Heart & Stroke Foundation Centre for Stroke Recovery
Established in 2002, the Heart and Stroke Foundation Centre for Stroke Recovery is a virtual organization combining expertise from three centres of excellence: Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Baycrest and the University of Ottawa/Ottawa Health Research Institute, in partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.
The Centre, led by Dr. Sandra Black, interim scientific director, capitalizes on the strengths of its three partner institutions and develops synergies among them to maximize our ability to help stroke patients. Specifically, the three institutions exploit the following strengths and expertise:
At Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, led by interim site director Dr. William McIlroy, clinical researchers are continuing their efforts to optimize recovery through designing and testing pharmaceutical and physical interventions to assist in recovery of ambulation and upper arm and hand function. As well, through advanced imaging technologies, they are assessing patterns of brain activity using functional magnetic resonance and perfusion imaging as well as structural MRI to quantify brain tissue loss related to focal stroke and more diffuse small vessel disease, which can challenge the recovery process, particularly when there is concomitant Alzheimer's disease.
At Baycrest, led by site director Dr. Brian Levine, experts in the top-notch cognitive neuroscience group at Rotman Research Institute and Kunin-Lunenfeld Applied Research Unit are designing cognitive-behavioural therapies, acquiring and analyzing brain imaging networks, including functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetoencephalography and evoked potentials to provide a more dynamic understanding of human brain recovery and the data necessary to evaluate various treatment options objectively.
At the University of Ottawa/Ottawa Health Research Institute led by site director Dr. Antoine Hakim, researchers are seeking to advance understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in brain repair.
The Centre currently has 19 core scientists, who have collectively obtained in excess of $20 million in stroke-related peer-reviewed funding. In addition, 45 associate members and six affiliate trainees are working collaboratively to accelerate the development of new treatments to optimize stroke recovery. Organized teams such as these are necessary to move promising treatments from the lab to proof-of-concept clinical trials and will make significant advances over the next decade.
Contact Dr. Sandra Black with any questions about research activities and current opportunities within the Centre at Sunnybrook, or visit the website of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Centre for Stroke Recovery for more information.