Stroke is a major public health issue worldwide. In Switzerland, it is the third cause of death and the main cause of disability in adults. More than 600 patients are admitted every year for an acute stroke or transient ischemic attack to the comprehensive stroke centre of the CHUV, Lausanne. An increasing number of patients can benefit from recent advances in acute phase treatment such as thrombolysis and mechanical endovascular clot removal. The burden of the disease is still important, as many patients remain debilitated after suffering a stroke.

Hirt laboratory use an experimental approach to study stroke for characterising and understanding ischemic tissue damage. Its long-term aim is to identify new diagnostic and therapeutic options for stroke.

The Hirt laboratory characterise changes in the neurovascular unit after ischemia and test neuroprotective strategies, such as lactate administration, after ischemia both in vivo and in vitro. They measure neuroprotection by immunohistochemical and behavioural outcomes. In collaboration with the CIBM, they study parenchymal changes after ischemia using magnetic resonance spectroscopy. A recent development is to use tracer neuroprotective substrates (dynamic nuclear polarisation of 13C-Lactate) before magnetic resonance spectroscopy (collaboration with Pr. J-N. Hyacinthe, Dr M. Mishkovsky)