Marshfield Clinic has been selected to participate with the Regional Coordinating Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Stroke Trials Network (StrokeNet) for stroke research. 

The National Institutes of Health created StrokeNet in 2013 to conduct clinical trials and research studies to advance acute stroke treatment, stroke prevention and recovery, and rehabiliation following a stroke. The network of 25 regional centers across the U.S., involving more than 200 hospitals, is designed to serve as the infrastructure and pipeline for new potential treatments for patients with stroke and those at risk for stroke. StrokeNet also will provide an educational platform for stroke physicians and clinical trial coordinators.

StrokeNet's national coordinating center is at the University of Cincinnati and the national data management center is at the Medical University of South Carolina.

"The importance of StrokeNet stems from the need to identify the signs and symptoms of stroke early, to minimize damage, and to effectively manage the after-effects of a stroke," said Steve Ziemba, Ph.D., associate director, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation (MCRF). "Associated research is all the more critical as our population ages and the incidence of stroke is expected to increase."

Kenneth Madden, M.D., Ph.D., Neurology, and Kathy Mancl, research coordinator in MCRF's Clinical Research Center, will represent the Clinic. Up to nine trials covering prevention, acute care and recovery are anticipated. 

The Clinic has participated in stroke trials for nearly three decades, but this is the first time it's part of a large, collaborative effort. Prior Clinic research for the Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy versus Stenting Trial found that both procedures were safe and effective treatment options for carotid artery stenosis, a precursor to emolus and stroke. Clinic researchers also examined the potential benefit of anticoagulants in treatment and prevention of stroke and the importance of giving tissue plasminogen activators to patients who exhibit symptoms of stroke.

The Clinic expects to learn its exact role in the new trials in the coming months.

A benefit of the Clinic participating in the trials for patients is that they receive medication and treatment options before the general public has access, and at a reduced expense. 

"These trials are designed to look for optimal treatments for a number of conditions," Dr. Madden said. "The end goals is to have better knowledge on how to treat stroke patients in the future."