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Stroke Center

Meeting the highest standards for stroke care

The Comprehensive Stroke Center at Tufts Medical Center in downtown Boston cares for and treats patients with cerebrovascular disorders ranging from carotid artery narrowing without symptoms to transient ischemic attack (TIA) to the most severe forms of stroke. We also research new diagnostic tests and treatments for stroke while training rising medical professionals.

Our neurologists, who are board-certified in vascular neurology, work with patients directly and coordinate the efforts of other Tufts MC specialists to offer:

  • Primary stroke prevention for at-risk patients
  • Acute treatment when a stroke occurs
  • Secondary prevention following a stroke
  • Long-term care, including rehabilitation, following a stroke
  • Long-term care for young adults who have had a stroke early in life

We strive to treat every patient with compassion and a personal touch. And we're dedicated to meeting the highest standards for stroke care, earning us the American Stroke Association's Get With the Guidelines — Stroke Gold Plus with Target Stroke Performance Achievement Award. This honor recognizes our success in ensuring stroke patients receive treatment that adheres to the latest scientific guidelines.

Meet our Program Director, Dr. Lester Leung

A board-certified vascular neurologist, Dr. Leung is focused on reducing the impact of stroke on individuals and society, particularly through improvement in prehospital, in-hospital, and post-acute stroke care, and through the prevention of initial and recurrent strokes. He has a particular interest in silent brain infarction and microhemorrhages as harbingers of future stroke and seeks to better understand how these can guide prevention therapies.

Dr. Leung also is a thought leader in the diagnosis, management and long-term consequences of stroke in young adults. He founded and serves as the Director of the Stroke and Young Adults (SAYA) Program at Tufts MC, which helps identify the causes of stroke in young patients, optimize prevention of future strokes, and assess and treat late complications. The program also provides counseling on stroke survivorship

In addition to our senior neurologists, our core team includes neurointensivists, a clinical nurse coordinator and clinical and research fellows. In order to deliver the most comprehensive care, we regularly team up with colleagues in cardiology, vascular surgery, neurosurgery, physiatry/rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and swallowing pathology, and other areas.

From prevention through rehabilitation

Ideally, your first interaction with our program comes before you've suffered a stroke. In this case, we focus on stroke prevention through medications and/or lifestyle changes. Our clinical nurse practitioner is instrumental in educating patients and families in this regard.

If you come to the Tufts MC Emergency Department following a stroke, you can take comfort in knowing we're a stroke-certified institution. Upon your arrival, our stroke code team immediately evaluates you to determine which treatments are available to open the blocked blood vessel as quickly and safely as possible.

For all stroke patients, we need to determine why the blockage occurred. Our program offers all the latest diagnostic tests, including transcranial ultrasound, and can consult with other Tufts MC specialists to reach a definitive diagnosis.

Post-stroke treatment focuses on preventing further strokes via medications and/or lifestyle changes. Some of our patients stay at the Michael Neely Neuroscience Center at Tufts MC, which opened in 2011 and features the latest treatment technology. Unlike general intensive care units, this 15-bed facility is staffed only by medical professionals who specialize in treating critically ill neurological and neurosurgical patients.

While many of our patients undergo rehabilitation close to their homes, Tufts MC does have a Stroke Rehabilitation Clinic, which helps patients regain function and independence. It's just one more example of our commitment to providing comprehensive care for stroke and other cerebrovascular disorders.

Tufts Medical Center is one of the few hospitals to offer an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-approved vascular neurology fellowship. Learn more.

David E. Thaler, MD, PhD, FAHA

David E. Thaler, MD, PhD, FAHA

Title(s): Neurologist-in-Chief, Tufts Medical Center; Chairman, 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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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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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

More Info

Joshua Kornbluth, MD

Joshua Kornbluth, MD

Title(s): Medical Director, Neurosciences Critical Care Unit; 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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Lester  Y. Leung, MD

Lester Y. Leung, MD

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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Adel M. Malek, MD, PhD

Adel M. Malek, MD, PhD

Title(s): Chief, Division of Neurovascular Surgery; 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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David Thaler, MD on tuftsmedcalcenter.tv video.

Stroke 101: Learn more, worry less

David Thaler, MD discusses strokes, their causes, symptoms and what to do if you think you’re having one.

Watch Video

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617-636-5848