The Mischer Neuroscience Institute Stroke Center is the region’s only on-site, 24/7 dedicated stroke team offering patients comprehensive stroke treatment around the clock. Neurologists at the center treat more than 2,000 stroke patients annually, who have early access, through leading-edge research, to potentially life-saving therapies unavailable elsewhere in the region.
Neurointensivists and experienced mid-level practitioners staff our dedicated 32-bed Neuro Critical Care Unit and 12-bed Stroke Unit, around the clock to provide ongoing intensive care to critically ill patients. We manage more neurotrauma cases than any other center in the southwestern United States, and we are internationally recognized for the treatment of high-acuity brain and spinal cord injuries.
Patients also benefit from the institute's state-of-the-art brain imaging capabilities and Memorial Hermann's Level I trauma center. Our team also sees an equal number of patients in our offices, on an outpatient basis, to prevent first or recurrent stroke or to assist with stroke recovery.
Our skilled, multidisciplinary teams of treatment and rehabilitation experts at The Mischer Neuroscience Institute are charged with caring for patients recovering from stroke.
Working closely with the Houston Fire Department and local EMS services, the Stroke Center's team has an impressive track record of success in the administration of Alteplase, the only FDA-approved treatment shown to improve outcome in stroke patients.
25 percent of patients who present with ischemic stroke receive the drug; that is more than 10 times the national average of 2 to 3 percent for Alteplase administration. Because 80 percent of strokes are caused by cerebral thrombosis, the Alteplase advantage is an important one.
Using advanced MRI and CT imaging, the Stroke Center's team has the capability to thread tiny catheters into the arteries of the brain to extract the clots causing strokes. This approach allows for reversal of damage in patients who arrive too late for intravenous Alteplase but within eight hours of symptom onset.
The road to recovery following a stroke will vary depending on the extent of the stroke. During the hospital stay, patients may be evaluated by physical, occupational and speech therapists to determine their rehabilitation needs. A physiatrist (physical medicine and rehabilitation physician) may also be consulted by the attending team to determine a patient’s rehabilitation needs. Some patients may be able to return home with home health or outpatient therapy while others may require a long-term, acute-care hospital stay (LTACH), inpatient rehabilitation or a skilled nursing facility (SNF). A case manager or social worker will be available to review the discharge plan prior to discharge from the hospital.
At the Mischer Neuroscience Institute, the patient’s healthcare team will develop a comprehensive rehabilitation plan to address the most common initial needs of stroke survivors. The team will provide training in assisted mobility – or the ability to sit up, maintain balance, stand and walk – and will provide techniques for combating spasticity. These professionals also assist patients with activities of daily living and provide skills training to help facilitate self-dressing, self-grooming, light meal preparation and independence.
Throughout rehabilitation, physical therapists will employ a range-of-motion program for stroke patients so that stiffness and spasticity are less problematic. A speech therapist will address any abnormal speaking or swallowing issues and provide compensatory strategies to avoid aspiration. Similarly, physicians will assess patients’ cognitive function during rehabilitation and provide treatment and education on medication management, as needed.
Upon discharge, stroke survivors may be recommended to the Neurorehabilitation Program at the Mischer Neuroscience Institute, which offers comprehensive inpatient services, state-of-the-art technology and innovative therapies and techniques. In the program, patients will receive an individualized treatment plan to reach identified goals.
Our staff of stroke rehabilitation specialists continues to research new approaches to treatment, including constraint induced movement therapy (CIMT) following sub-acute stroke. Based on the forced use of affected extremities, CIMT enables other areas of the brain to compensate for lost neurological function. Other novel methods to promote stroke recovery and treat spasticity caused by stroke are also employed.
Stroke survivors also have access to care at TIRR Memorial Hermann, recognized for 23 years as one of America’s “Best Rehabilitation Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report. The Stroke Rehabilitation Center at TIRR Memorial Hermann is specially designed to maximize an outcome for patients who have suffered a stroke.
Recovery from stroke does not end with a patient’s discharge from the inpatient program. Rather, recovery continues long after the return home. Memorial Hermann offers outpatient rehabilitation locations throughout the greater Houston area for patients who require additional treatment and need access to specialized rehabilitation staff.
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