The Toronto Western Neurovascular Group is at the forefront of leading and collaborating on a multitude of groundbreaking national and international research endeavours.

Basic and Translational Neurovascular Research

Within the genetic lab, researchers are unravelling the intricate architecture of the human brain vasculature, both in its healthy state and in disease conditions. The objective is to understand the genetic basis underlying brain and spine arteriovenous malformations, as well as Moya moya disease.

Employing a bench-to-bedside approach, the findings of basic research are being translated into practical applications for patient care, including targeted medical treatments. The ultimate goal is to develop precise and personalized neurovascular medicine specifically tailored to patients with vascular malformations. Bridging the gap between scientific discovery and clinical implementation enhances outcomes for our patients.

Neurovascular Imaging Research

The Toronto Western Hospital is the cradle for innovative and advanced neurovascular imaging techniques, providing unparalleled research opportunities.

High-resolution MR with wall imaging

High-resolution MR with wall imaging revolutionizes brain artery visualization, surpassing conventional techniques by revealing the vessel wall in addition to the lumen. This cutting-edge technology enables precise identification of pathological changes, shedding light on stroke causes. Additionally, it holds promise in the early detection of brain aneurysm instability, being vital for treatment decisions and preventing life-threatening brain bleeding.


MRI with cerebrovascular reactivity mapping

MRI with cerebrovascular reactivity mapping is a ‘brain stress test’ assessing vascular reserve in patients with narrowed or blocked brain arteries. This innovative technology enhances our understanding of vascular physiology and pathology, and aids in determining the effectiveness of brain artery bypass surgery (EC-IC bypass surgery). Researchers continue to improve and assess vital information guiding treatment decisions and optimizing patient-specific interventions.

Image of Cereborvascular Reactivity

Clinical Research and Trials

As a referral center, the Toronto Western Neurovascular Group conducts in-depth studies on the natural history of a variety of neurovascular diseases, including rare conditions such as brainstem cavernous malformations, moya moya arteriopathy, and cerebral arteriopathies in sickle cell disease.

The team leads and participates in several national and international clinical trials. These trials encompass a wide range of neurovascular conditions, including brain aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, and both ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke in close collaboration with the stroke neurology group.

To determine the most suitable treatment approach for patients with neurovascular conditions, it is important to carefully consider the natural course of the disease alongside potential treatment risks. The team is dedicated to decision-making research, aiming to enhance the multidisciplinary care they offer. This includes conducting studies on shared decision-making, utilizing decision aids that provide comprehensive information to patients and incorporate their individual preferences.