Stroke is a common neurological disease and is a growing major public health problem. Although mortality is declining, it remains the number 4 cause of death in the U.S. It is still a major cause of disability, and is expected to significantl grow in number of affected individuals with aging of the population. The mission of NINDS is to reduce the burden of neurological disease, such as stroke. NINDS funded stroke trials have often suffered from long start up time and delays in completing the research. A better way of conducting stroke clinical research on a larger scale is needed. The main objective of this application is to be a Regional Coordinating Stroke Center (RCC) in the NINDS Stroke Trials Network. The purpose of the network is to accelerate and facilitate translation of scientific advancement in stroke treatment, prevention and recovery. Performing such research through the network will introduce a higher degree of efficiency and effectiveness in conducting the trials. The infrastructure to conduct stroke research will not need to be reorganized with every new trial. Trials will be initiated and completed faster. Standardization of clinical and biologica data will also be useful for future work. Enhanced collaboration will result from such a network, and will function as an incubator for trial design. In addition, the network will broaden access to subjects in the acute phase, prevention, and recovery periods. The University of Minnesota and its stroke program are uniquely qualified to serve a Regional Coordinating Center. It has access to a broad set of academic researchers relevant for this field, with depth in various domains of clinical research. It can also draw on the experience of implementing research network, as a current member in the NINDS Neurological Emergency Research Network (NETT). The leaders for this application and of the program are experienced in stroke clinical research, research through networks, and are experts in the subject matter. The various specialties needed to collaborate for successful implementation of the trials are already aligned administratively in collaborative units beyond traditional departments. Overall, the current stroke program at the University of Minnesota is an excellent candidate for leading an RCC.
Research to advance the care and improve the outcome of patients with stroke is needed across the entire spectrum of the disease. In order to provide a comprehensive Regional Coordinating Center, experts in all of the domains of stroke research are required (preclinical, public health, EMS, acute clinical management, diagnostics, therapeutics, neurointensive care and rehabilitation). Our research group has committed to the performance of studies aimed at improving the care and outcome of adult and pediatric stroke patients.