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The Stanford Stroke Center offers you the most advanced stroke treatments and leads the advancement of stroke care for patients nationwide. Our center is a designated comprehensive stroke center and provides rapid access to care that can help save your life or the life of a loved one.
Stroke Center at Stanford Neuroscience Health Center
The Stanford Young Stroke Program is one of a few major programs in the US and the only one on the West Coast dedicated to stroke prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation specifically for young patients.
The vascular neurologists leading our program – Neil Schwartz, MD, PhD, and Sarah Lee, MD – are committed to improving the lives of all young stroke victims aged 16 to 49. Dr. Lee also provides care for even younger stroke victims at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.
While stroke is certainly more common with age, about 15% of all strokes occur in adults under the age of 50. In the US, this translates to almost 800,000 strokes per year – a number that has been steadily increasing over the past decade. Stroke in the young adult often strikes in the prime of life, and can have a major impact on career, friendships, and family.
Our goal is to help patients and their families understand the potential causes of stroke, its symptoms, how it is diagnosed, and options to treat it.
Identifying stroke as the cause for symptoms is critically important. Yet, many patients initially receive a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis because their health care professional, caregiver, or family may not be aware that stroke can occur in patients so young. Many health care professionals have not treated stroke in young adults, and the diagnosis often remains a mystery. But our experience enables us to make an accurate diagnosis.
Once the Stanford Stroke Center makes or confirms a diagnosis of stroke in a young patient, our team in the Young Stroke Program coordinates next steps. These may include answering questions about the diagnosis as well as managing treatment and rehabilitation services customized to each individual’s unique needs.
The Young Stroke Program uses the latest techniques and technology to diagnose and treat all types of stroke-related conditions found in young adult patients, such as:
Congenital heart diseases – problems with the structure of the heart present from birth
Patent foramen ovale – a hole in the heart that is present during fetal development but fails to close the way it should after birth
Endocarditis – inflammation of the lining of the heart
Arterial dissection – a tear in the lining of an artery
Vasospasm – constriction of a blood vessel that can cause tissue damage
Migraine – a recurring headache that is moderate to severe
Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis – a blood clot in the brain
Connective tissue disorders – conditions that may affect the fibers in the muscles of the heart and vascular system
Hypercoagulable state – a disorder where blood clots (coagulates) more than normal
Moyamoya disease – caused by blocked arteries at the base of the brain
Neurocutaneous diseases – brain, spine, and nerve disorders that can cause tumors
Vasculitis – inflammation of blood vessels
Stroke in pregnancy
Sickle cell anemia – a hereditary condition that distorts red blood cells and causes them to get stuck in small blood vessels
Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome – cell damage that causes blood clots to form in arteries and veins
The dedicated professionals in our Young Stroke Program partner with experts from multiple specialties:
Physiatry/Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
The patient journey in the Stanford Young Stroke Program continues after treatment. Once a stroke patient is stable, our focus shifts – from medication, surgery, or any other treatment used, to recovery and then to the prevention of future strokes.
A team of researchers and physicians at Stanford has developed a new software that recently led to the change in stroke guidelines. Certain patients can now be treated up to 24 hours after suffering a stroke.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.
For your convenience, you may check in for all same-day appointments at the Stanford Neuroscience Health Center through a centralized, check-in desk near the front lobby. In addition to all outpatient services, you also can access onsite pre-surgery consultations at the center.
If you or someone you know should experience symptoms of stroke, seek emergency help immediately - CALL 911 - do not wait!
Stanford Health Care provides comprehensive services to refer and track patients, as well as provides the latest information and news for physicians and office staff. For help with all referral needs and questions visit Referring Physicians.
The following tests may be ordered as part of the stroke work-up: