Cerebrovascular Research

Clinical and basic cerebrovascular research within the Department of Neurological Surgery is done in collaboration with the Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Care and the Center for Cerebrovascular Research (CCR) (http://avm.ucsf.edu/). The CCR is a multi-disciplinary group of investigators conducting a wide range of research aimed at directly improving clinical outcomes and care for patients with cerebrovascular disorders.

Clinical research emphasizes vascular malformations of the brain. The Department of Neurological Surgery is an integral part of the UCSF Brain Arteriovenous Malformation Study Project, which tracks treatment results and patient outcomes. This program includes a prospective registry of AVMs and other vascular malformations of the brain. A parallel project is the Brain Vascular Malformation Consortium, a recently funded multi-center effort that is studying the clinical behavior and genetics of three cerebrovascular disorders: cavernous malformations, Sturge-Weber Syndrome and Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia. The consortium is part of the Rare Disease Clinical Research Network program administered by the NIH Office of Rare Disease Research and NINDS (http://rarediseasesnetwork.epi.usf.edu).

Current areas of study include:

Clinical Research

• Epidemiology and clinical course of brain arteriovenous malformations to identify risk factors for disease susceptibility or spontaneous intracranial hemorrhage
• Genomic studies, including genome-wide SNP and expression, to help identify genes involved in brain arteriovenous malformation or hemorrhage
• Risk stratification algorithms for predicting surgical outcomes

Laboratory Research

• Vascular biology of cerebrovascular malformations
• Development of gene and cell based therapy for the treatment of ischemic stroke
• Development of clinically relevant animal models of cerebrovascular disorders:
o Animal models combining manipulation of genetic background and growth factor stimulation to induce brain arteriovenous malformations
o Animal models of intracranial aneurysm used to study the influence of hemodynamics and inflammatory pathways on lesion progression