Australian researchers given a helping hand for stroke research

Australian researchers have been given a helping hand to build projects with the potential to impact future treatment and care for stroke survivors.

The early-mid career researchers (within 10 years of completing their PhDs) will share in almost $200,000 after being awarded the 2018 Stroke Foundation Seed Grants to conduct pilot or feasibility studies.

Professor Richard Lindley, member of the Stroke Foundation’s Research Advisory Committee, said the researchers had been given an opportunity to make a real difference to the one in six Australians impacted by stroke.

“Stroke kills more women than breast cancer and more men than prostate cancer and leaves thousands more with an ongoing disability, yet it can be prevented and it can be treated. Research will help us beat it,” Professor Lindley said.

“There are specific issues for stroke in Australia we need to address, so we must encourage high quality and effective research on our shores in order to move the field forward.”

The four projects awarded grants will focus on a number of different aspects of the stroke journey, identified as priorities by stroke survivors. This includes looking at what happens before a patient reaches hospital to better arm and hand recovery post-stroke and whether stroke survivors continue to take their prevention medication in the long term.

The final project will aim to lay the ground work to boost rehabilitation for Aboriginal stroke survivors by identifying and addressing implementation challenges in the first acquired brain injury rehabilitation trial particularly designed for Aboriginal people.

Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sharon McGowan said she was proud to support the research and was looking forward to its outcomes.

“Tragically, it’s estimated there will be more than 56,000 strokes across the country in 2018 – that is one every nine minutes. Too many Australians are dying or being left with an ongoing disability as a result of stroke.

“Stroke is largely preventable and treatable. High quality evidence-based research will help us stop this terrible disease and reduce the spiraling costs to the community and health system associated with stroke.”

“These researchers give us hope for the future,” she said.

As a national charity, Stroke Foundation research is funded with the support of the community. The organisation has awarded more than $3.2 million to 200 researchers since 2008.

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