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Stroke Center Research

Clinical Trials for Stroke Prevention, Treatment and Recovery

The UC San Diego Comprehensive Stroke Center has a long history leading and participating in clinical stroke trials. Since the program's inception in the mid-1980s, we have participated in over 80 clinical trials in stroke.

Our team played a pivotal role in the NINDS tPA Stroke Trial (1994), which led to the first approved treatment for ischemic stroke, tPA. In 2018, we were part of the DEFUSE 3 Study, which in concert with other neurovascular embolectomy stroke studies, demonstrated the successful and safe removal of large vessel clots in stroke victims who presented to the ED within 24 hours of stroke symptom onset.

As a clinical and research center, we have remained committed to pioneering new techniques and treatments to reduce stroke risk, prevent secondary stroke events, salvage brain tissue acutely, and investigate solutions to repair and recover injured brain.

A National and Regional Leader in Research

NIH SPOTRIAS Network: In the 2000's, the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) selected nine institutions across the United States with a strong commitment to the rapid treatment of acute stroke patients who had a demonstrated collaboration between emergency medical services, emergency physicians, neurologists, and radiologists to participate in the Specialized Programs of Translational Research in Acute Stroke (SPOTRIAS). UC San Diego was one of the nine centers designated. The aim of SPOTRIAS was to reduce disability and mortality in acute stroke patients through the development of improved treatment by laboratory investigation into the biology of stroke, clinical investigation of new therapies based on these laboratory studies, and assessment of outcome and improved application of effective therapies.

NIH StrokeNet Network: More recently, the NIH created the StrokeNet Network to conduct small and large clinical trials and research studies to advance acute stroke treatment, stroke prevention, and recovery and rehabilitation following a stroke. This network of 25 regional coordinating centers (RCCs) across the U.S., involves more than 200 hospitals, and is designed to serve as the infrastructure and pipeline for exciting new potential treatments for patients with stroke and those at risk for stroke. UCSD again was selected as one of initial regional centers to promote and conduct high quality stroke trials by organizing collaborating institutions in the greater San Diego region. Through this grant and the support from NIH, we were able to build a strong regional network of medical centers across our region and beyond to allow many more patients to be offered the opportunity to particpiate in state-of-the-art clinical research projects related to stroke treatment, recovery and prevention.

Current Clinical Research Studies

Current stroke research projects include novel thrombolytic and adjuvant therapies for acute ischemic stroke, anticoagulant use for embolic stroke of undetermined source based on cardiac biomarkers, understanding nuances of management of malignant strokes and intracranial hemorrhage, and development and implementation of a stroke advance directive. Residents and fellows learn state-of-the-art stroke care from leaders in the field and participate in the discovery and development of new treatments for cerebrovascular disease.



To inquire about our clinical research program, contact us.

Phone: (619) 543-7760

For general information about risk factors, signs and symptoms, and treatments visit the American Heart and Stroke Association website