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Project title: Contribution of the presence, susceptibility to and control of modifiable vascular risk factor in young stroke and TIA: a prospective cohort and nested case-control study.
The number of new cases of young stroke appears to be increasing in recent decades in high-income countries. The traditional view is that classical vascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, play a minor role in young stroke. Emerging evidence is starting to contradict this view.
Dr Linxin Li from the University of Oxford has been awarded a research grant to investigate the role of these treatable risk factors in young stroke. Unlike previous studies, Dr Li’s research will focus on multiple types of stroke, such as ischaemic strokes, caused by a blockage of arteries, 'mini-strokes' (transient ischaemic attacks) and bleeding in the brain (intracerebral haemorrhage and subarachnoid haemorrhage). Clinical investigations will be undertaken to assess the risk factors present in the patients.
Establishing the importance of known risk factors in young stroke will help to raise general awareness of the need for better control. Furthermore, a better understanding of the role of treatable risk factors in young stroke patients could potentially be informative for future clinical guidelines on how and whom to treat.
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Neurological disorders - Stroke in young adults
Why is there a need to fund new research?
Stroke is a major health problem that can have devastating consequences. It happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, causing the death of brain cells and dysfunction in one or more parts of the brain. The restricted blood supply can be the result of an artery supplying blood to brain becoming blocked, a blood vessel rupturing causing a bleed inside the brain, or a brief reduction in the blood supply to the brain.
People over the age of 65 are more likely to have a stroke, although around a quarter of strokes happen in young people of working age.
Angela Hind PhD, Chief Executive of the Medical Research Foundation, said: “Historically, we’ve thought of stroke as only affecting older adults but recent evidence suggests a growing problem in young adults.
“Stroke in young adults can have a huge impact, often occurring when they are starting a family or already have young children to look after, and have yet to reach the peak of their careers. The economic, social and personal consequences can be devastating. We consider this to be an area of high unmet need, which is why we’re supporting mid-career researchers who have the potential to be the research leaders of the future.”
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