Experts Combat Stroke With New Research


Central Texas Becoming Widely Recognized for Advancing Treatments

Experts from across the globe gather this week in Spain to learn some of the latest stroke research from leaders of the new Ascension Seton Dell Medical School Stroke Institute and the medical school.

Steven Warach MD, medical director of the Ascension Seton Dell Medical School Stroke Institute, and Clay Johnston, MD, dean of  warach-steven fonted 2UT’s Dell Medical School, will be featured at the European Stroke Organization Conference 2016, May 10-12 in Barcelona. The annual conference shares the most significant developments concerning stroke — from prevention to patient care to recovery — with top scientists, clinicians, researchers and other health care professionals. Last year’s conference in Glasgow, Scotland, drew nearly 2,700 participants from 84 countries.

The selection of Warach and Johnston to speak at one of the world’s most important annual gatherings of stroke experts reflects how Central Texas is improving stroke care and evolving into a widely recognized center for advancing treatments to combat the leading cause of long-term disability in the U.S.

Clay Johnston smallResearchers make advances through global collaboration

“A major goal of our research program is to find treatments for people who currently don’t have other options available to them. Working with other researchers, we intend to discover and develop ways to effectively treat local stroke patients of all kinds across Central Texas,” Warach said.

Warach will address the conference about a study performed at Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin that used magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) to help pinpoint the time at which a stroke occurred. This gives a better guide to emergency room doctors to provide the most appropriate treatment and achieve the best patient outcomes.

Johnston, who also is part of the Stroke Institute, will discuss a study that will appear in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study, which looked at more than 13,000 patients in 33 countries, did not find that the drug ticagrelor was better than aspirin, the current standard, in reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack, or death in patients who have suffered a minor ischemic stroke or what’s known as a transient ischemic attack, or TIA.

“Stroke prevention and treatment have been a focus for so much of my career – it’s exciting and rewarding to help create new clinical and research resources in Central Texas and catalyze work that’s already happening across the region,” Johnston said.

Ascension Seton Dell Medical Center Stroke Institute a driving force in stroke research, treatment

Ascension Seton Dell Medical Center Stroke Institute is a new partnership for Ascension Seton, a member of Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and nonprofit health care system. Already it is a driving force behind expanded clinical stroke services offered locally at Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin and University Medical Center Brackenridge, which are certified comprehensive stroke centers encompassing the full spectrum of care: diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and education. They are the only local medical facilities offering around-the-clock availability of a dedicated team of stroke specialists.

Ascension Seton is working with Dell Medical School to provide specialized stroke inpatient units at the new Dell Ascension Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas, which opens in 2017. Ascension Seton Medical Center Williamson in Round Rock and Ascension Seton Medical Center Hays in Kyle are designated primary stroke centers.

Physicians with the Ascension Seton Brain and Spine Institute already perform innovative stroke treatments involving stent retrieval devices, soon to be studied in a clinical trial at the Stroke Institute.

“Ascension Seton is where stroke patients are treated by highly specialized physicians familiar with and skilled in the latest treatments, with access to the most sophisticated technology available,” Warach said. “Personal care means the best care possible for stroke patients in our community.”