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Ciaran J. Powers, MD, PhD

Award Name Davis/Bremer Pilot
Award Date 05/15/2012

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Estimating patient risk of developing stroke after brain aneurysm rupture

Ciaran J. Powers, MD, PhD, received a Davis/Bremer Pilot Award from the Center for Clinical and Translational Science Pilot and Collaborative Studies program and the College of Medicine for his research project, "miR Profiling for Prediction of Post-Hemorrhagic Vasospasm."

Powers is an associate professor for the Department of Neurological Surgery. His research focuses on developing a test to help determine if a person who has suffered a brain aneurysm rupture is at increased risk for developing a stroke.

When a person suffers a brain aneurysm rupture, there is a risk the person could have later strokes by narrowing of the arteries even after the aneurysm has been repaired. Doctors do not know why this happens, however the main goal of this research is to develop a test to help estimate a patient’s risk of developing a stroke after a brain aneurysm rupture. 

As of right now the only test doctors have to see if  a patient who has suffered a brain aneurysm rupture is likely to develop a stroke or not is by looking at a CT scan. This is not very effective because it is difficult to determine the patient’s risk of a stroke from the CT scan.  

For his research, Powers has been collecting spinal fluid from patients that have had an aneurysm rupture looking at it the patterns of levels of microRNA that can predict delayed cerebral ischemia. He is also using microRNAs to see if they can better help explain the cause of this brain injury. His hope is by looking at the patterns and levels of the microRNA in a patient will help determine if that patient is at risk for a stroke.  

So far the results from the research have been good and Powers hopes that by looking at the microRNA levels this will finally establish a test to see what patients are or not at risk for a stroke after a brain aneurysm rupture. By creating this test patients who are at risk for a stroke will be better cared for  and other patients who are not at risk will able about to spend less time in the hospital and make a quicker recovery.

By Taylor Lucas, Monday, December 8, 2014

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