About Stroke Clinical Trials (Click to Open)

Join Clinical Trials for Stroke

General Purpose: 

A stroke occurs when blood flow to a portion of the brain stops. This blockage of blood flow – even for a few seconds – can result in oxygen deprivation to the cells and ultimately cause irreversible damage. Generally speaking, there are two types of stroke: ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke.

Ischemic stroke results when a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain becomes blocked by a clot. These types of stroke often occur when arteries are clogged with fat or cholesterol. Hemorrhagic strokes occur when blood vessels in the brain are weakened and burst open. 

Transient ischemic attacks, or TIAs, are often referred to as “mini-strokes. “While they are similar to stroke and produce comparable symptoms, they generally last only a few minutes and result in no permanent damage. However, they are often considered to be warning signs of an impending stroke, and when detected, present an opportunity for prevention.

Unfortunately, stroke is very common in the United States. It is the third leading cause of death, claiming over 140,000 lives each year. There are a multitude of risk factors for stroke, however, many of them are treatable and even preventable.

The leading risk factor for stroke is high blood pressure. Other major risk factors include atrial fibrillation, diabetes, a family history of stroke, high cholesterol, age (in particular age greater than 55), and race (African Americans are more likely to die of stroke).

In addition, conditions such as peripheral artery disease, obesity, and alcoholism, as well as behaviors such as poor diet, smoking, and cocaine use are also associated with an increased risk of stroke. 

Due to its widespread prevalence, high mortality rate, and ability to be prevented, stroke is a source of considerable research in the scientific community. Scientists and doctors are currently investigating new methods of treating stroke, managing its risk factors, and managing the physical and functional complications that arise in the wake of stroke.

What Will Stroke Clinical Trials Be Like?

The types of tests and assessments used in stroke clinical trials will ultimately depend on the specific nature of the study and if other conditions, such as certain types of heart disease, are also being studied. Provided below is a list of frequent procedures and tests used to evaluate the heart, lungs, and blood vessels, many of which may be incorporated for use in clinical trials:

  • Physical exam, including listening to the carotid arteries (large arteries on each side of the neck) with a stethoscope.
  • Blood pressure evaluation (using an inflatable blood pressure cuff and pressure gauge)
  • Detailed family history of heart diseases and cardiovascular disease.
  • Genetic testing
  • Ultrasound of the carotid arteries.
  • Computed tomography (CT scan, or “CAT scan”) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans: these are non-invasive imaging procedures, similar to an x-ray, that allow doctors to take detailed pictures of your brain.
  • Angiography: a procedure during which a dye is injected into a vein in your arm and then viewed using a special x-ray machine, CT scanner, or MRI machine. This allows doctors to view the insides of the arteries that provide blood to your heart. Angiography may also be used to evaluate other blood vessels throughout the body.
  • Echocardiography (“echo”): a painless procedure that uses ultrasound to create moving pictures of your heart, which allow doctors to see its size, shape, and how well it is working. This can also be used to help doctors determine if the stroke may have been caused by a clot that originated from the heart.
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG, or ECG): a straightforward and painless procedure that records the electrical activity of the heart and can help to show whether an abnormal heart rhythm caused the stroke.
  • Blood tests to evaluate bleeding time, cholesterol and blood sugar, tests of blood clotting, and measures of blood cells.
  • Blood tests to evaluate the effectiveness or chemical properties of a medication, if you are participating in a clinical trial that is investigating the use of a new drug.
  • Pain and quality of life assessments, as well as diet, exercise and/or medication diaries, may also be required in some studies, depending on the research question being studied.

Typical Stroke Clinical Trial Protocol:

Specific examples of clinical trials for stroke might include the following:

  • A randomized clinical trial to determine if an adaptive, vigorous, individualized physical activity program is more effective than a less-vigorous group exercise program at improving the walking speed, overall mobility, balance, and quality of life among stroke survivors.
  • A large observational study in which stroke patients donate blood and tissue samples for genetic analysis. In a study such as this, researchers might conduct the genetic analysis to determine if there are certain genetic markers associated with a particular type of stoke (i.e., hemorrhagic versus ischemic).
  • A randomized clinical trial to determine if standard treatment plus a newly developed drug is more effective at improving recovery after acute stroke than standard treatment plus placebo. Measures of improved recovery in a study such as this might include recovery of motor function, such as muscle strength, balance, and overall coordination.
  •  A study to evaluate a four-week education and support program for stroke caregivers to provide information regarding areas that caregivers find challenging. A study such as this would evaluate the effectiveness of the program by measuring its impact on the caregiver’s stress level, knowledge of caring strategies and community services, and overall quality of life.
  • A clinical trial in which standard therapy with aspirin is compared to treatment with a new drug for the purposes of reducing the risk of stroke following an initial TIA. In a study such as this, patients in both groups would be followed for a period of months to determine the incidence of stroke and other cardiovascular events that occurred during that time.

A brief word about randomized trials and placebos:

Many clinical trials involve the comparison of an investigational treatment to a “standard” treatment. Some studies determine which therapy a patient receives through a process known as randomization, in which patients are randomly assigned to receive either the investigational treatment or the standard treatment.

On occasion, a trial will investigate the use of a standard treatment plus a new drug compared to standard treatment plus a placebo (such as the third clinical trial example given above). Placebos are inactive or “sham” treatments that are identical in appearance to the active treatment but have no therapeutic value.

Placebos are necessary to help determine if adverse effects that occur during the clinical trial are the result of the investigational treatment or due to some other factor. They also allow researchers to measure the effects of the active treatment and observe what would have happened without it.

In rare instances where no standard therapy exists, or when a new drug or therapy is being investigated, the investigational treatment might be compared to a placebo alone. In these types of trials, those patients who are randomized to the placebo group do not receive an active treatment. 

It is important to know that placebo-only trials are only conducted when scientifically necessary and when patients have been adequately informed that they may end up receiving the placebo rather than the active treatment. It is very important to note, however, that no one should ever participate in such a placebo trial when there is a widely available and highly effective standard treatment already in existence for their particular disease or condition.

Trial Eligibility and Medical Information Needed:

The type of clinical trial you may be eligible for often depends on many factors. Therefore, it is important to know many details pertaining to your specific diagnosis when searching for clinical trials. Examples of the details you may want to have on hand include:

  • Your specific history of stroke (i.e., hemorrhagic, ischemic, or TIA)
  • Your prior history of heart disease and stroke
  • Your family history of heart disease and stroke
  • Your prior history of treatment for high blood pressure, heart disease, and/or stroke (including any surgeries, procedures, and medications)
  • Your current medications (including aspirin), vitamins, and dietary supplements
  • Your most recent blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride (i.e., lipid) levels

Suggested Search Terms: 

Once you are ready to begin your search for stroke clinical trials, the following terms may be helpful when combined with either: “management,” “treatment,” “prevention,” “genetics,” “family history,” “risk factors,” “obesity,” “diabetes,” “heart disease,” “recurrence,” “rehabilitation,” “caregiver,” “exercise,” and “quality of life.”

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Transitions of Care Stroke Disparity Study (TCSD-S)

Condition:   Stroke
Sponsors:   University of Miami;   National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Not yet recruiting

Comparative Effectiveness Study of Transthoracic and Transesophageal Echocardiography in Stroke

Condition:   Stroke, Acute
Sponsors:   Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf;   Albertinen-Krankenhaus Hamburg;   Regio Klinikum Pinneberg;   Helios Universitätsklinikum Wuppertal;   Kreiskliniken Reutlingen;   Klinikum Karlsbad-Langensteinbach

High Flow Oxygen Therapy and Acute Ischemic Stroke

Condition:   Stroke
Interventions:   Device: High flow oxygen;   Device: Low flow oxygen
Sponsor:   Chulalongkorn University

Postural Control and Fine Motor Skills in People With Stroke

Condition:   Stroke
Intervention:   Behavioral: Postural counseling
Sponsor:   Medical University of South Carolina

German Stroke Registry - Endovascular Treatment

Condition:   Acute Ischemic Stroke
Intervention:   Other: telephone call d90
Sponsors:   Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf;   Charite University, Berlin, Germany;   University of Göttingen;   University Hospital, Bonn;   University Hospital, Frankfurt;   Wuerzburg University Hospital;   RWTH Aachen University;   Technische Universität München;   Asklepios Klinik Altona;   Klinikum Osnabrück;   Asklepios Klinik Wandsbek;   Sana Klinikum Offenbach;   Klinikum Dortmund;   Krankenhaus Buchholz;   Klinikum Lüneburg;   KRH Klinikum Nordstadt;   Kliniken Köln;   Bezirkskliniken Schwaben Bezirkskrankenhaus Günzburg;   Klinikum Altenburger Land;   University Hospital Tuebingen;   Klinikum Stadt Hanau;   Universitätsklinikum Köln;   Klinikum Bremen-Mitte, gGmbH;   Uniklinikum Giessen und Marburg;   University Hospital Muenster;   Klinikum der Universitaet Muenchen

Sensory Re-learning of the Upper Limb After Stroke

Condition:   Stroke
Interventions:   Behavioral: Sensory group;   Other: Control group
Sponsor:   Lund University

Unilateral Wrist Extension Training After Stroke

Condition:   Stroke
Intervention:   Device: Unilateral wrist extension training
Sponsors:   University of Victoria;   University of British Columbia

Constraint Induced Movement Therapy for Walking in Individuals Post Stroke

Condition:   Stroke
Interventions:   Device: robotic training;   Device: treadmill training
Sponsor:   Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

SEdation Versus General Anesthesia for Endovascular Therapy in Acute Ischemic Stroke

Condition:   Stroke
Interventions:   Drug: Sedation;   Drug: General Anesthesia (GA);   Procedure: Intra-arterial Thrombectomy
Sponsors:   The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston;   Stryker Neurovascular
Not yet recruiting

Use of Branched Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) Supplements for Chronic Stroke Patients

Condition:   Stroke
Interventions:   Dietary Supplement: BCAA supplement;   Other: Aerobic exercise
Sponsor:   Taipei Medical University WanFang Hospital

Mantra Meditation in Subjects That Have Chronically Impaired Attention After Stroke

Condition:   Stroke Sequelae
Intervention:   Behavioral: mantra meditation
Sponsor:   University of Kentucky
Active, not recruiting

A Novel Mechanics-based Intervention to Improve Post-stroke Stability

Condition:   Stroke
Interventions:   Behavioral: Error reduction;   Behavioral: Error augmentation;   Behavioral: Activity matched control
Sponsor:   VA Office of Research and Development

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and Functional Electrical Stimulation for Upper-limb Rehabilitation After Stroke

Condition:   Stroke
Interventions:   Device: Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES);   Device: Combination of Transcranial direct brain stimulation (tDCS) and FES
Sponsor:   Federal University of Health Science of Porto Alegre

Validation of Sensitivity and Specificity of a Multi-Omic Precision Diagnostic for Acute Stroke Evaluation

Condition:   Stroke
Intervention:   Other: Non-Interventional
Sponsors:   Valtari Bio;   University of Cincinnati;   University of Texas at Austin
Active, not recruiting

Stroke Prevention and Treatment System in Shanghai: a Network of Public Healthcare of Stroke

Condition:   Stroke
Intervention:   Other: stroke network and policy intervention
Sponsors:   Shanghai Stroke Service System;   Huashan Hospital;   Shanghai Zhongshan Hospital;   Ruijin Hospital;   theTenth People's Hospital;   the Sixth People's Hospital;   RenJi Hospital;   ShuGuang Hospital;   Dongfang Hospital Affiliated to Beijing University of Chinese Medicine;   Changzheng Hospital;   Changhai Hospital;   the Ninth People's Hospital

Get With the Guidelines-Stroke Registry

Condition:   Stroke
Intervention:   Other: GWTG Stroke program
Sponsor:   American Heart Association

Physical Activity Maintenance in Stroke

Condition:   Stroke
Interventions:   Behavioral: Brochure and Telephone Support;   Behavioral: Brochure
Sponsor:   McMaster University

Which Parameters of Short-term Blood Pressure Variability Best Predict Early Outcomes in Acute Ischemic Stroke

Condition:   Stroke
Sponsor:   Dongguan People's Hospital

The Influence of day-to Day BPV on Long-term Adverse Outcomes in Patients Ischemic Stroke

Condition:   Stroke
Sponsor:   Zhu Shi

Study of the Performance of Stroke Management in the Rhône Area

Condition:   Stroke
Sponsor:   Hospices Civils de Lyon

Telerehabilitation for Attention and Memory in Stroke

Condition:   Stroke
Intervention:   Behavioral: Adaptive Working Memory Training
Sponsors:   Nova Scotia Health Authority;   Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Active, not recruiting

Portable EMG-triggered Hand Robot for Individuals After Stroke

Condition:   Stroke
Intervention:   Device: Hand of Hope (HOH)
Sponsors:   Rehab-Robotics Company Limited;   New York Presbyterian Hospital

Refinement and Clinical Evaluation of the H-Man for Arm Rehabilitation After Stroke

Condition:   Stroke
Interventions:   Device: H-Man;   Other: Additional Conventional Therapy
Sponsors:   Tan Tock Seng Hospital;   National Medical Research Council (NMRC), Singapore

The Singapore Tele-technology Aided Rehabilitation in Stroke (STARS) Study

Condition:   Stroke
Intervention:   Other: Tele-rehabilitation
Sponsors:   National University, Singapore;   Singapore Millennium Foundation;   Singapore General Hospital;   Ang Mo Kio Thye Hua Kwan Hospital

Stroke Self-Management

Condition:   Stroke
Intervention:   Behavioral: Stroke Self-Management
Sponsor:   VA Office of Research and Development
Active, not recruiting

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