Wake Forest Baptist receives federal grants to develop new treatments for neurological diseases

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has awarded Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center two five-year grants, each worth approximately $1.5 million, to participate in two nationwide clinical trial networks.

Under one grant, Wake Forest Baptist will become one of 25 clinical sites in the Network for Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials. Known as NeuroNEXT, the network was created in 2011 to make neuroscience clinical trials more efficient and to advance the development of new treatments for neurological diseases.

Under the other, Wake Forest Baptist will be one of 29 regional centers in NIH StrokeNet, established in 2013 to develop, promote and conduct high-quality, multi-site clinical trials focused on stroke prevention, treatment and recovery. As a regional center, Wake Forest Baptist will coordinate the network-related activities of its partners in the Western North Carolina StrokeNet: Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte and Asheville-based Mission Health.

"We are very pleased to become part of these nationwide networks and we anticipate making meaningful contributions to both of them," said Allison Brashear, M.D., professor and chair of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist. "We intend to leverage our ethnically, geographically and economically diverse patient population to enroll and retain clinical trial participants from historically underserved and under-represented groups. In addition to this distinctive patient mix, we will add a strong team of neuroscience investigators, a robust research environment and extensive experience in conducting meaningful and reproducible clinical trials to the important work being done in NeuroNEXT and StrokeNet."

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