Congratulations to School of Clinical Sciences researchers from the Stroke and Ageing Group who have been successful in securing a five million dollar NHMRC Synergy Grant in collaboration with researchers at UTas, UWA and UniSA. Prof Amanda Thrift, Prof Dominique Cadilhac, Dr Monique Kilkenny and Dr Joosup Kim received the grant for their project ‘Synergies to Prevent Stroke – STOPstroke’.
The project will look at identifying those most at risk of stroke, when the optimal time is to intervene, how to encourage effective behavioural change, and effective strategies to control risk factors.
By 2050, 133,000 Australians will have suffered from their first stroke. Almost a quarter will die and roughly one-third will rely on others to carry out their everyday tasks. The needs of these people will overwhelm the health and community-care sectors, at a cost to society of over $10 billion dollars.
However, it is estimated that 100,000 of these strokes may be preventable due to controllable risk factors such as high blood pressure (BP), smoking, poor diet, alcohol use and physical inactivity. Despite these factors being well known, the challenge is motivating people to change their behaviour so these risk factors are reduced.
Professor Thrift says one aspect of the project will be to develop a nationwide infrastructure to better monitor stroke, as there is a current lack of up-to-date surveillance data on incidence and outcomes – making it difficult to provide real-world modelling to evaluate preventive strategies.
The project team bring together a wealth of expertise in epidemiology of stroke, stroke data linkage, health service delivery models, and economic evaluation in stroke. In conjunction with senior investigators, the team includes mid- and early career researchers with an aim to build capacity in stroke prevention.
“This grant will enable us to tackle the critical problem of stroke in Australia. By combining our team’s skills and networks to deliver a range of linked solutions, STOPstroke will be the first program to comprehensively focus on challenges to stop stroke in its tracks. This is an exciting opportunity for our team,” said Professor Thrift.
*this article was written by Kellie Rudlin and first appeared on monash.edu and is reprinted here with permission.