In 1992, recognizing the need for earlier detection and treatment of strokes, famed UCLA neurologist Dr. Sidney Starkman gathered a fortunate group of UCLA undergraduate students and entrusted them with the responsibility to serve as the "eyes and ears" of the UCLA Brain Attack Team. Since its humble beginnings, the Stroke Study Program has expanded into a well-ordered and effective student-operated organization, consisting of roughly 25 students rigorously chosen from UCLA's academic elite.
Today, the program operates 16 hours a day, seven days a week, and continues to serve its campus and local community with its dedicated team of members. Trained to identify the warning signs of stroke, student research associates interview every potential stroke candidate in the UCLA Emergency Room and determine whether activation of the Brain Attack Team is necessitated. When a stroke is suspected, Dr. Starkman is directly contacted, and this initiates a series of events, including notification of the on-call resident neurologist and either or both CT and MRI Labs regarding the presence of a priority-scan patient. The precise research description of the program is described as follows:
Students in the UCLA Stroke Study are involved in double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter research projects investigating the safety and efficacy of the use of various drugs and procedures applied to the patients that arrive in the UCLA Emergency Room with onset of acute ischemic stroke. As research associates, students learn the basis for the investigation of new drugs and interventions in stroke, the pre-clinical research, the phases of trials, and the proper interpretation of the results obtained. In their tasks, students utilize their knowledge of the study hypothesis and methodology, patient selection criteria, inclusion and exclusion criteria, and rationale for the use of the drug procedure. Students are involved in gathering data, identifying and enrolling patients, and analyzing the data. They also have the opportunity to independently follow up on patients that have been enrolled.
Learn more about the UCLA Student Stroke Team at http://strokestudy.fasthost.net/