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Stroke

A stroke happens when blood flow to a part of the brain stops. A stroke is sometimes called a "brain attack". If blood flow is stopped for longer than a few seconds, the brain cannot get blood and oxygen. Brain cells can die, causing permanent damage.

There are two types of strokes; ischemic and hemorrhagic. An ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke. Ischemia is a medical term that means an inadequate blood supply. Therefore, an ischemic stroke occurs when there is a blockage of a blood vessel in the brain. This blocks blood carrying oxygen and nutrients from reaching the area of the brain that the blood vessel supplies. The blockage can be caused by a blood clot that is formed in the heart and then travels to the brain, from cholesterol plaque buildup in the blood vessels, or when small vessels in our brain become damaged causing them to collapse. A hemorrhagic stroke is when a blood vessel in the brain burst or ruptures, thereby impeding blood flow to the brain. This can be caused by high blood pressure or abnormalities of the blood vessels, such as an aneurysm. 

Programs + Services


Vascular Surgery

Tufts MC Vascular Surgery manages arterial and venous diseases using innovative surgical techniques at our downtown Boston hospital.
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Neurocritical Care Program

Learn about the Neurocritical Care Program at Tufts Medical Center in Boston that provides treatment for prolonged seizure, hemorrhagic stroke and more.
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Stroke Center

Learn about the comprehensive stroke services available at Tufts MC, including stroke prevention, acute stroke therapy and long-term stroke management.
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Stroke and Young Adults (SAYA) Program

Explore the Stroke and Young Adults Program at Tufts Medical Center, helping young adult and pediatric survivors navigate their lives after a stroke.
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Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Surgery

The Neurovascular Surgery Program at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA provides world-class minimally invasive surgical, endovascular, and radiosurgical treatment for diseases that occur in the blood vessels that supply the brain and spinal cord with oxygen and nutrients.
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Doctors + Care Team

David E. Thaler, MD, PhD, FAHA

David E. Thaler, MD, PhD, FAHA

Title(s): Neurologist-in-Chief; Chairman and Professor, Department of Neurology, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Neurology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-4948
Fax #: 617-636-8199

Stroke

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Adel M. Malek, MD, PhD

Adel M. Malek, MD, PhD

Title(s): Chief, Neurovascular Surgery; Director, Cerebrovascular & Endovascular Division Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Neurosurgery
Appt. Phone: 617-636-8200
Fax #: 617-636-7587

Aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, dural fistulas, subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracranial atherosclerosis, arterial dissection

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Deborah Green-LaRoche, MD

Deborah Green-LaRoche, MD

Title(s): Director of Clinical Research, Department of Neurology; Neurointensivist; Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Neurology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-4948
Fax #: 617-636-8199

Neurocritical care, vascular neurology

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Joshua Kornbluth, MD

Joshua Kornbluth, MD

Title(s): Medical Director, Neurosciences Critical Care Unit; Program Director, Neurology Residency and Neurocritical Care Fellowship; Neurologist; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Neurology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-4948
Fax #: 617-636-8199

Neurocritical care

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Katelyn Skeels, MSN, FNP-C

Katelyn Skeels, MSN, FNP-C

Title(s): Stroke Advanced Practice Nurse
Department(s): Neurology, Comprehensive Stroke Center
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5848
Fax #:

stroke

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Lester  Y. Leung, MD, MSc

Lester Y. Leung, MD, MSc

Title(s): Director, Comprehensive Stroke Center; Director, Stroke and Young Adults (SAYA) Program; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Neurology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-4948
Fax #: 617-636-8199

Vascular neurology including stroke in young adults, ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, dissection, reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome, vascular malformations, silent strokes and survivorship

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Xuemei  Cai, MD

Xuemei Cai, MD

Title(s): Neurologist
Department(s): Neurology, Neurocritical Care
Appt. Phone: 617-636-4948
Fax #: 617-636-8199

Neurocritical care

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Research + Clinical Trials


Stroke and Young Adults: A qualitative assessment of the hospitalization for acute stroke, shared decision-making, and perception of risk

The purpose of this research study is to explore the challenges of recognizing stroke in young adults, the process of making treatment decisions, and the patient’s understanding of the risk of recurrence and long term consequences of stroke. This study consists of a 30 to 60 minute interview of patients with prior stroke (ischemic stroke, transient ischemic attack, or intracerebral hemorrhage) who were 18-50 years of age at the time of stroke onset.
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AMPLATZER PFO Occluder Post Approval Study (PFO PAS)

Abbott developed the AMPLATZER™  PFO Occluder as a minimally invasive, transcatheter PFO closure treatment to further reduce the risk of recurrent stroke among patients with PFO and cryptogenic stroke beyond that achieved with medical management. This additional risk reduction is achieved by blocking the pathway for a venous embolism from reaching the body's arterial system and the brain. 

The safety and effectiveness of the AMPLATZER PFO Occluder was evaluated in RESPECT, a randomized controlled clinical trial conducted under an investigational device exemption (IDE), which was the largest trial of a transcatheter PFO closure device, with the longest follow-up. RESPECT demonstrated that the AMPLATZER PFO Occluder is effective in reducing recurrent ischemic stroke in subjects implanted with the device and can be implanted safely. The AMPLATZER PFO Occluder received market approval by FDA on October 28, 2016.

The purpose of this study is the continued evaluation of the long-term safety and effectiveness of the AMPLATZER PFO Occluder in a post approval setting. 


More information about research and clinical trials

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