Dr. Miguel Bussière
University of Western Ontario
The risk of stroke increases significantly when major blood vessels become thicker and blocked, a condition that can be corrected by a surgical procedure that stretches these channels open.
The procedure involves inserting a tube into an affected artery. A small balloon at the end of the tube is then inflated to widen the opening. Unfortunately, this sudden expansion can have negative consequences and can potentially cause a dangerous change in blood pressure. It can also knock off a piece of the clogging debris from the arterial wall, which could travel down the bloodstream and cause a stroke.
Dr. Miguel Bussière is exploring the advantages of an innovative alternative to this method for opening arteries. He is exploring the use of stents - wire-mesh tubes that can be inserted in a blood vessel to keep it open, exerting a gentle pressure so that the arterial walls gradually expand on their own.
Self-expanding stents could prove to be safer, more efficient, and less costly than other techniques.
Dr. Bussière and his colleagues are tracking the results of this procedure in a group of patients. Their health and brain functioning before and after the procedure will be thoroughly tested to determine if they experience any side effects.
Dr. Bussière expects the findings to help determine if stenting is a better of way of addressing arterial blockage, as well as guiding future research into the best ways to use stents. The Heart and Stroke Foundation is pleased to be a supporter of this exciting research, which is supervised by Drs. Vladimir Hachinski and Stephen Lownie of the University of Western Ontario’s department of clinical neurological sciences.
Supported by AstraZeneca Canada Inc.