Development of new management approaches in acute stroke therapy has been the main focus of the Stroke Research Group (SRG) for the last 20 years. Currently the main challenges in the field of acute ischemic stroke therapy are the improvement of patient management and patient selection, the optimization of multimodal brain and vessel neuroimaging, and the increase of patients who can benefit from reperfusion therapies. Several ongoing and planned research projects aim at improving patient selection, acute stroke management and predicting prognosis and complications. The use of multimodal imaging including penumbra imaging, analysis of collaterals, visualisation of small thrombi and analyses of intravenous and intra-arterial biomarkers using a proteomics approach are promising tools to reach these goals.
There are several ongoing clinical trials: The international randomized controlled multicentre SWITCH trial funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and initiated by the department of neurosurgery and the department of neurology assesses whether decompressive surgery and best medical treatment in patients with spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage will improve outcome as compared to best medical treatment alone. A randomized study funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation analyses the effect early treatment of sleep apnea with continues positive airway pressure (CPAP) in acute ischemic stroke patients and the effects of sleep apnea and other sleep disorders on long term outcome of stroke. An ongoing multidisciplinary Special Program University Medicine (SPUM) funded by the SNF focusses on pathogenesis, multimodal imaging and treatment of cervical artery dissection. Further studies on improving treatment of patients with an acute ischemic stroke are currently under review. Furthermore, the SRG participates in investigator and non-investigator initiated trials such as TICH2, NAVIGATE ESUS, SORATES, TOACT, etc. The SRG works in close cooperation with the CTU Bern, the Neuro Clinical Trial Unit, the Center for Experimental Neurology (ZEN) and the Neuroinfection Laboratory at the Institute for Infectious Diseases, University of Bern.