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Emergent Neurological Care

Patients suffering from emergent neurological conditions such as stroke, aneurysm and traumatic brain injury are racing against time.

The likelihood of permanent secondary damage to the brain or even death increases exponentially with each passing hour, and early intervention at a medical center that can provide the highest level of emergent neurological care is critical.

As the largest and most comprehensive neuroscience program in South Texas, the multidisciplinary team at the Mischer Neuroscience Institute (MNI) at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center stands at the ready when every second counts. The world-renowned physicians affiliated with MNI are leaders in treating stroke, aneurysm, intracerebral hemorrhage, subarachnoid hemorrhage and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Operating in state-of-the-art facilities, they are pioneering groundbreaking research from the bench to the bedside, while utilizing the world’s most advanced technology to provide unparalleled expertise.

The Program

Born from a long-term collaboration between Memorial Hermann-TMC and the UTHealth Medical School, MNI is part of the 12-hospital Memorial Hermann Health System. MNI was the first in Texas and one of only a few institutions in the country to fully integrate neurology, neurosurgery and neurorehabilitation to treat patients with a variety of neurological disorders in complementary programs. This comprehensive approach has resulted in Houston’s first dedicated onsite stroke team, the leading epilepsy program in the southwestern United States, and countless innovations in neurotrauma, spine surgery, brain tumors and more.

MNI’s dedicated inpatient facilities are designed to provide a full continuum of high-level care for neurological patients. Those individuals with acute neurological injuries benefit from our affiliation with the Texas Trauma Institute, Memorial Hermann’s Level I adult and pediatric trauma center. MNI continues patient care through outpatient neurorehabilitation at TIRR Memorial Hermann, which is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top rehabilitation hospitals.

Opened in 1988, the MNI Stroke Center is home to the 10-county Greater Houston area’s only onsite, 24/7 dedicated stroke team offering patients comprehensive treatment around the clock. Neurologists at the Center use leading-edge technology to diagnose and treat more than 2,000 patients annually. The collaboration between MNI’s stroke team, the Houston Fire Department, local/regional emergency medical services, and other regional stroke centers has increased the delivery of appropriate therapy to a large number of acute stroke patients in and around the Houston area. The stroke team, which is the largest in the region, has logged an unparalleled record of success in the administration of tPA – more than 10 times the national average of 2 to 5 percent.

In addition to breakthrough treatment for stroke, the cerebrovascular team provides coordinated care for patients with aneurysms, carotid occlusive disease and intracranial vascular malformations, including endovascular treatment. Cutting-edge endovascular suites feature the latest technology for treating both stroke and aneurysm, including the Siemens Artis™ zee biplane system.

Neurosurgeons affiliated with MNI are highly skilled in treatment options for stroke and both ruptured and unruptured aneurysms, including resection, clot retrieval, hemicraniectomy for severe strokes, microvascular clipping of aneurysms, endovascular embolization, extracranial-intracranial bypass and carotid endarterectomy.

As the first network of accredited stroke centers in the region and among fewer than 30 in Texas, Memorial Hermann is able to receive stroke patients transferred via ground or Life Flight® air ambulance from hospitals lacking the capability or capacity to provide urgent treatment. The Memorial Hermann-TMC Campus serves as the flagship of the System’s stroke network.

MNI achieved a significant milestone upon receiving Comprehensive Stroke Center designation by The Joint Commission, the American Heart Association, and the American Stroke Association. Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification recognizes those hospitals that have state-of-the-art infrastructure, staff and training to receive and treat patients with the most complex strokes. The designation solidifies MNI’s place in an elite group of providers focused on complex stroke care.

Neurotrauma

The Institute’s neurotrauma program is internationally recognized for treating the highest-acuity patients with brain and spinal cord injuries and providing around-the-clock availability of both specialists and advanced therapies. In addition, MNI is the international leader in testing innovative treatments following neurotrauma, with several multicenter trials under way.

MNI houses the largest and busiest Neurotrauma ICU of its kind in the region. With highly experienced neurointensivists and advanced practice providers, the critical care team provides unparalleled care for the sickest, most vulnerable patients in our region.

Research

In collaboration with UTHealth Medical School, investigators at MNI are participating in multicenter and single-center clinical trials that improve treatment for patients who cannot be treated elsewhere. The Institute conducts more research than any other center in the southern United States, shaping the neuroscience treatments of tomorrow through the relentless pursuit of clinical discovery.

Among some of the current research studies under way are thrombolytic treatment for wake-up stroke, the safety of pioglitazone for hematoma resolution in intracerebral hemorrhage, hypothermia treatment for TBI, and autologous bone marrow cell treatment for acute ischemic stroke and albumin in acute stroke.

Investigators are also seeking to increase the effect of standard-of-care treatment by combining tPA with ultrasound, anticoagulants and hypothermia, as well as exploring new methods of stroke prevention. Physicians affiliated with MNI are dedicated to ensuring the health of our community. They report back to EMS and transferring hospitals on patient care and follow-up and maintain an open dialogue after the patient’s arrival at Memorial Hermann-TMC.