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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 12/15/98
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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UC Begins Second Phase of Major Stroke Study

Cincinnati—On January 1, 1999, researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine will begin phase 2 of a study of all patients diagnosed with stroke at 18 hospitals located in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area. Led by principal investigator Joseph Broderick, MD, UC professor of neurology, the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky stroke team will identify all cases of stroke. They also will document the three-month outcome and obtain blood from 500 of these patients in an attempt to identify genes that may predispose one to stroke.

The study, entitled "A Comparison of Hemorrhagic and Ischemic Stroke Among Blacks and Whites," is funded by a $2.3 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). The NINDS is part of the National Institutes of Health. The goal of this study is to document the number of people who have strokes, along with the causes, treatment, and outcome of stroke in a large biracial metropolitan population. It is estimated that 3,000 people in five area counties in Ohio and Northern Kentucky will have a stroke each year.

Stroke is the country’s leading cause of adult disability. Local researchers played a major role in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the first drug therapy shown to improve neurological recovery and decrease disability in adults following acute ischemic stroke. The drug, called tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA), helps dissolve clots that block blood flow in the brain. The initial clinical trial done at most area hospitals involved health professionals from several disciplines and revealed that t-PA can significantly reduce the brain damage caused by strokes if given within three hours of an attack.

Broderick says, "We’ve already shown that stroke is more prevalent than previously thought. Now we will attempt to document every case of stroke admitted at 18 Greater Cincinnati hospitals for a full year." The stroke team will track the course of all stroke patients admitted in 1999 to see if specific treatments were given in the first three hours after the onset of the stroke, how the patients fared, and the extent of genetic predisposition for stroke among different races of people.

The Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky stroke team will also monitor the public health department outpatient clinics, family practice centers, 50 physician offices, and 25 nursing homes for stroke cases that never get admitted to the hospital. "We are checking the pulse of the community to see whether stroke is increasing or decreasing in frequency as well as what stroke treatments are being used and which ones work best," says Broderick.

Other UC members of the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky stroke team working on this project include: Rashmi Kothari, MD, Arthur Pancioli, MD, and Edward Jauch, MD, emergency medicine; Dan Kanter, MD, and Dan Woo, MD, neurology; Thomas Tomsick, MD, neuroradiology; Rosie Miller, RN (study coordinator), Laura Sauerbeck, RN, Janice Carrozella, RN, Kathy Alwell, RN; statistical investigators Rakesh Shukla, PhD, Jane Khoury, MS, Charlie Moomaw, PhD, and Shelia Salisbury, MS; Anil Menon, PhD, and Yan Ru Su, PhD, molecular genetics and biochemistry.

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