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Winter 2012

A Relentless Quest to Improve Neurological Care

Dr. Stephen Hauser

At UCSF Medical Center, those of us who treat brain injuries and illness continually pursue three goals:

  • Speed — In many cases, faster diagnosis and treatment can avoid loss of healthy brain.
  • Precision — If we can develop and effectively deliver more precise treatments, we can better heal injuries and disease while maintaining function.
  • Alternatives — Evidence-based treatment alternatives offer patients credible options when unique conditions confound standard care.

This issue highlights some of the exciting progress we are making in all three areas.

Our pioneering of the neurohospitalist concept means that specialists in both neurological and inpatient care are available 24/7 to quickly see anyone with a neurological problem, regardless of why they’ve been admitted to the hospital.

Our recently reaccredited primary stroke center's focus on continual improvement ensures that door-to-needle times remain significantly faster than the national average, and we are among the world’s leaders in using intravascular therapies that extend the treatment window for ischemic stroke.

Similarly, our world-renowned Memory and Aging Center has developed an algorithm that allows experts there to quickly and precisely identify causes of rapidly progressive dementia, and then offer tailored treatments and clinical trials that can reverse the problem or significantly improve these patients’ quality of life.

And our vast neurosurgical experience and advanced treatments — such as intricate bypass procedures and advanced stereotactic radiosurgery techniques for everything from tumors to arteriovenous and cavernous malformations — are accelerating success rates and offering new options for all patients with neurological illness or injury.

This glimpse of the work we do here represents well our relentless quest of a vision where all patients with neurological challenges can feel legitimate hope that medicine will restore their lives.

Stephen L. Hauser, M.D.
Robert A. Fishman Distinguished Professor and Chair
UCSF Department of Neurology

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