinic, and telemedicine.
Fellows also gain experience through the telestroke network, though which Northwestern Memorial Hospital physicians provide high-level cerebrovascular consultation to patients via two-way video at partner institutions: Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, Northwestern Grayslake Emergency Room, Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, and Norwegian American Hospital located in the Chicago neighborhood of Humboldt Park. To date, this program has provided more than 300 consultations through partner institutions, many of whom were treated with IV tPA or transferred expeditiously to NMH for higher level care.
Second, we offer an NIH-funded stroke research fellowship focusing on training in clinical trials methodology. We have weekly conferences and seminars including the Combined Stroke/Neurocritical Care/Pediatric Neurocritical Care case conference, Cerebrovascular Research Conference and the Stroke Team Administrative Meeting. This fellowship is part of our role as regional coordinating center for the NIH Stroke Trials Network (StrokeNet).
Our research focuses on three distinct areas of stroke. First, we conduct clinical trials comparing different treatments for interrupting acute stroke, preventing complications and recurrence, and improving neurological recovery. Second, we are testing new strategies for detecting the origin of “stroke of unknown cause.” Finally, we are studying the biology of arterial disease in the brain using advanced imaging techniques. The National Institutes of Health, industry, and private philanthropy fund this research.
We serve as one of 25 regional coordinating centers for the new NIH StrokeNet clinical trial network. Our role is to coordinate the efforts of our academic colleagues in Chicago in enrolling patients in NIH-sponsored stroke trials.
Faculty in the department serve in leadership roles on international trials in stroke, have extensive records of publications and presentations at international conferences, and have been among the leading enrollers in pivotal multicenter trials.
Acute Stroke Treatment
- DEFUSE-2 (Bernstein): using advanced neuroimaging with MRI to determine which patients are most likely to respond to aggressive efforts to open blocked cerebral arteries. [The Lancet Neurology, Volume 11, Issue 10, Pages 860 - 867, October 2012]2
- POINT (Bernstein): comparing aspirin to aspirin and clopidogrel in patients with acute minor stroke and transient ischemic attack. NIH
- SOCRATES (Bernstein): ASA vs. Ticagrelor in acute stroke or TIA. AstraZeneca.
- REVERSE-AD (Bernstein): Idracizumab to reverse the anticoagulant effects of dabigatran in hemorrhagic emergencies. (Boehringer Ingelheim)
- GAMES-RP (Prabhakaran): Glyburide for malignant edema in acute stroke. Sponsor: Remedy Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
- SHINE (Prabhakaran): Glucose management in acute stroke. Sponsor: NIH
- Multi-Stem (Bernstein): Intravenous Stem Cell infusion in acute stroke to improve recovery. Sponsor: Atherysys, Inc.
- APEX (Ruff): Betrixaban to prevent DVT in patients with acute stroke. Sponsor: Portola, Inc.
- PRISMS (Prabhakaran): IV tPA in minor stroke. Sponsor: Genetech.
- DAWN (Ruff): Endovascular therapy for acute “wake-up” ischemic stroke. (Stryker Neurovascular)
- CEERIAS (Prabhakaran): Community engagement for early recognition and immediate action in stroke. (PCORI/U.S. Government)
- ARISTOTLE (Bernstein): Warfarin vs. Apixaban to prevent stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. [N Engl J Med 2011; 365:981-992] Bristol Myers/Pfizer
- GLORIA-AF (Bernstein): Global registry on long-term oral anticoagulant treatment for atrial fibrillation. Boehringer Ingelheim.
- RESPECT-ESUS (Bernstein): Aspirin vs. Dabigatran (Pradaxa) in to prevent recurrent stroke in patients with stroke of unknown cause. (Sponsor: Boehringer Ingelheim).
- CRYSTAL-AF (Bernstein): Cryptogenic Stroke and Underlying Atrial Fibrillation. [N Engl J Med 2014: in press]. Medtronic.
Vascular Imaging/Vascular Biology
- MYRIAD (Prabhakaran): MRI imaging of intracranial atherosclerosis. Sponsor: NIH
Meet Our Faculty
Learn more about the doctors in our stroke program via faculty profiles:
Stroke Program Specialists
Yvonne Curran, MD
Shyam Prabhakaran, MD
Ilana Ruff, MD
Neurocritical Care Specialists
Eric Liotta, MD
Matthew Maas, MD
Andrew Naidech, MD/MSPH
Vascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery
Babak Jahromi, MD/PhD
Matthew Potts, MD
Sameer Ahmad Ansari, MD/PhD
Michael Hurley, MBBChBAO
Ali Shaibani, MD