New stroke research facility to tackle one of UK’s leading causes of disability

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Cardiff Metropolitan University will launch a new facility next month designed to research and tackle stroke as part of the Welsh Government’s five-year strategy to combat one of the UK’s leading causes of disability.

Strokes are one of the top three causes of death and the leading cause of adult disability in Wales. Around 7,400 individuals will have a stroke in Wales each year, with 66,000 currently living with the after effects of a stroke. It is estimated however, that 70% of stroke cases could have been avoided, which is why the Welsh Government has proposed a five-year delivery plan to tackle strokes in individuals of all ages.

The Welsh Government delivery plan, which has been refreshed in 2017, is a comprehensive, cross-sector, collaborative research strategy. The aim is to highlight all opportunities on offer in Wales, and create and fund an ambitious research environment.

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Since the plan has been implemented, there has been an improvement in the treatment of strokes, but treatment options are still limited, which is why stroke research is vital, the initiative says. The research will help medical professionals understand the causes of strokes, resulting in the development of new treatments and a reduction in the number of individuals who suffer from strokes and the after effects.

Dr Phil Jones, Clinical Research lead for Wales, said: “The stroke implementation group has recognised the importance of research into stroke and the need to support a robust, inclusive and productive environment for this to happen. Investing in stroke research and joint working with Cardiff Metropolitan University have been significant steps forward in realising these objectives.”

Meanwhile, Associate Dean for Research at the School of Sport and Health Sciences at Cardiff Met, Professor Philip James, Academic lead and part of the team that helped devise and develop Stroke Hub Wales (SHW) said: “Our aim is to create and sustain a collaborative, robust research infrastructure in Wales and help facilitate world-leading research and innovation in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of stroke, thus saving lives and ultimately reducing the debilitating impact on stroke patients.”

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Joe Peskett

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