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A History of Firsts

Our history of firsts includes:

  • The first Stroke Center in Houston and one of the first dedicated stroke programs in the world.
  • The first and only stroke program in Texas to meet The Joint Commission’s rigorous standards for the highly coveted Comprehensive Stroke Center certification.
  • Launched the first Mobile Stroke Unit in the United States to deliver clot-busting treatment onsite within the first hour of symptom onset.
  • The first and only hospital in the south-central United States offering intra-arterial chemotherapy for retinoblastoma, the most modern treatment for the disease.
  • Site of the first single-center clinical trial for recurrent medulloblastoma, ependymoma and atypical teratoid-rhabdoid tumors using the direct infusion of chemotherapy into the fourth ventricle.
  • The first in Texas to use robotic stereo encephalography (SEEG) for 3-D mapping of epileptic seizures.
  • The first in Houston to offer amyloid imaging, a new diagnostic tool that enables physicians to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and will give researchers insights into how they might one day prevent the disorder.
  • The first center to conduct a national, multicenter trial for hypothermia in head injury.
  • The first neurosurgery center to offer all advanced modalities of treatment – expert microsurgery, interventional neuroradiology/endovascular surgery and Gamma Knife® radiosurgery – for complex lesions.
  • The North American leader in studies of primary progressive multiple sclerosis and the most active center in Texas in the conduct of organized clinical trials of new therapies for MS.
  • The first facility in Houston and one of the first in the United States to test the clot-dissolving drug tPA for acute stroke.
  • The first center in Houston to test and prove the efficacy of three disparate treatments for stroke prevention: carotid surgery; administration of antiplatelet drugs, including aspirin; and patent foramen ovale closure.
  • One of the first centers in the nation to offer MR-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy (MRgLITT) using the Visualase™ system for the treatment of well-delineated focal epilepsies.
  • The first facility in the region to do vagus nerve stimulation. MNI remains the No. 1 program in the United States in the number of vagal nerve stimulators implanted in epilepsy patients.
  • MNI brought the first clinical magnetoencephalography (MEG) sensor to Houston and have updated the technology to the Elekta Neuromag® TRIUX.
  • The Institute houses one of only a few inpatient Epilepsy Monitoring Units in the country with the unique capability of simultaneously performing electroencephalography and polysomnography.
  • TIRR Memorial Hermann is one of only 16 Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Model Systems funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. TBI Model Systems are national leaders in TBI-related care and research.
  • TIRR Memorial Hermann is the only hospital in Houston – and one of only seven designated centers in the nation – in the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation NeuroRecovery Network.