Transformational Stroke Care

A person holding a model of a brain.

Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a type of life-threatening stroke caused by bleeding in brain tissue. ICH occurs when an artery in the brain becomes blocked. This is rarer and more severe than an ischemic stroke.

Thanks to the 2015 transformational gift from the Marta and Owen Boris Foundation, researchers at Hamilton Health Sciences are working to enhance care for patients with ICH.

Stroke Research

Dr. Ashkan Shoamanesh is the Marta and Owen Boris Chair in Stroke Research and Care. His work focuses on characterizing diseases of small blood vessels within the brain that make them prone to rupture, resulting in ICH.

“The Chair has allowed me to optimize stroke-patient care through the training of next-generation stroke physicians.”

“I founded the Hemorrhagic Stroke Research Program with the goal of reducing the global impact from Intracerebral hemorrhage,” says Dr. Shoamanesh.

Dr. Shoamanesh’s research included a feasibility study that assessed the best blood-thinning strategy to prevent stroke for certain vulnerable patients. This included people at high risk for ischemic stroke from blood clots due to an irregular heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation), and who have also suffered a previous ICH, which increases their risk for future bleeding in the brain. The results of this initial smaller-scope study helped the team secure a $25-million grant, which is enabling the expansion of the trial to more than 300 sites in 23 countries across five continents.

Global impact

Under Dr. Shoamanesh’s mentorship, several research studies are currently underway that are focused on stroke prevention. Likewise, the Canadian Hemorrhagic Stroke trials initiative (CoHESIVE) has now grown to include more than 50 researchers across Canada and abroad. The team has attracted leading ICH researchers from around the world and positioned Canada at the forefront of ICH research.

“The Chair has allowed me to optimize stroke-patient care through the training of next-generation stroke physicians, and through translational research that will ultimately impact the quality of care at the bedside.”