Clinical Trials Help Advance Stroke Treatment

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If you’re a stroke patient, you may have an opportunity to help advance the state of stroke treatment — by participating in a stroke treatment clinical trial.

Clinical trials are thorough investigations of new medical treatments and devices before they are approved by the Food and Drug Administration and released for public use.

The Clinical Neuroscience Institute is involved in several clinical trials of stroke treatments, says John Terry, MD, a specialist in vascular neurology and a member of the Premier Health stroke team. Some of the trials are local in scope. Others are national and international.

In a clinical trial, about half of the patients who sign up and are accepted to participate are randomly selected to receive the trial treatment. The other half do not receive the trial treatment. Dr. Terry explains that this enables the physicians who serve as trial investigators to confirm the safety and effectiveness of the trial therapies or technologies.

Dr. John Terry explains the importance of clinical trials.

Click play to watch the video or read video transcript.

He added that clinical trials play a vital role in advancing the treatment of conditions like stroke. “These trials are extremely important because this is the way we learn about taking care of stroke patients, and how we learn what techniques work and what techniques help people have better outcomes.”

Rigorous Testing Before Clinical Trials

Before they get to the clinical trial stage, the treatments and devices must undergo extensive testing. “It takes a lot of work to be done before a clinical trial can be approved to be run,” Dr. Terry explains.

“By the time a clinical trial is going, what you have is a treatment that has fairly good evidence that it helps and very good evidence that it doesn’t hurt. The clinical trial is a way of confirming that the treatment helps.”

Clinical trials are run according to strict rules, or protocols, that cover eligibility requirements for patients, test schedule, procedures, medications, and study length.

During a trial research staff regularly monitor participating patients, checking their health and determining the safety and effectiveness of the treatment.

Before you can participate in a trial you must sign an informed consent agreement. The agreement provides detailed information about the study. You may choose to stop participating at any time.

If you’re interested, your doctor can help you find a trial, or you can locate stroke clinical trials near you at

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