Frequently Asked Questions

20. What research is being done on stroke?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke sponsors a wide range of basic and clinical research aimed at finding better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat stroke, and to restore functions lost as a result of stroke.

Currently, scientists are conducting stroke studies in animals. By studying stroke in animals, researchers hope to get a better picture of what might be happening in human stroke patients. Scientists can also use animal models to test promising therapies for stroke. If a therapy proves helpful for animals, scientists can consider testing the therapy in humans.

Scientists are also working to develop new and better ways to help the brain repair itself to restore important functions to stroke patients. New advances in imaging and rehabilitation have shown that the brain can compensate for functions lost as a result of stroke.

Clinical trials are scientific studies using volunteers that give researchers a way to test medical advances in humans. Clinical trials test surgical devices and procedures, medications, and rehabilitation therapies. They also test methods to improve lifestyles and mental and social skills.

Scientists are using clinical trials to

  • develop new and more effective treatments for stroke
  • discover ways to restore blood flow to the brain after stroke
  • improve recovery after stroke
  • learn more about the risk factors for stroke.

Participating in a clinical study contributes to medical knowledge. The results of these studies can make a difference in the care of future patients by providing information about the benefits and risks of therapeutic, preventative, or diagnostic products or interventions.