Aimen Moussaddy: Treating the human impacts of stroke

Dr. Moussaddy cares for patients to reduce the effects of stroke on their brains

Aimen Moussaddy, MD, is a neurologist who specializes in stroke, a condition caused when a vessel carrying blood to the brain is either ruptured or blocked by a blood clot. Motivated by his passion for the brain, Dr. Moussaddy strives to better understand and treat stroke while maintaining a human focus in his care and research.

How did you choose your field?

I got into this area for two main reasons. First, early in my education, I realized that I was quite interested in the brain. In high school and later at CEGEP, I became quite a voracious reader on this topic. I became more and more passionate about the brain and neuroscience.

Second, my father suffered from very severe migraines. I realized that I could combine my passion for brain science and the desire to treat a disease, such as my father's condition, that was very debilitating in someone close to me.

There was no doubt about the area I would go into when I started medical school about a decade ago. I wanted to study and deepen my knowledge of neurology and the medicine of the brain and central nervous system.

What is a typical work day like for you?

There are three aspects to stroke treatment.

First is the interventional aspect, in that you have to treat a patient within minutes and hours of a stroke. You need to quickly stabilize the patient, determine the type of stroke (infarction or hemorrhagic) and start treatment immediately to minimize brain damage and reduce the risk of death. Given the urgent nature of the condition, my team and I are always on call to come to The Neuro to treat patients as quickly as possible.

After a stroke, people are usually admitted to The Neuro's Stroke Unit which has beds for up to twenty-five patients. My work day also consists of caring for these patients to minimize damage, prevent complications, and help them start the recovery process.

The third part of my work involves helping my patients detect and reduce their risk of having another stroke.

“We investigate to find out why a patient had a stroke to prevent it from happening again. We also have a stroke prevention clinic, which is part of a continuum of post-stroke treatment and recovery. 

My work days really revolve around these three aspects.

What impact does your work have on patients' lives?

The impact on patients is immense and one of the main reasons I chose to go into stroke medicine, which encompasses saving patients from handicap with significant damage and helping them make a complete recovery, or at least achieve functional independence that could let them go back to work. We feel a tremendous sense of satisfaction every time we help a patient do that.

“Stroke has a very human impact. It often occurs suddenly and profoundly disrupts the lives of patients and their families. We have a duty to care for these patients in the most human way possible.” 

The Neuro's entire stroke team is motivated to achieve the best outcomes for stroke treatment and to support patient recovery. We always try to do more for the patient. The team is involved in research to improve aspects of early stroke treatment. Having one stroke increases your risk of having another. Preventing and controlling the risk factors for stroke are therefore a priority for The Neuro's teams. We are also trying to improve post-stroke treatment and rehabilitation to help patients better cope with symptoms.

Do you work with other researchers and clinicians at The Neuro?

The Neuro is an ideal place for a neurologist to work because it is home to every possible neuroscience specialist. We collaborate with vascular neurologists who specialize in stroke, interventional radiologists, pathologists, and researchers who are making advances in preventing and treating damage to the central nervous system following a stroke.

And they are all under one roof! This model is both extremely rewarding and effective at advancing our research, which is entirely patient-centred.



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The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) is a bilingual academic healthcare institution. We are a McGill research and teaching institute; delivering high-quality patient care, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. We are proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.



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