The Center for Neurological Disorders - Stroke Program

Stroke Program

Faculty:
Gretchen E. Tietjen, MD, Director

Staff:
Andrea Korsnack, RN; CNRN, Stroke Nurse Coordinator
Academic office: 419 383-3544
Clinic appointments:419 383-3760
Stroke nurse: 419 383-3801

Aim:
Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of stroke and transient ischemic attacks

Highlights:
The 24/7 Stroke Team at University Medical Center has been in place since 1994, and is able to perform rapid assessment and treatment with clot-busting (thrombolytic) medications, such as TPA. The team consists of 3 fellowship-trained stroke neurologists, a dedicated stroke nurse, a neurosurgeon, and the staff in the Emergency Department, radiology, and the laboratory. University Medical Center is the only stroke center in Northwest Ohio to offer research protocols for both acute stroke and stroke prevention.

Education:
The faculty and staff of the Stroke Program provide educational programs for physicians and nurses at UT and in the region to keep health care providers abreast of the latest advances in stroke care. Medical students at UT learn about the causes and diagnosis of stroke. The Stroke Program faculty and staff also work in the community to teach the public, including school age children, about stroke risk factors and warning signs. The faculty has also contributed chapters to textbooks and taught in national symposia.

Treatment Advances:
Use of TPA (tissue plasminogen activator), an FDA approved treatment of acute stroke, requires expertise. Members of the Stroke Team have developed expertise in the use of TPA with this drug through participation in clinical trials, beginning in the years prior to the FDA approval in 1996. The radiology facilities at UMC include an MRI scanner, which through the use of diffusion-weighted imaging, allows for the detection of stroke at the earliest stages. The coagulation laboratory has expertise in detecting both genetic and acquired conditions which predispose to stroke. University Medical Center has a 4-bed stroke unit with protocols for state-of-the-art care. Vascular surgeons and cardiologists are able to apply techniques to prevent repeat stroke, including carotid endarterectomy, carotid stenting, and patent foramen ovale (PFO) closure. The Coghlin Rrehabilitation Hospital on the Health Science campus allows stroke patients to move from the acute care setting toward recovery. Dr. Tietjen, the Stroke Program Director, is the Toledo area chairman of the American Heart Association sponsored Operation Stroke to improve stroke care throughout the region. One of the initiatives includes a monthly Stroke and Stroke Caregivers Support Group. UT also has a Stroke Clinic to evaluate outpatients for stroke risk and complications, and to manage medications such as coumadin.

Research:
University of Toledo is the only stroke center in Northwest Ohio to offer research protocols for both acute stroke and for the prevention of stroke. Acute stroke protocols include the testing of medications designed to dissolve blood clots in the brain blood vessels, and to protect the brain tissue from the damage caused by the lack of oxygen. Preventive studies have examined the ability of cholesterol lowering medications (statins) to decrease stroke recurrence, and also the stroke risk in certain populations, including African Americans and Cook Islanders. The study of the stroke in the young, and the relationship of stroke and migraine are two area of original research projects.

Collaboration:
Neurology, Nursing, Neurosurgery, Neuroradiology, Emergency Medicine, Vascular Surgery, Cardiology, Hematology, Ophthalmology, Primary Care, and Rehabilitation Services.
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The Center for Neurological Health Stroke Program recently was featured on University Health Matters.

Last Updated: 3/22/15