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Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute

UT Southwestern Medical Center’s stroke specialists have expertise in every technique, approach, and medication that’s available to give patients experiencing strokes the best possible outcomes.

As the only Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center in North Texas – and one of only two in the state – UT Southwestern is recognized for offering an exceptional level of expertise in rapidly diagnosing strokes and providing effective treatment options based on the latest research and the highest standards of care.

If you or a loved one is experiencing signs of a stroke, it is a medical emergency. Call 911 and go to the nearest stroke center in an ambulance. 

Unparalleled Excellence in Stroke Care

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is stopped or interrupted, due to a ruptured or blocked blood vessel. If brain cells don’t receive the oxygen and other nutrients carried by the blood, they can be damaged and can die, affecting brain function.

UT Southwestern’s Robert D. Rogers Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center is certified by The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association (AHA)/American Stroke Association. The designation recognizes our team's unique offerings that provide patients experiencing a stroke with the best possible chance of recovery. Our services include:

  • A coordinated team of highly trained stroke specialists available 24/7
  • A stroke unit and dedicated neurocritical care unit (neuro ICU) with board-certified neurocritical care doctors on site at all times
  • Advanced imaging for evaluation, as well as advanced medical, surgical, and endovascular interventions for treatment
  • Emergency care to evaluate strokes and provide immediate treatment
  • Ongoing stroke research
  • Stroke rehabilitation
  • The latest treatments applied by experts who were involved in testing them

Types of Stroke

The three types of strokes are:

  • Ischemic stroke: The most common type of stroke, it occurs when an obstruction such as a blood clot blocks a blood vessel that carries blood to the brain.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke: This type of stroke occurs when a blood vessel breaks and bleeds into the brain.
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA): This “mini” stroke usually resolves within 24 hours but is often a warning sign of a future stroke.

Stroke and brain function are closely linked. For every minute a stroke goes untreated, about two million nerve cells are lost. This damage can result in disabilities that are permanent.

Changes after a stroke depend on the area of the brain affected by the stroke. Usually a stroke affects only one side of the brain, which then affects function on the opposite side of the body:

  • Right-sided stroke: The right side of the brain controls attention span and ability to focus. Patients might not recognize things they see, hear, or touch, and they might have paralysis on the left side of their body.
  • Left-sided stroke: In most people, the left side of the brain controls the ability to speak and understand language. (In some left-handed people, the right side of the brain controls language and the left side controls awareness.) Patients might also experience paralysis on the right side of their body.
  • Posterior stroke: This type of stroke affects the back area of the brain, which includes the brain stem (controls breathing, blood pressure, and heart rhythm), the cerebellum (controls balance and coordination), and the occipital lobes (controls vision). Patients might experience any of the following ataxia, double vision, problems seeing to the left or right, or vertigo.

Learn more about the warning signs of a stroke. 

Our Services for Stroke Rehabilitation

UT Southwestern Medical Center offers the highest level of stroke care for all types and stages of strokes. As an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center, we offer advantages such as:

  • Having dedicated neurointensive care unit beds that provide neurocritical care 24 hours a day, seven days a week for patients with complex strokes
  • Using advanced imaging capabilities, available at all times
  • Providing care to patients diagnosed with subarachnoid hemorrhage, performing endovascular coiling or surgical clipping procedures for aneurysm, and administering IV tPA
  • Coordinating post-hospital care
  • Using a peer-review process to evaluate and monitor the care provided to patients with ischemic stroke and subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Participating in stroke research

Learn more about treatments for stroke.

Stroke recovery is different for each person, but rehabilitation can help most patients regain as much function and independence as possible.

Rehabilitation at UT Southwestern starts while the patient is still in the hospital and usually continues on an outpatient basis after discharge.

UT Southwestern offers patients with brain injuries a dedicated neurorehabilitation unit. Our experts include physiatrists (specialists in physical medicine and rehabilitation); physical, occupational, and speech-language therapists; and other specialists who help patients deal with the effects of the stroke and, when possible, overcome them.

Learn more about rehabilitation after stroke.

Clinical Trials

UT Southwestern also offers patients access to innovations in stroke care, including new treatment options for cerebrovascular disorders. UT Southwestern evaluates these innovative treatments for effectiveness and often then becomes the first hospital in North Texas to offer them. Speak with our doctors about clinical trial opportunities for patients who have had strokes.

Find a Clinical Trial

Search for opportunities to participate in a neurology research study.


Award-Winning Care

We’re one of the world’s top academic medical centers, with a unique legacy of innovation in patient care and scientific discovery.  

Why UT Southwestern


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