Jin-Moo Lee, MD, Director of the Washington University Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, provides an overview of treatment and care for stroke patients.
My name is Jin-Moo Lee. I’m the head of the cerebrovascular disease section in the department of neurology at Washington University. I’m a stroke neurologist and I take care of patients who come in with acute strokes. And I take care of them from the moment they come into our emergency room to the moment that they’re discharged from our hospital, with subsequent follow-up in our out-patient setting.
What I’d like to convey is that stroke can be treated, especially if it’s caught very early. And so what’s very important to know, are the signs and symptoms of a stroke. And also, the fact that if you think you’re having a stroke, you have to come to the emergency room as quickly as possible.
The thing that sets us apart from most other hospitals in the region is that we’re a comprehensive stroke center. And there are only two comprehensive stroke centers in the St. Louis area. And this means that these hospitals are capable of the most advanced acute stroke care. And that includes not only TPA, but also endovascular thrombectomy, which is a new technique by which we can extract clots that block arteries which cause strokes. And these affect the most severely afflicted patients who have stroke.
Now in addition to that, we also have advanced capability with neurosurgery. So we’re able to manage and take care of the sickest patients who have stroke, including hemorrhage, subarachnoid bleeding and other types of very severe injury caused by stroke.
And finally, as a comprehensive stroke center, we have access to some of the leading research throughout the nation. So we participate in not only clinical trials, clinical studies, we also participate in some very basic research related to brain injury as a result of stroke. And this includes using animal models, as well as cell culture. So the whole translational spectrum from very basic approaches to very applied clinical research.
Not only are we one of the largest volume hospitals in terms of our stroke volumes, we also have a national presence in terms of the research that we do. So as I mentioned before, our research really spans the whole translational spectrum from very basic research to very applied and clinical research.
A lot of this research is published in national journals and is recognized throughout the country, as well as internationally. Some of the research that we do involves the genetics of stroke. How can we use genetic background to help us individualize and personalize medicine? In addition, the genetic studies are also identifying potentially new targets that may be therapeutic targets in the future.
Going from there, we also do research on neuroimaging in acute stroke. How can neuroimaging of an individual help us really tailor the therapies to the needs of that individual? It may be that currently, we rely on time as the best indicator of whether a therapy is effective or not. One day, it may be that we rely on imaging to help individualize that therapy. And so we’re involved in research that really spans a whole spectrum.