Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit Research Programs

The Neuroscience Critical Care Service at OHSU Brain Institute is engaged in cutting-edge clinical and basic science.  Examples of current areas of active research by NSICU faculty include: 

  • The role of preconditioning in brain ischemia and brain injury (Brambrink)
  • Modulation of synaptic transmission in the brainstem and neocortex (Smith), with a focus on:
    •  the calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) and its possible modulation of the synaptic connections underlying epilepsy and vasospasm
    • Central regulation of baroreflexes, including elucidation of the mechanism of action of vasopressin and identification of TRPV1 key trigger in the pathogenesis of sudden infant death syndrome
  • Autonomic dysfunction after acute brain injury, including TBI, SAH, and Stroke (Hinson)
  • The role of microglia in neuroinflammation following stroke and cardiac arrest to brain injury (Koerner)
  • Medical prophylaxis for subarachoid hemorrhage and pitfalls in invasive hemodynamic monitoring in subarachnoid hemorrhage (Orfanakis)
  • Advances in the endovascular treatment of cerebrovascular disease (ischemic stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage, aneurysm, vasospasm, idiopathic intracranial hypertension) and the relationship between regulation of carbon dioxide regulation and secondary brain injury (Smith)
  • New developments in the management of traumatic brain injury (Tucker)

OHSU is also a leader in clinical trials related to neurocritical care.  Examples of past and ongoing clinical trials include:

  • CONSCIOUS 2 and 3: Randomized trials evaluating the use of an endothelin antagonist for prevention of vasospasm in subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • ALISAH: Albumin for the treatment of vasospasm in subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • Hi-DEF: Deferoxamine to improve outcomes in intracerebral hemorrhage
  • GAMES: Administration of glyburide to attenuate malignant edema after acute ischemic stroke