Efficient Use of Revolutionary Technology at Rush University Medical Center

November 16, 2011  |  Technology, Videos  |  No Comments

Dr. Lopes speaks about the revolutionary technology at Rush Medical Center and the choices involved in deciding the most efficient technology to use for the best patient outcomes.

Endovascular Care Services: A Primary Focus for Hospitals

November 15, 2011  |  Media  |  No Comments

Vascular conditions such as stroke, cerebral aneurysms and intracranial atherosclerosis disease are a few of the most prevalent conditions that currently effect our aging population. Treatment options for many of these vascular conditions have developed into minimally invasive techniques, which in turn have decreased the rate of morbidity compared to traditional approaches. For these reasons, many hospitals in the US are now in the process of developing their vascular care services in order to improve their return on investment and patient outcomes. Read More

Endovascular Care at Rush Commercial Features Dr. Demetrius Lopes

Endovascular Care at Rush Commercial Features Dr. Demetrius Lopes

October 12, 2011  |  Videos  |  No Comments

Dr. LopesRush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, has a long history of innovations and new technology, especially in the endovascular area. Learn more about endovascular care at Rush in this video featuring neurointerventionalist Michael Chen, MD, neuroendovascular surgeon Demetrius Lopes, MD, interventional cardiologists Jeffrey Snell, MD, and Ziyad Hijazi, MD, MPH,

Chicago Neurosurgeon Performs Revolutionary Treatment for Complex Brain Aneurysms

June 16, 2011  |  Media  |  No Comments

 Demetrius Lopes, MD, endovascular-trained neurosurgeon at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago is performing a new and effective treatment to reduce the risk in patients suffering from complex brain aneurysms. The recently FDA-approved technology called the Pipeline Embolization Device (PED) gives Dr. Lopes the ability to treat some of the most complex and dangerous brain aneurysms using a minimally invasive, endovascular, technique.  The treatment is focused on reconstructing or remodeling a weakened blood vessel wall.  By mechanically reinforcing the section of the blood vessel harboring the aneurysm, the risk of rupture is significantly reduced.  To review animated video of the Pipeline Embolization Device, click here. Read More

Brain Aneurysms: Know the Signs

March 25, 2011  |  Media  |  No Comments

Ruptured aneurysms cause bleeding in the brain.

Just a quick look at newspaper headlines over the past month make you realize that brain aneurysms don’t discriminate.  From a national grocer’s senior executive, to a U.K. football player, to a Navy veteran, brain aneurysms take lives.  In honor of brain injury awareness day, last week the Brain Aneurysm Foundation reminded everyone about the facts.  Read More

Study Supports A Healthy Daily Grind

March 17, 2011  |  Media  |  No Comments

New research published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association in March 2010 shows that women who drink coffee each day have a significantly lower risk of stroke.  The research, performed in Stockholm, Sweden enrolled more than 34,000 women ages 49 to 83 in 1997 and followed them for 10 years.  The Swedish researchers found that women who consume more than 1 cup of coffee each day have a 22-25% less risk of stroke than women who don’t.   Dr. Demetrius Lopes, stroke specialist and endovascular neurosurgeon at Rush University Medical Center finds this research interesting.  “I think this research and other similar studies show us coffee consumption is probably not harmful.  I don’t think we can yet recommend that someone who doesn’t drink coffee should start” comments Dr. Lopes. Read More

New Study Links Diet Soda Consumption to Increased Risk of Stroke

March 2, 2011  |  Media  |  No Comments

A new study presented at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference in February 2011 in Los Angeles showed that patients drinking one diet soda every day experienced a 61% higher risk of vascular events (stroke, heart attack, death) than those who reported drinking no soda.   Demetrius Lopes, endovascular neurosurgeon and Co-Director of the Rush Stroke Center at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago tells patients to consider this new data in developing healthy eating and living habits.  “This new data is interesting and should cause those who drink diet soda frequently or in large quantities to consider more healthy alternatives.  This is the first report identifying an association between stroke and diet soda consumption.  More research is needed to prove a direct cause and effect relationship between diet soda and stroke risk,” comments Dr. Lopes.

It is important to note that previous studies, however, have established a connection between the consumption of diet soda and the development of metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes.   The link between metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes and stroke is clear and unquestionable.   Men with metabolic syndrome have a 78% greater risk of stroke, and women affected by metabolic syndrome have more than double the risk of stroke.  Metabolic syndrome is defined as the presence of at least three of five metabolic abnormalities, including:

  • Abdominal obesity (belly fat)
  • High blood sugar levels
  • Elevated triglycerides
  • Low levels of HDL (‘good’ cholesterol)
  • High blood pressure

Many patients with metabolic syndrome progress on to diabetes.  Diabetics carry a 2-1/2 times greater risk of stroke than non-diabetics.

Patients with metabolic syndrome and diabetes are urged to be under the proper care of a physician.  Through a combination of healthy lifestyle modifications and appropriate medications, patients with elevated blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure can significantly reduce their risk of cardiovascular complications, like heart attack and stroke.

If you have any questions for Dr. Lopes regarding the link between metabolic syndrome, diabetes and stroke risk, please respond in  the space provided below or email him at info@ChicagoStrokeMD.com.

Coach K’s Daughter Suffered Stroke from Vertebral Artery Dissection

March 2, 2011  |  Media  |  No Comments

Recent news reports discuss the full recovery being made by Debbie Krzyzewski Savarino, the daughter of Duke University basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, who suffered from a stroke in early December.  While Dr. Demetrius Lopes, endovascular neurosurgeon and Co-Director of the Rush Stroke Center at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago is unfamiliar with the exact details and care of Debbie Krzyzewski, he is very familiar with the underlying condition reported to have caused her stroke. 

Vertebral artery dissection is characterized by a flap-like tear in the inner lining of the vertebral artery in the neck.  In many cases, the flap fills with blood, thereby causing a blood clot which can restrict blood flowing to the brain.  In select cases, pieces of the blood clot may break off and travel into smaller arteries in the brain where they can also disrupt blood supply.  Dr. Lopes explains further that some cases of vertebral artery dissection can actually result in ruptures of the weakened arterial wall or the formation of a pseudo-aneurysm (blister on the wall of the artery) at the site of weakness.  Regardless of the exact mechanics of the insult, the risk of bleeding in the brain or severely limiting or cutting off blood flow to the brain is significant. 

Stroke as a result of vertebral artery dissection is a common cause of stroke in young or middle-aged healthy individuals.  Its hallmark symptoms are pain in the neck typically accompanied a neurologic deficit, such as nausea, weakness, dizziness, or speech difficulty, depending upon the location of the tear.   The tear in the arterial wall can be caused by trauma to the neck, such as a car accident or sports injury, or chiropractic manipulation.  In some cases it has been reported to develop without a specific incident.

Vertebral artery dissection is an emergency, so anyone experiencing this combination of symptoms should call 911. 

If you have any questions regarding vertebral artery dissection, please respond in the space provided below or email Dr. Lopes at info@ChicagoStrokeMD.com.

Now options for patients with difficult to reach aneurysms

January 28, 2011  |  Media  |  No Comments

Neuroform EZ Stent System to treat aneurysms.

Demetrius Lopes, MD, neurosurgeon and blood vessel repair specialist at Rush University Medical Center, is again introducing new technology to treat brain aneurysms to Chicago.   Dr. Lopes is one of the foremost pioneers in the country treating brain aneurysms, stroke, AVMs and other blood vessel conditions through a minimally-invasive approach. 

Frequently endovascular-trained neurosurgeons, like Dr. Lopes, navigate special technology through the blood vessels in the body to the brain to repair a weakened vessel wall called an aneurysm.  The aneurysm can be thought of as a blister on the blood vessel wall.  Like blisters on the skin, a brain aneurysm can easily burst and cause a bleed into the brain.  Ruptured aneurysms can cause significant brain damage and even death if not treated immediately.  Optimally brain aneurysms are detected and treated before they rupture.

Dr. Lopes treats well over 100 aneurysms each year.  He uses stents, or small mesh-like tubes, as well as coils, glues and other innovative materials to fill the aneurysm which restores normal blood flow and prevents the aneurysm from rupturing or from causing further harm to the brain.  Now Dr. Lopes has yet another tool to treat even the most complex and hard to reach aneurysms using a minimally invasive approach.  In fact, Dr. Lopes was the first in the United States to use the new Neuroform EZ™ Stent System.

“Unlike previous stent systems, the Neuroform EZ stent allows me to treat aneurysms which have developed deep within the brain and on some of the smaller blood vessels,” comments Dr. Lopes.  “Other stent systems are not flexible enough to be used in these locations.  Even aneurysms which develop where arteries divide into two branches, or at a bifurcation, can now be treated.”

Patients with non-ruptured aneurysms should pay particular attention to a neurosurgeon’s experience and access to new technologies in treating these abnormalities in the brain.  As previously described, if a patient has an aneurysm deep within the brain or of a particularly difficult shape to treat, such as aneurysms that develop at a bifurcation, only programs like Rush with access to the latest technologies will be able to offer successful minimally-invasive treatment.

Dr. Lopes urges patients to do their homework.  “My goal is to continue to enhance the program at Rush so we have access to all proven treatment options for patients with brain blood vessel disorders.  Given the rapidly changing technology in this area of neurosurgery, only programs with specialists with their eye on these developments can offer the most complete array of solutions for patients.”

If you have any questions regarding the technology options for the treatment of aneurysms, please respond below or email Dr. Lopes at info@ChicagoStrokeMD.com

Improved Care for Stroke Patients: Moving Forward

January 27, 2011  |  Media  |  No Comments

Dr. Demetrius Lopes, endovascular-trained neurosurgeon and stroke treatment expert at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, applauds efforts by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association in refining the approach to stroke care in the United States.  The AHA and ASA have announced the development of 26 metrics which would be measured to assess a hospital’s ability to safely and effectively treat a stroke patient.   The organizations site the goals of high-quality and faster stroke care as the impetus for the new guidelines.

As reflected in the article published on-line in Stroke, the ASA and AHA strongly believe in the development and accreditation of comprehensive stroke centers, building upon the primary stroke center designation started nearly 10 years ago by the Joint Commission.  The authors of the study noted that “Experience with the establishment of primary stroke centers has demonstrated that designation of hospitals as stroke centers with formalized protocols for care and with mechanisms for monitoring their performance has been associated with improved performance.”   Moving toward a two-tiered system to include accreditation for Comprehensive Stroke Centers is believed to enhance stroke care and outcomes even further.

Dr. Lopes comments, “I think the data-driven metrics proposed by the AHA/ASA for Comprehensive Stroke Centers would push the organization and delivery of stroke care in the right direction.  In the end, it would have a great impact on improving stroke patient outcomes and quality of life.  Today, it is very disappointing to see the time lost in transferring patients from one institution to another.  Losing those precious minutes or in some cases hours, significantly reduces the available treatment options.”

Dr. Lopes’ program at Rush University Medical Center is among those that offer the full continuum of medical, surgical and endovascular interventions for patients suffering from stroke.  Dr. Lopes looks forward to an organized system whereby stroke patients are immediately directed to an institution which can optimally care for them. 

If you have any questions regarding the stroke treatment and prevention services offered at Rush University Medical Center, please respond in the space below or email Dr. Lopes at info@ChicagoStrokeMD.com.