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June 21, 2000

The Imperative to Develop Dedicated Stroke Centers

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: The John P. Robarts Research Institute and The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario (Dr Barnett); and the Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta (Dr Buchan).

JAMA. 2000;283(23):3125-3126. doi:10.1001/jama.283.23.3125

Older practitioners (including one of the authors of this Editorial) will recall the days when patients with stroke were either treated at home or admitted to the hospital for compassionate observation. Neurologists made efforts to localize lesions and confirm functional areas of the brain and brainstem and described many vascular syndromes. Because the individual patient gained little, if anything, from these exercises, there was a public and professional aura of therapeutic helplessness surrounding stroke. Fortunately, those days are over. Optimism about the benefits of treatment coupled with a sense of urgency to deal quickly with every patient with stroke has swept away that nihilism.

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