What is Stroke?

A stroke is caused when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or reduced, causing brain tissue to stop receiving oxygen and nutrients. When the blood supply is interrupted, brain cells begin to die in minutes.

The Stroke team at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute is a part of the Calgary Stroke Program – an international leader in stroke research and care. Team members include clinician-scientists, imaging and computer scientists, basic scientists, engineers, statisticians, epidemiologists, and management experts. The stroke team’s research focuses on delivering the most recent and cutting-edge innovation in acute stroke diagnosis and treatment to patients with stroke.

If you would like to contribute to further research on stroke causes and treatments, please visit our donation page.

The HBI collaborates with the Calgary Stroke Fellowship Program. The program has evolved into one of the premier programs for subspecialty training in stroke, internationally, and has been the hallmark of the Calgary Stroke Program's success. Learn More

Research Impact

Dr Menon

UCalgary researchers make another breakthrough in treatment of stroke

Study shows a heart attack drug can become the standard treatment for acute ischemic stroke. UCalgary researchers have shown Tenecteplase (TNK), a safe, well-tolerated drug, is an effective treatment.


Research shows new drug helps to preserve brain cells for a time after stroke

University of Calgary-led international study shows promising results for neuroprotection by combining endovascular therapy with nerinetide.


UCalgary researchers aim to revolutionize treatment for brain aneurysm

UCeed-funded company Fluid Biotech develops world’s first bio-absorbable flow-diverting stent, creating new treatment options for stroke.

For more information on UCalgary stroke research, please visit the Cumming School of Medicine stroke page. CSM Stroke

Quick Facts

Quick facts

Understanding Stroke


Smoking and Alcohol

Smoking doubles the risk of stroke. Quitting will significantly reduce the risk within two years. Within five years, the risk will be the same as someone who never smoked. Excessive alcohol consumption has also been linked with increased risk.


Stress and Depression

Stress is linked with stroke risk factors including high blood pressure, smoking and being overweight. Research is also showing that depression is associated with a significantly increased risk of stroke morbidity and mortality. Mental health care measures are an important mitigator in stroke risk.


Inactivity and Obesity

Being overweight can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and sleep apnea, all of which are high-risk factors for stroke. Increasing activity level decreases the risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as decreases the risk of diabetes.

Research Highlights