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Stroke Research & Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials

The NINDS conducts stroke research and clinical trials at its laboratories and clinics at the NIH, and through grants to major medical institutions across the country.

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One of the largest randomized stroke prevention trials ever, the Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy vs. Stenting Trial (CREST) took place at 117 centers in the United States and Canada over a nine-year period. CREST compared the safety and effectiveness of carotid endarterectomy (CEA), a surgical procedure to clear blocked blood flow and considered the gold standard prevention treatment, to carotid artery stenting (CAS), a newer and less invasive procedure that involves threading a stent and expanding a small protective device in the artery to widen the blocked area and capture any dislodged plaque. The 2,502 participants were divided into two groups-symptomatic, those who had experienced a previous stroke, and asymptomatic, those without a previous stroke. The trial was funded by the NINDS and led by investigators at Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla., and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark.

The study showed that two medical procedures designed to prevent future strokes are safe and effective overall. Physicians will now have more options in tailoring treatments for their patients at risk for stroke.

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