Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Major funding boost for Stroke Research

Professor Christine Roffe
Professor Christine Roffe, Consultant in Stroke Medicine at the Royal Stoke University Hospital and Lead of the Stroke Research in Stoke Group at ISTM, has been awarded a major grant to fund a £2.5 million project from the NHS National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment Programme for her MAPS-2 clinical trial.

Professor Roffe has a proven track record in shaping the development of acute and rehabilitation stroke services in North Staffordshire, with research that has gone on to influence regional and national practices in stroke care.  As Principle Investigator, Professor Roffe will lead a consortium which includes Keele University in collaboration with the University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM), the University of Birmingham and Anglia Ruskin University.  The consortium will investigate methods to reduce pneumonia in stroke patients.

Pneumonia is a major cause of death and disability after stroke.  Stroke patients are at risk of contracting pneumonia through the inhalation of saliva or gastric content after vomiting or regurgitation which contain harmful bacteria.  This award from the NIHR will fund clinical trials that will test two methods for preventing pneumonia. One will aim to prevent patients vomiting in the first place, while the other will use an antibacterial paste in the patient’s mouth to reduce the harmful bacteria in their saliva.

Professor Roffe said that:  “Pneumonia after stroke weakens patients and delays recovery. In this trial we are hoping to show that these treatments not only prevent pneumonia and death, but also allow patients to recover better and faster.”

The trial will begin to recruit patients in October 2016 and run for three years.  If the treatments prove effective, lives could be saved and stroke patients may stand a better chance of getting back to their normal life in a shorter space of time.

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