Stroke Care at CNSI

The Stroke Center at Premier Health’s Clinical Neuroscience Institute leads the region in stroke care, utilizing advanced technology and procedures to effectively diagnose and treat stroke when time is critical.

The fellowship-trained and board-certified physicians and professional staff at the Clinical Neuroscience Institute’s Stroke Center are dedicated to the comprehensive diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of the different types of stroke.

Our integrated, multidisciplinary approach to care allows us to provide emergency response, treatment or intervention, and thorough, rehabilitative and follow-up care. Our team is dedicated to restoring as much function to you as possible following a stroke, and guiding you through preventive measures to keep you from having another stroke in the future.

Understanding Stroke

Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, either by a blot clot or a rupture in the vein. The blood carries oxygen and nutrients that are essential to the function of the brain, and, when the blood flow is obstructed, the brain suffers damage that has effects on the body such as limited movement and speech. The longer the brain goes without the blood flow, the greater the possibility that the patient will sustain greater and longer-lasting effects. For this reason, timely response to stroke is critical.

Symptoms of stroke include:

  • drooping or sagging of the face
  • downward drifting of the arms
  • slurred or strange speech
  • sudden numbness or weakness of the leg, arm or face
  • confusion or trouble understanding speech
  • difficulty seeing in one or both eyes
  • trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance
  • sudden severe headache

Types of Stroke

There are two main types of stroke, ischemic and hemorrhagic. 

An ischemic stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is cut off or obstructed, usually by a blood clot in the vein or artery. A hemorrhagic stroke happens when an artery in the brain ruptures or leaks.  

A less serious stroke is a transient ischemic attack (TIA), or a “mini stroke.” A TIA is caused by a temporary disruption of blood flow, and occurs during a relatively brief amount of time. Usually, no brain damage occurs, but it may be a sign that a more serious stroke could occur in the future.

Diagnosing Stroke

Stroke is diagnosed through an examination of symptoms, a review of the patient’s medical history and family history, and ordering certain tests. Risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, heart disease, smoking, and a family history of stroke.

Imaging tests that are typically used to diagnose stroke are magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and computed tomography (CT) scans. These tests, along with the factors mentioned above, help our specialists diagnose stroke and begin treatment.

How We Treat Stroke

At the CNSI Stroke Center, we employ the use of our Telestroke Network to connect specialists across the Premier Health system to provide diagnosis and treatment options from remote locations to the point of care, saving time and providing treatment when moments count. 

The Stroke Center uses Solitaire Revascularization Device technology to treat hemorrhagic stroke, a clot-removal system that restores blood flow to the brain minutes after a stroke happens.  

Treatment of stroke depends on the type, or cause, of the stroke the patient has suffered. 

Ischemic stroke

Ischemic strokes occur when an artery is clogged, blocking oxygen-rich blood flow to the brain.  In these events, clot-dissolving medicines such as tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) are used to the treat the stroke. A patient’s chance of recovering from an ischemic stroke improve when tPA is administered within 4 1/2 hours of the event.

Premier Health was the first in the area to implement the use of Solitaire Revascularization Device. This advanced technology allows our specialists to treat a stroke up to eight hours after the event, limiting effects of stroke and long-term damage. In this procedure, the blood clot is removed through a minimally-invasive technique that moves a catheter through the patient’s artery to the point of blockage. A stent is put through the catheter to open the artery and restore blood flow to the brain. 

Hemorrhagic stroke

A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when an artery in the brain ruptures. Specialists work to identify the site of the rupture and utilize medications and procedures to stop the bleeding. Conditions that can lead to a hemorrhagic stroke include brain aneurysm, arteriovenous malformation (AVM), and intracranial aneurysm.

  • brain aneurysm – a weakened or bulged area of an artery, that, if ruptured, causes bleeding
  • arteriovenous malformation – an abnormal connection between arteries and veins that disrupts normal blood flow
  • intracranial aneurysm – a weakened or bulged artery in the inner portion of the brain

The pipeline embolization device (PED) is the most recent technology our specialists use to treat intracranial aneurysms. In this procedure, a mesh tube is led through the artery to the point of bulging or weakness. The tube is installed to prevent blood flow to the aneurysm, allowing the bulge to heal and shrink on its own.

Transient ischemic attack

Much like an ischemic stroke, this occurs when blood flow to the brain is halted by a blood clot. Though not as severe, a transient ischemic attack (TIA) may be treated with medications to clear any remaining blockage. 

A TIA may be a sign that a more serious stroke could occur. Our specialists are committed to preventing stroke, and will partner with you to create a health plan that helps you avoid a more serious event in the future.

Follow-up Care

Stroke care does not end once a patient is discharged from the hospital.  Scheduled follow-up appointments are crucial to the recovery process and give patients the opportunity to meet with a certified professional to review personal risk factors and help decrease their chances of a future stroke.