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Stroke is a preventable disease with devastating consequences. The risk of stroke can be decreased by addressing and controlling risk factors. Risk factors are medical conditions or lifestyle practices that can increase one's chance of having a stroke.

The Stroke Prevention Program addresses the concerns patients, families and health professionals may have and provides resources and services to control risk factors. The program is directed by Dr. Anjail Sharrief, Associate Professor of Neurology and the Director of Stroke Prevention for the Institute of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease.


The STEP Clinic was developed in order to address the multiple needs of patients and caregivers after a stroke or TIA occurs. The clinic takes an integrated approach to post-stroke care by providing education, risk factor screening and management, and assessment and treatment of post-stroke complication. We also connect patients and caregivers to our partner clinics, community programs, and community resources that help address post-stroke needs.

Our clinic provides services such as:

  • stroke and TIA education
  • Screening for stroke risk factors
  • Management of hypertension, high cholesterol, and tobacco use
  • Screening and treatment of fatigue, depression, memory/cognitive disorders, and post-stroke pain
  • Referrals for management of diabetes, nutrition programs, and intensive tobacco cessation programs
  • Referrals for driving assessments and programs to assist with returning to work

Our Patients

We serve patients who have had or at high risk for having the following conditions:

  • Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA)
  • Ischemic Stroke resulting from the blockage of an artery
  • Hemorrhagic Stroke or Bleeding Stroke often resulting from high blood pressure

Many of our patients have the following risk factors:

  • Hypertension or High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Tobacco Use
  • High Cholesterol
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Poor Diet
  • Lack of Exercise
  • Obesity or Overweight
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea

To book an appointment

Please visit the UTHealth Neurosciences site here for more information on clinic appointments.

Stroke Prevention Research

The Stroke Prevention Program's Research department is a pioneering center dedicated to advancing our understanding of stroke and developing effective strategies for prevention. Areas of interest also include stroke disparities, and health services. Welcome to a space where innovation meets compassion, and together, we strive to make a lasting impact on stroke prevention worldwide.

  • SleepSMART

    Sleep for Stroke Management and Recovery Trial

    The primary goals of this study are to determine whether treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) with positive airway pressure starting shortly after acute ischemic stroke or high risk TIA (1) reduces recurrent stroke, acute coronary syndrome, and all-cause mortality during 6 months after the event, and (2) improves stroke outcomes at 3 months in patients who experienced an ischemic stroke.

    Prior studies have shown a clear independent association between OSA, which has a prevalence similar to hypertension among stroke patients, and development of stroke and poor outcomes after ischemic stroke. If the Sleep SMART hypotheses are confirmed, a new strategy to prevent stroke recurrence and improve stroke recovery will be available.

    To learn more about this trial, please fill out this short online form »


    AtRial Cardiopathy and Antithrombotic Drugs In prevention After cryptogenic stroke

    In one-third of ischemic strokes, a specific cause cannot be identified. Many of these cryptogenic strokes appear to arise from a distant embolic source. Recent evidence suggests that some cryptogenic strokes arise from left atrial thromboembolism that goes unrecognized because it is not associated with atrial fibrillation/flutter (AF). Under the prevailing clinical paradigm, it is thought that AF is required for blood clots to form in the left atrium. Therefore, unless AF is apparent, patients do not receive anticoagulant therapy to prevent atrial thromboembolism. However, recent research indicates that embolization from the left atrium can occur when there are abnormal changes to atrial tissue and function even before there is AF. Such an “atrial cardiopathy” may explain many of the strokes that are currently of unknown cause. Since anticoagulant drugs such as apixaban have already proven more effective than standard aspirin therapy for preventing stroke from AF, the parallels between AF and atrial cardiopathy suggest that apixaban may also be more effective than aspirin for stroke prevention in patients with atrial cardiopathy and no AF.

    ARCADIA is a randomized trial of apixaban versus aspirin specifically in patients with cryptogenic stroke who have evidence of atrial cardiopathy. This trial will address several important knowledge gaps. First, it will advance our understanding of stroke pathophysiology by assessing whether atrial cardiopathy is a valid therapeutic target, which may set the stage for a primary prevention trial. Second, this trial will advance our understanding of optimal secondary stroke prevention therapy.

    To learn more about this trial, please fill out this short online form »


    Stroke Telemedicine Outpatient Prevention Program for Blood Pressure

    STOP program, which stands for Stroke Telemedicine Outpatient Prevention, aimed at lowering blood pressure to prevent another stroke. The program offers telehealth intervention to see if this type of care will help improve racial disparities in outcomes for stroke survivors.

    Read the UTHealth Houston article HERE

    To learn more about this trial, please fill out this short online form »


    A Study on BMS-986177 for the Prevention of a Stroke in Patients Receiving Aspirin and Clopidogrel

    Aspirin and Clopidogrel is more effective than standard therapy in secondary stroke prevention.

    To learn more about this trial, please fill out this short online form »


    Video-based Intervention to Reduce Treatment and Outcome Disparities in Adults Living with Stroke or TIA

    This randomized trial strives to provide care over telehealth channels with remote blood pressure monitoring. Patients are asked to check blood pressure daily and also meet with their outpatient stroke provider at designated times either in person or through video visits. Benefits include a free blood pressure monitor and enhanced post-stroke blood pressure monitoring that is not typically provided to stroke patients.

    To learn more about this trial, please fill out this short online form »

Education and Training

Stroke Prevention Fellowship

The one year Stroke Prevention Fellowship is directed by Dr. Anjail Sharrief. The fellowship program focuses on giving physicians exposure and training in primary and secondary stroke prevention through risk factor management and stroke complication management. Fellows will be trained to provide patient-care and comprehensive preventive care.

Vascular Neurology Fellowship Training

We provide a one or two-year vascular neurology fellowship, both fostering the development of leaders in stroke field, be it in research, education, administration, quality improvement, and/or community outreach.

Medical Student and Public Health Student Opportunities

More information coming soon about our opportunities and resources available to medical students and public health students.


Dr. Anjail Sharrief's PubMed publications can be found here.

Racism and Stroke

Dr. Sharrief has recently coauthored an American Heart Association Presidential Advisory major publication addressing structural racism and health disparity in the US. Read more.

Outreach: Let's Learn About Stroke

Let's Learn About Stroke informational video below.