Panel Praises Kirk’s Inclusion of Stroke Funding in Appropriations Bill; New StrokeNet Research Infrastructure Saves Money and Lives; Network Serves as Engine to Conduct Trials and Advance Stroke Care in Acute Treatments, Prevention, and Recovery
CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–April 17, 2014. Following a roundtable discussion at Northwestern Memorial Hospital with stroke researchers from in and around Chicago, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) joined with representatives from health care systems from across the Chicago area yesterday to outline his stroke agenda, as well as discuss the importance of supporting National Institutes of Health (NIH) research.
The group praised Sen. Kirk’s successful efforts to secure NIH funding for a new stroke research infrastructure, called StrokeNet, in the 2013 appropriations bill.
“Stroke is the leading cause for disability among adults,” Sen. Kirk said. “I look forward to working with NIH to ensure that this unprecedented research approach will reduce the incidence of stroke and minimize disability so that we can get more stroke survivors back to work.”
The new NIH StrokeNet infrastructure for stroke research aims to conduct stroke-related trials across three areas: acute treatments, prevention, and recovery. The goal is to conduct the trials quickly and efficiently, yielding timely results and sustainable systems for testing and scientific methodology.
NIH implemented the new stroke research network in response to the lack of centralization and efficiency in prior stroke research models. Before 2013, stroke research would often take over 10 years per study and come in millions of dollars over budget. The new regionalized model creates a permanent infrastructure that lowers the cost of research and allows for quicker, more timely trial results. The StrokeNet system is also regionalized, which aims to eliminate competition between trials and refocus efforts on effective treatment.
Currently, no clinical data exists for stroke rehabilitation. The new StrokeNet infrastructure will address this problem by conducting the largest clinical stroke rehabilitation trial in history.
Medical professionals who joined Sen. Kirk for yesterday’s symposium—members of The Chicago Stroke Trials Consortium—include:
- Dr. Richard Bernstein, Northwestern Memorial Hospital
- Dr. Tim Carroll, Northwestern Memorial Hospital
- Dr. Jules Dewald, Northwestern Memorial Hospital
- Dr. Shyam Prabhakaran, Northwestern Memorial Hospital
- Dr. Richard Harvey, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
- Dr. Elliott Roth, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
- Dr. Mark Wainwright, Lurie Children’s Hospital
- Dr. Jim Conners, Rush University
- Dr. Michael Kelly, Stroger Hospital
- Dr. Jose Biller, Loyola University
- Dr. Sarkis Morales-Vidal, Loyola University
- Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, American Heart Association and American Stroke Association
- Alex Meixner, American Heart Association and American Stroke Association
“Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and the number one cause of major disability in US adults,” said Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, president of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s Metro Chicago board of directors. “The Chicago Stroke Trials Consortium is raising both the ceiling of stroke care by creating an environment that supports major scientific advancement, and raising the floor of stroke care by helping to ensure that every stroke patient receives the care they need, which in turn can lead to fewer stroke-related deaths and disabilities. We are proud to support this dynamic effort to reduce stroke-related deaths and disabilities in Chicago and beyond.”
StrokeNet provides for a constant means of communication between stroke research teams, whereas clinical research models previously isolated competing research teams. Standardized data collection will now allow for optimized referencing through widely accessible databases.
Some early trials discussed by the panel include using glucose during a stroke to improve outcomes and early brain-bleeding surgeries aimed at minimally invasive procedures to remove clots.
“These are the frontiers of stroke care. The best possible treatments are still out there, waiting to be discovered,” Sen. Kirk said. “Early treatments and preventive measures will help reduce the occurrence of strokes, and new research in treatments will help restore brain and neurologic function to victims.”
More information about NIH StrokeNet can be found here.