Sidney Mallenbaum, M.D.
Sidney Mallenbaum, M.D., is the medical director of the stroke unit at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Since coming to Carilion, he has helped the facility attain certification as a Primary Stroke Center Hospital from Joint Commission and is spearheading the process of applying to Joint Commission for certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. Dr. Mallenbaum is involved with training residents and teaches at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.
Most recently, Dr. Mallenbaum agreed to chair the Therapeutic Hypothermia in Cardiac Arrest program at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. This cutting-edge treatment involves cooling patients to a target of 33 degrees celsius after a cardiac arrest with return of spontaneous circulation in the hopes that this will result in better neurological outcomes for these patients.
Prior to coming to Carilion, he was a private practice neurologist in Virginia Beach, Va. and the Medical Director of the Neurology Department and then the Stroke Program at Virginia Beach General Hospital.
Dr. Mallenbaum has been the principal investigator for 22 clinical trials. His research interest is acute stroke intervention, and some of his clinical trials have included evaluating different types of blood thinners, devices aimed at minimizing and reversing the severity of stroke, and neuroprotective drugs aimed at protecting brain cells from the damaging effects of a stroke.
Dr. Mallenbaum said he joined Carilion Clinic for several reasons. He was aware of the need for organized stroke care in Southwestern Virginia and felt his experience in developing a stroke program at Virginia Beach General Hospital would benefit the area. He also saw an opportunity to offer his skills and clinical research experience to a hospital eager to develop a strong research program and finally, he wanted to participate in an academic capacity by sharing his knowledge and expertise as a Clinical Neurologist with medical residents and medical students to help future physicians better understand and manage neurological disorders, including stroke. He obtained his medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and residency training at Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospitals of McGill University.
Under the direction of Dr. Mallenbaum, there is one active clinical trial, one soon to start, and another in negotiations with the sponsor. The trials involve patients that have had a stroke some within 24 hours and others within six months.
Of particular interest to Dr. Mallenbaum is the active trial, Infrared Laser Trial in Acute Stroke, which evaluates the effects of an infrared laser applied directly through the skull to 20 different locations on both sides of the brain. Patients have to have had a moderate stroke within 24 hours to be eligible for the trial. The hope is that this intervention will result in decreased disability and improved ability to function after a moderately severe stroke has occurred.
Dr. Mallenbaum feels clinical research in any field of medicine usually results in improved clinical care for all patients and tends to attract high quality providers of medical care to a community. In time, people residing in our area learn to ask for and expect “cutting edge” research and treatment options for whatever illness/disease is affecting them or others without feeling the need to travel to another medical center for state-of-the-art care.
Dr. Mallenbaum's vision for research at Carilion Clinic is to see most departments engaging in research trials. With the potential of future collaborations with regional partners, Carilion Clinic is well poised to offer the full continuum of research, from “bench research” in the laboratory to clinical trials at the bedside of patients. The Neurosciences continue to be a very exciting and fast moving specialty with regards to new treatment options and discoveries. Despite the many advances made to-date in this field, we continue to have a tremendous amount to learn and understand about the brain and nervous system as well as the diseases that affect it.
Dr. Mallenbaum believes clinical trials tend to “raise the bar” with regards to clinical care of patients in general which results in the overall better care of patients. In addition, clinical trials attract other clinical trials as well as investigators which allows for more providers to offer quality care to more of our patients. There continue to be many diseases, stroke included, that continue to have very limited effective treatment options for our patients. Clinical research is the only means we have of discovering new and effective treatments.