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Real-Time Drama: New Treatments for Old Diseases at the Clinical Neurosciences Center

Oct 14, 2009 2:00 PM

It’s a dramatic scene—the kind played out with precision and compassion at the new University of Utah Clinical Neurosciences Center (CNC). Unparalleled advances in our understanding of the brain and its diseases have transformed clinical care not only for stroke, but other conditions, such as brain tumors and Parkinson’s disease, as well. “We can do so much for stroke patients in the first 24 hours,” said Stefan-M. Pulst, M.D., Dr. Med., professor and chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. “Fifty years ago, we could do very little. That we can—and have to—respond quickly has changed the face of neurology.”

At the forefront of new treatments for old diseases in the Intermountain West is the University’s CNC, which for the first time unites the School of Medicine’s departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery, and Division of Neuroradiology. The five-story building—which houses collaborative outpatient clinics, 42 exam rooms, four neurosurgical operating rooms and recovery room, research laboratories, Stroke Center, and telehealth unit—is connected by walkways to University of Utah Hospital and Huntsman Cancer Hospital. Also affiliated with the CNC are the largest pediatric neurosurgery service in North America, which operates at nearby Primary Children’s Medical Center, and additional imaging facilities and clinics on the U campus and in the community.

Since opening in May 2008, the CNC already has earned national kudos. The Stroke Center and University Hospital recently received the top designation in the American Stroke Association’s “Get with the Guidelines” program: one of only two hospitals in the western United States to earn the award. In February, the CNC was named a national Neurosciences Center of Excellence by health-care organizations NeuroSource and HealthTech. The designation recognizes the center’s “commitment to technology and early adoption of treatment techniques,” and its success in translating research into new treatments.

Soon the U of U center, which draws patients from throughout Utah and five surrounding states, will become one of a dozen hospitals in the world with an intra-operative magnetic resonance imaging machine (MRI) that can be rolled into the operating room on tracks for mid-surgery imaging.

Read the complete article at Health Sciences Report.

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