Hospital Conducts Research into Stroke Prevention and Treatment

March 3, 2004

participants sought for participation

Helen Hayes Hospital is conducting several research studies examining new protocols to prevent recurrent strokes and new methodologies for stroke treatment and recovery. Individuals who have had a stroke are being recruited for participation.

Secondary Prevention of Small Subcortical Strokes (SPS3) is a multicenter clinical trial being funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The research seeks to determine how to best prevent a second stroke in someone who has experienced a small or subcortical stroke. Such strokes often occur at a younger age than other types of stroke and they can cause arm or leg weakness, as well as mild to severe memory loss, mood swings and impairment in judgment. Hypertension is the leading cause of these strokes and the study will also examine how to best control this risk factor.

Individuals who have had a small stroke within the previous few months are eligible to participate. Study participants will be evaluated and followed by a neurologist and cardiologist at Helen Hayes Hospital and may receive free anti- hypertensive medication, if needed, as well as aspirin and study medication. A total of 2,500 individuals are being enrolled in this study at 35 sites nationwide. For additional information, or to be screened for participation, call Laura Tenteromano, R.N., C.C.R.C. at 845-786-4854.

Helen Hayes is also continuing to recruit participants for another stroke prevention study that has been underway for a few years. Siblings who have both had ischemic stroke are being sought so researchers may examine genes that may increase the risk of having such a stroke. The siblings need not live near each other as the study requires only a single blood test. This study is funded by the NIH in conjunction with the Mayo Clinic. For additional information, call Laura Tenteromano at the number above.

The principal investigator for these studies is Laura Lennihan, M.D., Chief of Neurology and Director of Stroke Rehabilitation at Helen Hayes Hospital. A graduate of Harvard University, Dr. Lennihan received her medical degree from Cornell University Medical College. At Helen Hayes Hospital, she leads a team of nurses, physical, occupational and speech therapists and other professionals whose goal is to maximize the recovery of individuals with stroke.

Stroke is the nation’s third leading cause of death and approximately 10% of survivors experience another stroke within one year. Stroke causes paralysis, as well as impairments in speech, memory, judgment, sensation and coordination.