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Medical Staff Snapshot:  Arbi Ohanian, M.D.

Arbi Ohanian, M.D. grew up in Houston, Texas and moved to Glendale, California in 1990.  He received a Bachelor of Science degree in physiological sciences from UCLA and a Master of Science degree in applied physiology from Finch University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School.  Dr. Ohanian attended USC’s Keck School of Medicine and performed his internship at L.A. County+USC Medical Center and his residency in neurology at UCLA, where he also completed a fellowship in vascular neurology/stroke.  

Charged with spearheading Huntington Memorial Hospital’s stroke program, Dr. Ohanian is passionate about the rapidly expanding realm of stroke treatment – a condition formerly considered untreatable.  He has worked extensively as an investigator in clinical trials in both acute stroke management as well as secondary stroke prevention.  Dr. Ohanian has given Grand Rounds lectures at the West Los Angeles VA Hospital and Olive View Medical Center.  He has written articles for major neurology publications including Stroke and Neurology.  Dr. Ohanian is fluent in Armenian and conversant in Spanish and Farsi.

Q:  What influenced your decision to practice neurology?

I chose to pursue neurology since it is not only intellectually gratifying, but also a field where we are witnessing rapid advances in areas such as neurogenetics, neuroimaging, pharmaceuticals, as well as surgical treatments.  With the population getting older, the prevalence of neurologic disease is on the rise and requires tremendous effort and attention from the medical community. 

 Q:  Tell us about the plans to develop a comprehensive stroke center at Huntington

This is an extremely exciting time to be involved in stroke care.  Historically, stroke, the leading cause of disability in America, was regarded as a non-treatable disease.  Patients would experience catastrophic strokes and doctors would have no means of treatment.  This situation is rapidly changing with advances in early recognition, initiation of early treatment in the field, neuroimaging capability, new angiographic interventional procedures, and the development of stroke centers and dedicated stroke units.

Q:  What steps has Huntington taken to strengthen its stroke program?

Huntington has recently invested in biplane angiography equipment with interventional capabilities — a big step forward in the treatment of stroke.  In addition to our excellent staff neurologists and neurosurgeons, we have added a physician’s assistant and nurse practitioner dedicated to navigating patients through every aspect of our program – from presentation in the emergency department to a possible stay in our inpatient rehabilitation unit.   

Over the coming months, we will focus on educating the community about stroke and enhancing the spectrum of stroke care offered at the hospital. 

Q:  What is the single most important thing people can do to prevent strokes?

Unfortunately there is no single answer. The key to stroke prevention is targeting multiple risk factors including smoking, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and obesity.  Early recognition of stroke symptoms and the importance of prompt treatment are also very important issues to emphasize to our patients.

For more information about Dr. Ohanian contact Southern California Neurology Consultants at (626) 535-9344.