News & Recent Medical Advances
MR CLEAN study demonstrates clinical benefit for intra-arterial stroke treament in select patients with large vessel occlusion.
For the first time, the Netherland-sponsored randomized controlled trial MR CLEAN demonstrated superior clinical benefit of intra-arterial therapy compared to standard medical therapy in acute ischemic stroke patients with large vessel occlusion. Most patients presenting in this study received IV tPA, and of those allocated in the intra-arterial arm, most patients were treated with a stent retriever. The MR CLEAN study heralds a new era for acute ischemic stroke therapy, and additional randomized controlled studies will be presented at the International Stroke Conference in February 2015 to confirm these findings.
BMC Neurology Team awarded 2014 BMC House Staff Quality Improvement (QI) Award for Acute Stroke Simulation
Congratulations to Dr. Jami Johnsen, Dr. Luciana Catanese, Dr. Julie Grimes, Dr. Benjamin Saunders, Dr. Hesham Masoud and Ms. Judith Clark on winning the BMC house staff QI Award! The Quality & Patient Safety Week Poster Selection Committee announced their poster "Improving Resident Performance in Acute Stroke Management Through Simulation Based Training," was selected to receive the 2014 BMC House Staff QI Award.
Judith Clark, BMC Stroke Coordinator, is awarded 2014 AHA SCORE Star Award
In June 2014, Ms. Clark was awarded the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association SCORE (Stroke Collaborative Reaching for Excellence) Star award. She was selected by her SCORE peers as the first of three finalists for the award. The SCORE Star Award was developed in 2011 to recognize a stroke coordinator who has demonstrated leadership among his/her peers. The collaborative model, which serves as the framework for SCORE, relies on shared learning among participants. SCORE members share best practices and tools through formal presentations and networking. Ms. Clark has been a true leader in SCORE and the program has benefited from her passion and commitment to stroke care. She has presented to the group on many occasions and most recently has been involved in the development and implementation of stroke training for skilled nursing facility staff.
BMC Receives 2013 SCORE Defect-Free Care Award and the Highest Performer on NIH Stroke Scale Award
The Stroke Collaborative Reaching for Excellence (SCORE) is a stroke registry and quality improvement initiative implemented as a partnership of the Massachusetts Department of Health, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Stroke Association's Get With the Guidelines.
Boston Medical Center was awarded the 2013 Defect-Free Care (>80% of stroke patients) award and the Highest Performer on NIH Stroke Scale (Large Volume) Award. The defect-free care measure demonstrates the pecent of patients receiving all of the interventions for which they were eligible. The defect-free care measure inludes ten stroke consensus measures, such as deep venous prophylaxis, discharge on antithrombotic therapy, anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation, smoking cessation counseling, antithrombotic therapy by end of hospital day 2, discharged on statin, stroke education, rehabilitation assessment, and dysphagia screening. Data from October 2011 to September 2012 were analyzed for this award.
Patient Story: After a Stroke, Family Matriarch Looks Toward the Future
On December 28, 2009, Barbara Hackett woke up in her South Boston apartment near Carson Beach with the same intention she has every morning. “I woke up to put the kettle on for a cup of tea, but I found that I couldn’t get up and fell down out of bed. I don’t remember anything after that,” she said... It was her neighbor who found her on the floor paralyzed and unable to speak,” remembered Wendy, her calm voice slightly quavering.
The neighbor called 911, and the ambulance delivered Barbara to Boston Medical Center, where she was quickly triaged as a stroke victim. Each minute became critical for Barbara’s prognosis. Dr. Thanh Nguyen, director of interventional neuroradiology and interventional neurology at BMC, oversaw Barbara’s treatment.
BMC launches study using new clot busting medication to extend
time window for ischemic stroke treatment: DIAS-4
An ischemic stroke is caused by a blockage, called a clot, in an artery that supplies blood to the brain. This obstruction results in a loss of blood flow to the affected area of the brain. The goal of drug therapy used to treat this condition is to dissolve the clot, thereby opening the blood vessel and restoring blood flow to the brain.
At this time, there are no FDA-approved medications to dissolve or remove the blood clot in patients that seek help greater than 4 ½ hours after the onset of their stroke symptoms. The purpose of this research study is to determine whether the investigational drug Desmoteplase is effective in the treatment of ischemic stroke when administered 4.5 to 9 hours after symptoms begin. Desmoteplase is being studied worldwide for its use in the treatment of individuals with stroke. Read more
BMC Receives Achievement Award from the American Heart Association for Stroke Care
Boston Medical Center was recognized for its achievement in implementing the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Get With The GuidelinesSM (GWTG) for stroke care. This level of achievement shows BMC’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for stroke patients. Read more
Boston Medical Center offering Cyberknife Radiosurgery to
treat Brain AVM and Tumors
Physicians at Boston Medical Center (BMC) are now offering patients an alternative to surgery for hard to reach brain arteriovenous malformations (AVM) and tumors. The CyberKnife Robotic Radiosurgery system is a non-invasive treatment for benign or cancerous tumors located nearly anywhere in the body. Read more
ECASS 3 study extends IV tpa time window for acute stroke
to 4.5 hours
Results of a study suggest that treatment with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator given 3 to 4.5 hours after symptom onset can provide improvement in clinical outcomes after an acute ischemic stroke.
New England Journal of Medicine abstract
Lyden editorial: Thrombolytic therapy for stroke - not a moment to lose
Study finds a high rate of silent stroke
Routine brain scans in a group of middle-aged people showed that 10 percent had suffered a stroke without knowing it, raising their risk for further strokes and memory loss. Read more
Prevalence and Correlates of Silent Cerebral Infarcts in the Framingham Offspring Study
Silent cerebral infarctions, also termed covert infarcts or simply MRI infarcts, are parenchymal lesions that have the MRI characteristics of previous infarcts but
have not been associated in that individual with clinical signs or symptoms corresponding to a stroke. Read more
Asymmetric Dimethylarginine in late middle age are independently associated with MRI evidence of silent stroke
Plasma levels of asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) in late middle age are independently associated with MRI evidence of silent stroke, according to an analysis of data from the Framingham Offspring study and presented at the AAN meeting here.
Vacuum Cleaner for the Brain
A new device suctions blood clots from the brains of stroke patients and buys doctors five extra hours to cut the risk of death and disability. Read more
CHD and Stroke Death Rates Declining, but Will They Continue to?
New mortality data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that, since 1999, death rates from coronary heart disease and stroke have fallen by about 25%. Read more
Tissue Plasminogen Activator Use In Stroke May Expand to
Reduce Disability: Presented at ANA
In the next few years, it may be possible to use tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) may be expanded beyond the 3-hour window during which patients with ischaemic stroke can be treated to reduce the risk of disability, according to a proteomic study presented here at the 132nd Annual Meeting of the American Neurological Association (ANA). Read more
New Stroke Treatment Vacuums Blood Clots
It is a tiny vacuum cleaner for the brain: A new treatment for stroke victims promises to suction out clogged arteries in hopes of stopping the brain attack before it does permanent harm. Read more
The Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center at Boston Medical Center (BMC) is committed to furthering the evidence-based practice for cerebrovascular disease, developing research protocols and collaborating with other institutions for NIH-funded projects. Most of the research projects at BMC are in the form of a clinical trial, where patients with stroke are invited to participate by taking a new medication.