Baptist Health South Florida, Boca Raton Regional Hospital

NIH-Funded Research at Marcus Neuroscience Institute Targets Treatment for Brain Bleeding Strokes, Inflammation from Ruptured Aneurysms

August 16, 2022

BOCA RATON, FL – August 16, 2022The Marcus Neuroscience Institute, established at Boca Raton Regional Hospital, a part of Baptist Health, has announced a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) research study to assess a potential treatment for brain bleeds and inflammation from ruptured aneurysms.

About 30,000 people in the United States suffer a brain aneurysm rupture each year, equating to about one every 18 minutes. Women – primarily between the ages of 40 and 60 –are more likely to suffer a brain aneurysm rupture, which is fatal in about 40% of cases in the U.S. When a brain aneurysm ruptures, it is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).  This type of stroke results in a hemorrhage in the area between the brain and the skull, and bleeding may also extend into the brain itself.

Exploring cases of SAH and identifying potential treatments to prevent further brain inflammation and bleeding are key topics of research being led by Khalid A. Hanafy, M.D., Ph.D., neurointensivist at Marcus Neuroscience Institute and professor of neurology at Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Medicine.

“Many of the advancements for these patients so far are focused on the immediate treatment of aneurysms and the prevention of another rupture,” said Dr. Hanafy. “However, the brain can still suffer a massive state of inflammation and bleeding over the weeks following the initial treatment of the aneurysm; we really have no treatments for any of that.”

Dr. Hanafy is the principal investigator of cutting-edge studies, including two currently funded by the NIH which have made recent progress toward developing advanced and personalized care for SAH patients and improving their survival rates and health outcomes, including the prevention of permanent cognitive impairments. This groundbreaking work in neuroinflammation is also supported by the American Heart Association, American Academy of Neurology, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In his most recent research development, Dr. Hanafy’s team isolated the toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) that does most of the damage following a ruptured aneurysm or SAH. TLR4 is a gene-encoded protein which is part of the natural immunity in humans.  There is increasing evidence of the involvement of TLRs in neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Hanafy has several published articles on neuroinflammation, including these results that are published in the Neurocritical Care Journal.

“We are working on further developing cutting-edge research intended to identify new drugs derived from the mouse stroke model for our patient population,” explains Dr. Hanafy”. In doing so, we will be sure these new drugs are personalized and unique to each patient.”

For more context on this new research, visit here.

About Marcus Neuroscience Institute

Marcus Neuroscience Institute, a part of Baptist Health South Florida, is an innovative nexus for neurologic and neurosurgical care. From non-surgical treatments and minimally invasive procedures to complex brain and spine surgery, the Institute embraces a multidisciplinary approach to patient care. Marcus Neuroscience Institute’s highly skilled staff is comprised of neurosurgeons, neurologists, pain management physicians and neuro-oncologists. With locations in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach and Deerfield Beach, Marcus Neuroscience Institute is making breakthrough neurological care more accessible for patients seeking comprehensive treatment for conditions affecting the brain, spine and peripheral nervous system.

The heart of the Institute is located at Boca Raton Regional Hospital. The 57,000-square-foot facility houses a 20-bed Neuro Intensive Care and Step-Down Unit, four dedicated operating rooms — including one equipped with intraoperative MRI and two with intraoperative CT capability — and a biplane angiography suite, a crucial component in the diagnosis and care of neurological conditions.

Marcus Neuroscience Institute is training the next generation of neurologists and neuroscientists in conjunction with Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine and its residency program. The Institute earned the Gold Seal of Approval® for Spinal Surgery Certification from The Joint Commission, which reflects commitment to the highest standards of excellence and safety in patient care, and the Institute is a DNV Certified Comprehensive Stroke Center, which is the nation’s highest level of stroke accreditation.

About Boca Raton Regional Hospital
Boca Raton Regional Hospital is part of Baptist Health South Florida, the largest healthcare organization in the region, with 11 hospitals, nearly 23,000 employees, more than 4,000 physicians and more than 100 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Baptist Health has internationally renowned centers of excellence in cancer, cardiovascular care, orthopedics and sports medicine, and neurosciences. In addition, it includes Baptist Health Medical Group; Baptist Health Quality Network; and Baptist Health Care On Demand, a virtual health platform. Baptist Health has been recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies.

Boca Raton Regional Hospital is supported by philanthropy to strengthen its mission to deliver the highest quality patient care, satisfaction and safety. If you would like to learn more about supporting the mission of Boca Raton Regional Hospital, visit our website at

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