Skip secondary menu

Stroke Press Releases

NINDS Logo thumbnail

Imaging acute ischemic stroke patients’ brains did not lead to improved outcomes
Friday, Feb 8, 2013
The use of advanced imaging shortly after the onset of acute stroke failed to identify a subgroup of patients who could benefit from a clot-removal procedure, a study has found.

NINDS Logo thumbnail

Clot-retrieval devices failed to improve stroke-related disability
Thursday, Feb 7, 2013
A stroke survivor’s chances of living independently after 90 days are not improved by the use of devices inserted into the artery to dissolve or remove a stroke-causing clot shortly after the onset of symptoms, according to a randomized controlled trial involving 656 patients.

NINDS Logo thumbnail

National Neurological Disorders and Stroke Advisory Council welcomes four new members
Thursday, Sep 20, 2012
The NINDS announced that four new members have joined its National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council: E. Antonio Chiocca, M.D., Ph.D., David B. Goldstein, Ph.D., Byron D. Ford, Ph.D., and Amy Comstock Rick, J.D. The council serves as the principal advisory body to NINDS regarding the institute’s research program planning and priorities.


Aspirin-clopidogrel no better than aspirin alone for patients with lacunar stroke
Wednesday, Aug 29, 2012
An NIH-funded trial has found that aspirin combined with the antiplatelet drug clopidogrel is no better than aspirin alone for stroke prevention in people with a history of lacunar strokes, which are typically small strokes that occur deep within the brain. The trial also found that whether patients received aspirin or the dual therapy, their stroke risk was reduced more than three-fold from what it was 10 years ago.

High blood pressure increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.

NIH study finds stroke risk factors may lead to cognitive problems
Tuesday, Nov 8, 2011
Having common risk factors for stroke can lead to cognitive problems without causing a full-blown stroke. The new findings come from the REGARDS study, an effort to track stroke risk and cognitive health in Americans 45 and older. One of the strongest predictors of cognitive decline was high systolic blood pressure, with each 10 mm Hg increase bumping up the risk by 4 percent.

The brain and its major arteries

NIH stroke prevention trial has immediate implications for clinical practice
Wednesday, Sep 7, 2011
Patients at a high risk for a second stroke who received intensive medical treatment had fewer strokes and deaths than patients who received a brain stent in addition to the medical treatment, a large nationwide clinical trial has shown. New enrollment in the study was stopped in April because early data showed significantly more strokes and deaths occurred among the stented patients at the 30-day mark.

A U.S. map showing the Stroke Belt and Buckle in the Southeast

In U.S. Southeast, Cognitive Decline Could Identify Those at High Risk for Stroke
Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011
New research shows that in addition to facing a higher risk of stroke, people living in a part of the Southeastern U.S. known as the Stroke Belt are also at higher risk for cognitive decline as they age. The findings, from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study, suggest that cognitive decline could be a marker for changes in the brain that increase stroke risk.

A stroke surivor using a body weight-supported treadmill.

Large NIH Funded Rehabilitation Study Looks at Getting Stroke Patients Back on Their Feet
Friday, Feb 11, 2011
In a large study, stroke patients who received intensive physical therapy improved their ability to walk just as well as those treated with a more complex rehabilitation program involving a body weight-supported treadmill. The study also found that patients continued to improve up to one year after stroke, defying conventional wisdom that recovery occurs early and tops out at six months.

NINDS Logo thumbnail

National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council Welcomes Six New Members
Thursday, Feb 3, 2011
The NINDS announced that six new members have joined its National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council, the Institute’s principal advisory body regarding research program planning and priorities. The new members are Ben A. Barres, PhD, Robert B. Darnell, MD, PhD, Sharon E. Hesterlee, PhD, Eve Esther Marder, PhD, Robert Enrico Pacifici, PhD, and Amita Sehgal, PhD.

Labeling of axons in the mouse brain reveals a much larger field of axons after a stroke.  Courtesy of Dr. Carmichael, UCLA

Researchers Investigate Genes Involved in Brain Repair after Stroke
Friday, Jan 28, 2011
A stroke leaves an area of nonviable brain tissue surrounded by a halo of surviving cells. A fraction of these surviving neurons grows vigorously, sprouting new branches, making new connections and contributing to recovery. A new study shows that there are unique genetic programs associated with this growth, and that these programs change dramatically with age.

An illustration of the carotid arteries running through a man's neck.

Landmark NIH Clinical Trial Comparing Two Stroke Prevention Procedures Shows Surgery and Stenting Equally Safe and Effective
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
A major study of people at risk for stroke showed that two medical procedures designed to prevent strokes are safe and effective overall. In the trial of 2,502 participants, carotid endarterectomy, a gold-standard surgical procedure, was compared to carotid artery stenting, a newer and less invasive procedure.

Researchers Identify a Signal for Cell Death during Stroke
Wednesday, Mar 3, 2010
In a new study, researchers have identified a signal that promotes the death of vulnerable brain cells in an animal model of stroke. In the future, drugs designed to inhibit this death signal might help reduce brain damage in stroke patients.

Four New Members Appointed to National Neurological Disorders and Stroke Advisory Council
Thursday, Feb 4, 2010
Four New Members Appointed to National Neurological Disorders and Stroke Advisory Council

Researchers Discover New Genetic Variants Associated with Increased Risk of Stroke
Wednesday, Apr 15, 2009
Scientists have identified a previously unknown connection between two genetic variants and an increased risk of stroke, providing strong evidence for the existence of specific genes that help explain the genetic component of stroke. The research was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health and by several other NIH institutes and centers.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Announces Effort to Promote Stroke Awareness in the Hispanic Community
Wednesday, Aug 8, 2007
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced the launch of a new community education program, which broadens the Institute’s national stroke education campaign "Know Stroke. Know the Signs. Act in Time." to promote stroke awareness among Hispanics in the United States.

NIH Study Finds MRI More Sensitive Than CT in Diagnosing Most Common Form of Acute Stroke
Friday, Jan 26, 2007
Results from the most comprehensive study to compare two imaging techniques for the emergency diagnosis of suspected acute stroke show that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can provide a more sensitive diagnosis than computed tomography (CT) for acute ischemic stroke. The difference between MRI and CT was attributable to MRI’s superiority for detection of acute ischemic stroke—the most common form of stroke, caused by a blood clot. The study was conducted by physicians at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Findings appear in the January 27, 2007 edition of The Lancet.

Gene Variants Linked to Risk of Stroke in Young Women
Monday, Nov 6, 2006
Specific variants of a gene called phosphodiesterase 4D (PDE4D) significantly increase the risk of stroke in women aged 15-49, a new study shows. The risk is magnified in women who smoke cigarettes. The study is the first to identify a possible interaction between this gene and an environmental factor in triggering stroke. The results help to show how the gene contributes to stroke risk and may lead to new ways of preventing stroke.

Developing Tools to Detect Cognitive Impairment from Silent Strokes
Monday, Nov 6, 2006
Scientists from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the Canadian Stroke Network recently wrapped up a workshop – the first of its kind – aimed at harmonizing clinical and research tools for assessing vascular cognitive impairment (VCI), a common disability linked to stroke.

In Most Comprehensive Study Yet, Two-Week Regimen Helps Stroke Survivors Regain Arm Control
Tuesday, Oct 31, 2006
In the largest, most comprehensive study of its kind to date, researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) showed clinical improvements out to one year when stroke survivors who had lost function in one arm were given a unique, two-week rehabilitation regimen.

Researchers Identify Role of Protein Important for Stem Cell Growth; Study Leads to Recovery in Animal Model of Stroke
Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006
For the first time, researchers have found that a protein signal important in embryonic development promotes survival and proliferation of stem cells. Stimulating receptors for this protein, called Notch, led to functional recovery in rats with brain damage from stroke. The results suggest potential new ways of treating stroke and neurodegenerative diseases.

Double-Agent MMP-9: Timing is Everything in Stroke Treatment
Thursday, Aug 3, 2006
In a surprise twist, researchers have learned that a type of enzyme that contributes to brain damage immediately after a stroke also plays a role in brain remodeling and movement of neurons days after stroke. Understanding the secondary role for this enzyme in healing stroke damage may lead to new treatments for stroke and offer a longer window of time for treatment.

Drug Prevents Brain Swelling After Stroke
Wednesday, Jun 14, 2006
A drug long used to treat diabetes significantly reduces brain swelling, neuron loss, and death after stroke in rats, researchers have found. The finding may lead to improved ways of treating stroke and other disorders in humans.

Opening the Window of Opportunity: Neuregulin-1 Protects Neurons from Stroke Hours after the Event
Wednesday, Mar 8, 2006
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in adults in the United States. Currently, the only approved drug treatment for acute stroke must be given within 3 hours from stroke onset. A recent study shows that a naturally occurring growth factor, called neuregulin-1, can protect nerve cells and decrease inflammation in an animal model of stroke when administered as long as 13 hours after the brain attack. This is the first study to show that neuregulin-1 can have a positive effect on the outcome after stroke in animals and could lead to new drug treatments for people.

NINDS Launches Stroke Awareness Video for Hispanics
Tuesday, Aug 30, 2005
Each year, more than 700,000 Americans have a stroke. Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of long-term disability in the U.S. The disease also disproportionately affects Hispanics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hispanics 35-64 years old are 1.3 times more likely to have a stroke than whites in the same age group. Today, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) released a Spanish video designed to educate Hispanic communities nationwide about stroke prevention and treatment.

Stroke Information for Seniors Added to the NIHSeniorHealth Web Site
Tuesday, Aug 23, 2005
To help older adults learn more about the signs and symptoms of stroke and the need to act quickly, the National Institutes of Health is adding four new topics on stroke to its NIHSeniorHealth web site: Act Quickly, Warnings Signs and Risk Factors, What Happens during a Stroke, and Treatments and Research. The site features easy-to-read stroke information, developed by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and may be found at

Ultrasound-aided Therapy Better Than Stroke Drug Alone, Trial Finds
Wednesday, Nov 17, 2004
Using ultrasound in combination with the drug t-PA can improve response to an ischemic stroke, according to a study involving 126 patients. This first-of-its-kind human trial compared the safety and efficacy of ultrasound and t-PA versus use of t-PA alone. The trial was funded in part by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a component of the National Institutes of Health. The finding appears in the November 18, 2004, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Brain Imaging May Identify High Risk Stroke Patients
Thursday, Oct 7, 2004
By using sophisticated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology, researchers have been able to study early changes in the blood-brain barrier (BBB), a semi-permeable membrane that surrounds and protects the brain, to predict a stroke patient's outcome. This study showed that the patients who had disruption in the BBB were more likely to experience bleeding in the brain and have a poor clinical outcome. The researchers say this technique could help identify patients who are most likely to do the best with thrombolytic therapy, and to help clinicians offer additional therapies to those who might suffer complications.
Fact Sheet

NINDS Sponsors Stroke Sunday to Call Attention to Stroke Rate in African Americans
Tuesday, Oct 31, 2000
NINDS Deputy Director Audrey Penn and researchers from NINDS' Stroke Branch recently joined U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher at a Rockville, Maryland, Baptist church for Stroke Sunday, a health education and stroke event co-sponsored by the American Stroke Association (ASA) and the Black Commissioned Officers' Advisory Group of the U.S. Public Health Service (BCOAG). The event brought attention to the major impact of stroke in the African American community and helped to inform church congregants about reducing their stroke risks.
Fact Sheet

Early Treatment Confirmed as Key to Stroke Recovery
Thursday, Mar 4, 2004
A study in the March 6, 2004, issue of The Lancet confirms the benefits of getting stroke patients to the hospital quickly for rapid thrombolytic treatment. The study provides the results of an extensive analysis of more than 2,700 stroke patients in six controlled clinical trials who were randomized for treatment with thrombolytic t-PA or a placebo.
Fact Sheet

Rewiring the Brain: A Natural Chemical Improves Motor Skills After Stroke
Monday, Aug 12, 2002
A new study shows that a chemical naturally produced by the body helps improve motor skills after a stroke by stimulating undamaged nerve fibers to grow new connections in the brain and spinal cord. Researchers say that infusions of this chemical, called inosine, substantially improves brain function following strokes in rats. The study suggests a new potential for stroke treatment amid ongoing research efforts.
Fact Sheet

Another Reason to Avoid a Sugar High: Study Links High Blood Sugar to Mortality After Stroke
Friday, Aug 23, 2002
Stroke has long been regarded as an untreatable condition with potentially devastating consequences. But in recent years, new treatments have markedly improved patients' ability to recover from stroke, and researchers now have a new clue about how to further improve stroke treatment.
Fact Sheet

Preconditioning the brain may protect against stroke
Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004
A December 2003 news article on genetic changes to protect the brain against a second larger stroke, prepared by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).
Fact Sheet

NIH Experts Say Few Eligible Stroke Patients Receive Treatments That Save Lives And Reduce Disability
Monday, May 15, 2000
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a component of the National Institutes of Health, said today that few eligible stroke patients receive treatments that can significantly reduce disability and save lives.

New Tool Allows Early Prediction of Patient's Stroke Outcome
Thursday, Jun 28, 2001
Scientists have developed a new tool that may help physicians predict, during the first several hours a stroke patient is in the hospital, the degree of recovery the patient will eventually experience. The tool uses three factors for the accurate prediction of stroke outcome: measurement of brain injury using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); the patient's score on the NIH stroke scale; and the time in hours from the onset of symptoms until the MRI brain scan is performed.
Fact Sheet

Study Shows That Aspirin and Warfarin Are Equally Effective for Stroke Prevention
Wednesday, Nov 14, 2001
A study appearing in the November 15, 2001, issue of The New England Journal of Medicine shows that aspirin works as well as warfarin in helping to prevent recurrent strokes in most patients. The Warfarin versus Aspirin Recurrent Stroke Study (WARSS) was a 7-year double-blind, randomized clinical trial involving 2,206 patients at 48 participating centers—the largest trial to date comparing aspirin to warfarin for recurrent stroke prevention. The study was sponsored by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).
Fact Sheet

Estrogen Doesn't Prevent Second Strokes: Protective Effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy Challenged
Thursday, Oct 25, 2001
Estrogen hormone replacement therapy does not reduce the risk of stroke or death in postmenopausal women who have already had a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA), according to a report from the first randomized, controlled clinical trial of estrogen therapy for secondary prevention of cerebrovascular disease.
Fact Sheet

New Stroke Treatment Likely to Decrease Health Care Costs and Increase Quality of Life
Wednesday, Apr 22, 1998
BETHESDA, MD - Results from a new study show a greater than 90 percent probability that treating acute ischemic stroke patients with the clot-busting drug t-PA could result in a substantial net cost savings to the health care system.

NINDS Symposium Produces National Plan for Rapid Stroke Treatment
Friday, Dec 13, 1996
For many of the 500,000 people who suffer a stroke each year, today will mark the beginning of a significant change in the way they receive medical care.

Aspirin as Effective as Ticlopidine in African American Antiplatelet Stroke Prevention Study
Tuesday, Jun 10, 2003
Results from the African American Antiplatelet Stroke Prevention Study (AAASPS), a large multicenter trial of 1,809 African American stroke patients from over 60 sites in the United States, show that aspirin is as effective as ticlopidine for prevention of a second stroke in this population. Originally scheduled to run until October 2003, the AAASPS was stopped in July 2002, after analyses suggested that there was less than a 1% chance that ticlopidine would be shown to be superior to aspirin if the study were carried to completion.
Fact Sheet

NIH Announces Emergency Treatment for Stroke
Wednesday, Dec 13, 1995
A 5-year clinical trial has shown that treatment with the clot-dissolving drug t-PA is an effective emergency treatment for acute ischemic stroke despite some risk from bleeding. The trial found that carefully selected stroke patients who received t-PA treatment within 3 hours of their initial stroke symptoms were at least 30 percent more likely than untreated patients to recover from their stroke with little or no disability after 3 months.

Most People Can't Identify Stroke Symptoms
Tuesday, Apr 21, 1998
A new study shows that most people can't identify even one symptom of stroke -- the number one cause of disability and the third leading cause of death in this country. And the people most likely to suffer a stroke -- those over 75 years old -- are the least likely to know the symptoms of stroke and whether they're at risk for having a stroke.

Widely Used Therapy May Not Be Effective in Treatment of Acute Stroke
Tuesday, Apr 21, 1998
General use of anticlotting drugs, like low-molecular-weight (LMW) heparinoids, immediately after a stroke has little effect in producing a good outcome or in preventing a second stroke in most patients, according to the results of a large clinical trial published in the April 22, 1998, issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Aspirin Shown Equal to Warfarin for Stroke Prevention in Some Patients
Thursday, Mar 17, 1994
Results from a new study, funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), will help physicians select optimum treatment to prevent stroke in people with atrial fibrillation, a common type of irregular heartbeat. Published in the March 19, 1994 issue of The Lancet*, the study shows that a daily adult aspirin can provide adequate stroke prevention for many of the hundreds of thousands of people with atrial fibrillation. People with this condition have five times the risk of stroke, and many are currently treated with warfarin, a drug that requires monthly blood tests and increases the risk of serious bleeding.

Preventing Stroke: The Choice Between Aspirin and Warfarin
Tuesday, Apr 21, 1998
A new study outlines the criteria for identifying hundreds of thousands of Americans who have the most or least to gain from the use of anticoagulants such as warfarin to prevent stroke. The study identifies certain patients with a common type of irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation, and a low-risk for stroke who fare well by taking aspirin instead of warfarin to prevent stroke.

Establishing Stroke Centers in Hospitals Would Reduce Deaths and Disabilities, Say Stroke Experts. First-Ever Recommendations Published in June 21 Issue of JAMA
Tuesday, Jun 20, 2000
BETHESDA, MD - A national stroke coalition today announced it is advocating for all hospitals to establish stroke centers or other programs to reduce deaths and disabilities from stroke. The June 21, 2000, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) features the first-ever recommendations for hospital stroke centers, authored by members of the Brain Attack Coalition, a group of professional, volunteer and government organizations dedicated to improving stroke treatment and prevention.
Fact Sheet

Trial Stopped: Warfarin Therapy Reaffirmed for Stroke Prevention
Thursday, Sep 5, 1996
BETHESDA, MD. Warfarin, a standard blood-thinning drug used to prevent stroke, worked so well in certain high-risk patients in a recent clinical trial that the study was halted early. Results of the Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation III (SPAF III) trial, funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), are published in the September 7 issue of The Lancet. The study demonstrated a 75 percent reduction in the risk of stroke for people with a common type of irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation.

Stroke Recovery Rates Slower for African Americans: New Research Examines Reasons for Racial Disparities
Thursday, May 8, 2003
African Americans are more likely to suffer strokes and recover from them at a slower rate than whites, and these differences are not simply the result of greater stroke severity. According to Ronnie D. Horner, Ph.D., program director at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and leader of a recently published study, research has found that African Americans who delay their post-stroke rehabilitation recover at a significantly slower rate than whites who experience the same rehabilitation delay. Recovery rates are even lower among low-income African Americans.
Fact Sheet

Vaccine Prevents Stroke in Rats
Thursday, Sep 5, 2002
A vaccine that interferes with inflammation inside blood vessels greatly reduces the frequency and severity of strokes in spontaneously hypertensive, genetically stroke-prone rats, according to a new study from the NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). If the vaccine works in humans, it could prevent many of the strokes that occur each year.
Fact Sheet

Increased Awareness of Stroke Symptoms Could Dramatically Reduce Stroke Disability - New NIH Public Education Campaign Says Bystanders Can Play Key Role
Tuesday, May 8, 2001
Only a fraction of stroke patients each year are getting to the hospital in time to receive a treatment that makes the difference between disability and full recovery. Thousands more people could benefit from the treatment—a drug called tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA)—but do not, often because they do not know the symptoms of stroke or do not get to the hospital within the drug's 3-hour window of effectiveness. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) is launching a national public education campaign, 'Know Stroke: Know the Signs. Act in Time,' to help people overcome these barriers and to get medical help in time.
Fact Sheet

Federal Health Agencies Team Up with the American Heart Association to Advance War on Heart Disease and Stroke
Thursday, Feb 1, 2001
The Federal government and the American Heart Association—including its division the American Stroke Association—are joining forces in the fight against heart disease and stroke, America's number one and number three killers, respectively.

Benefits of Surgery for Some Patients at High Risk for Stroke
Tuesday, Feb 26, 1991
Overwhelming evidence from an ongoing clinical trial shows that the surgical removal of fatty deposits from the the main artery in the neck supplying blood to the brain is highly effective in reducing strokes for patients who have a severely narrowed carotid artery and have previously had a stroke or symptoms of a stroke.

Story C. Landis, Ph.D., Named New Director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Wednesday, Aug 6, 2003
Elias Zerhouni, M.D., director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced the appointment of Story C. Landis, Ph.D., as director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Dr. Landis, who is currently the Scientific Director of the NINDS intramural program, will begin her appointment on September 1, 2003.

Low Doses of Aspirin and Surgery Better for Stroke Prevention
Thursday, Jun 24, 1999
A new study shows that lower doses of aspirin given at the time of surgery work better than higher doses to prevent strokes. The Aspirin and Carotid Endarterectomy (ACE) trial, sponsored by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), found that patients given 81 or 325 mg of aspirin a day for three days before and 3 months after carotid endarterectomy (CE) surgery had less risk of stroke, heart attack, or death 30 days and 3 months following the surgery than did patients given 650 or 1300 mg a day.

More Strokes May Be Prevented With Surgery, Study Shows
Thursday, Feb 5, 1998
Investigators at more than 100 sites throughout the world have confirmed that surgery to remove fatty deposits from the arteries that carry blood to the brain can significantly cut the risk of stroke in patients with moderate as well as severe blockage.
Fact Sheet

Acute Stroke Therapy Moves Ahead
Tuesday, Jun 18, 1996
Zach W. Hall, Ph.D., director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), applauded today's rapid decision by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve t-PA for the emergency treatment of stroke. "The FDA action means that we now have an approved emergency treatment for stroke, the leading cause of adult disability", Dr. Hall said. "This is an exemplary demonstration of careful scientific investigation and of the power of partnership between industry, academia and the Federal government."

Major Trial Confirms Benefit of Stroke Prevention Surgery
Friday, Sep 30, 1994
Officials at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) announced that surgery can prevent stroke in carefully selected individuals who have no outward sign of disease but are at risk for stroke from a severe narrowing of a major artery in the neck. The NINDS brought to an early conclusion a 7-year clinical trial investigating the effectiveness of a surgical procedure, called carotid endarterectomy, in reducing stroke in these individuals.