We’re supporting the "It’s OK to ask" campaign, to support patients to take part in clinical research.This new campaign led by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) encourages patients to ask their family doctor, nurse or consultant about research opportunities available to them.
Clinical research is the way in which the medical community learns about new and improved treatments and therapies for patients. It is essential to advance healthcare in the NHS. There is also robust evidence to suggest that patients receive better care when they take part in a research study because there are strict rules to govern the treatments and monitoring they receive.
In many cases, doctors will approach eligible patients and carers about taking part research, but patients should also be encouraged to seek research opportunities proactively. This NIHR campaign is telling patients that "It’s OK to ask" their doctor or consultant about clinical research in the NHS and that they should feel confident in doing so.
Empowering stroke patients to take part in research
Working with stroke survivors, the Stroke Association and the Stroke Research Network have jointly developed a booklet about clinical research in stroke, to help patients make informed decisions about participating in a research study or trial. The booklet explains what a clinical trial is and why they are important, and what it is like to take part.
More than a third of stroke patients experience a condition called aphasia which means they have problems understanding or producing language. These communication difficulties are an added barrier to research participation as they make it harder for patients to understand the study or to provide consent.
To ensure these patients also feel empowered to take part in clinical research, today we are launching a new aphasia-friendly version of the clinical trials booklet.
The booklet was developed using the Stroke Association’s Accessible Information Guidelines in consultation with stroke survivors who have aphasia. It will provide researchers, doctors and patients with a tool to support the discussion about clinical research and make it accessible to all patients after a stroke.
Join the "It’s OK to ask" campaign
If you have had a stroke or TIA and are still receiving treatment, you can join the campaign by asking your doctor, nurse or consultant about clinical research in your area, and whether it might be right for you. If you are not receiving treatment, you can ask at your next routine health appointment.
The NIHR would then like you to let them know that you took part by logging that you asked about research, along with what response you received and any other comments you want to make. You can log your support in any of the following ways:
- On Facebook
- On Twitter: @OfficialNIHR using #NIHRoktoask
- By email to this address: email@example.com
- By telephone to 0300 311 99 66
The Academic Unit of Elderly Care and Rehabilitation (AUECR) is part of the Leeds Institute of Health Service (LIHS) In the School of Medicine in Leeds. The AUECR, based in the Bradford Institute for Health Research, is one of the leading centres for stroke and elderly care research in the UK with a grant income of over £6million. It is also host institution for the Yorkshire Stroke Research Network.
The Unit has a particular focus on mixed methods and the development and evaluation of complex evaluations. The principal research theme of the Unit is clinically relevant health services research directly addressing the national priorities of elderly care and stroke.
The AUECR are seeking an Associate Professor/Lecturer with expertise and particular interest in stroke care to increase grant income from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and other funding bodies, strengthen the existing team of health researchers and take a lead role in the programme management of a Post Graduate Certificate in Stroke Care.
Applicants should have a PhD or equivalent experience in stroke research and be familiar with working in a multidisciplinary research environment. The successful applicant will be an experienced researcher with a significant publication record. They will possess effective communication and presentation skills, a capacity to infuse others with enthusiasm and ability to work successfully as a team member.
University Grade 8 or 9 (£37,382 – £53,233) depending on qualifications and experience
Informal inquiries to Professor Anne Forster, Academic Unit of Elderly Care and Rehabilitation, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds, Tel: (+44) (0) 1274 383406 or 383446, email: firstname.lastname@example.org Professor John Young, tel: (+44) (0) 1274 383400, email: email@example.com. or Professor Allan House, Director of Leeds Institute of Health Sciences email firstname.lastname@example.org tel: +44 113 343 2725
If you have any specific enquiries about your online application please contact Sue Davis on + 44 (0)113 3430831, email@example.com
Job Ref: MHIHS0127 Closing Date: 13 May 2013
Full Information available at: http://jobs.leeds.ac.uk/
We believe in the power of research to save lives, prevent stroke and ensure people make the best recovery they can. We are committed to involving stroke survivors and their families and carers in our research activities.
What is the Service User Review Panel?
When we receive grant applications from researchers, they are evaluated by a committee of stroke experts and stroke survivors to determine which are of suitably quality and importance to be funded. Once the most promising applications have been selected by the committee they are sent out for review by our Service User Review Panel.
By including stroke survivors, family members and carers in the decision process, we ensure that the research we fund will be of potential benefit to the people we are trying to help.
What does it involve?
Panel members are asked to review grant applications twice a year, in June and November. The most promising applications are sent to panel members by email. They fill in a review form for each application and rank them from highest to lowest priority for funding.
Are you eligible?
We are looking for stroke survivors, family members and carers to join our Service User Review Panel. Members must have a personal link to stroke and an interest in research. You don’t need to have a scientific or medical background to sit on the panel as all applications and documentation will be written in a ‘plain English’ format.
To find out more about the panel please download the Role description here.
We are not currently recruiting for the Service User Review Panel. If you would like us to let you know next time we have a recruitment round please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Stroke Association is pleased to support the AllTrials campaign and has signed the petition for all clinical trials to be registered and published.
Best medical care is informed by the results of clinical trials but at the moment about half of all clinical trials are not published. This means that the results are not made available to the wider medical community and so cannot be used to guide best practice.
We're committed to transparency in medical research. The AllTrials campaign calls on governments and research regulators to make it compulsory to register all clinical trials and to publish the results, even when they are neutral or negative. This will help medical professionals to make the best treatment decisions for their patients and will ensure clinical trials are not repeated unnecessarily.
Find out more about the campaign and sign up to the petition here.
Thousands of stroke survivors with visual problems could improve their sight from the comfort of their own home using two new web-based therapies.
The online therapies developed by UCL (University College London) and funded by the Stroke Association are designed to help stroke survivors with visual problems perform everyday tasks like reading the newspaper and identifying individual objects.
One in five stroke survivors are left with partial or total loss of vision to one side following a stroke (known as hemianopia), which can severely affect their quality of life. The two websites, Read-Right and Eye-Search are the first web-based rehabilitation techniques to be introduced in the UK and could mark the beginning of a new online era for stroke rehabilitation.
Patients with hemianopia find reading difficult as they are unable to see the full page. Some patients abandon reading altogether, and others are unable to return to their jobs as they cannot read quickly enough.
The website, Read-Right which has been trialled by 194 stroke survivors to date, helps them improve their reading by encouraging them to read text as it scrolls across a screen. It is thought that this retrains the brain to perform more efficient scanning eye movements which can then be transferred to the reading of normal, static text.
Many people with hemianopia also find it incredibly difficult to find specific objects, particularly in a busy scene. For example, picking up a mobile phone from a range of objects on a table and dialling a number can be very frustrating for some people. The website, Eye-Search, helps stroke survivors to find objects through a series of online games that retrain eye movements.
Tim Hobbs from London had a stroke in November last year at the age of 40 which resulted in the loss of his right visual field. Before his stroke Tim had worked at Sky Sports as the deputy editor for the Sky Sports website for 12 years.
Tim says; “Following my stroke I lost half of my vision to the right. As a result I frequently bump into people as I walk down the street, I can’t drive and watching football on TV is very hard. However, my biggest challenge has been reading.
“Reading and writing is a fundamental part of my job, so when I found I had lost some of my sight I was incredibly worried I wouldn’t be able to return to journalism.
“I was introduced to Read-Right and it has helped me enormously – I can now read much faster and I was recently able to return to work.”
Tim also worked alongside UCL to develop Eye-Search and he is now using this website to help him better distinguish between objects and gain more holistic sight.
Dr Clare Walton, Research Communication Officer from the Stroke Association comments; “Websites like Read-Right and Eye-Search have proven to be incredibly effective in helping stroke survivors who struggle with visual problems after their stroke. The programmes can help with everyday tasks which many of us take for granted like reading a shopping list or identifying an item of clothing from your wardrobe.
“Many stroke survivors have told us how the websites have helped them to regain some of their independence; we’re delighted to have funded the projects.”
Dr Alex Leff, Lead Researcher for the project says; "We have shown that proven behavioural therapies for visual disorders can be translated to the internet where patients can run them for themselves. I think that this is a good way to open up access to proven behavioural therapies for many other disorders caused by stroke or brain injury."
For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Stroke Association’s media team on 020 7566 1500 or email email@example.com
- A stroke is a brain attack which happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, caused by a clot or bleeding in the brain. Around 150,000 people have a stroke in the UK every year and it is the leading cause of severe adult disability. There are over one million people in UK living with the effects of stroke.
- The Stroke Association is a charity. We believe in life after stroke and we’re leading a community of people to change the world for people affected by stroke. We work directly with stroke survivors and their families and carers, with health and social care professionals and with scientists and researchers. We campaign to improve stroke care and support people to make the best recovery they can. We fund research to develop new treatments and ways of preventing stroke. The Stroke Helpline (0303 303 3100) provides information and support on stroke. More information can be found at www.stroke.org.uk
- The Life After Stroke campaign is proudly supported by IPSEN. Ipsen Limited is the UK subsidiary of Ipsen, a specialty pharmaceutical company. Ipsen’s ambition is to become a global leader in the treatment of targeted debilitating diseases supported by franchises in neurology, endocrinology, uro-oncology and haemophilia. Our extensive Research and Development programmes are focused in peptides and toxins with an active policy of partnerships.
Thousands of people are at risk of stroke because they fail to recognise the signs of a Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA, also known as mini-stroke), according to the findings of a new poll(i) launched today on World Stroke Day (29 October 2012).
A Stroke Association survey of over 2,000 members of the public, conducted by ICM Research, revealed that:
- Over two thirds (68%) of people did not recognise the symptoms of a TIA, with over a quarter (26%) believing they were symptoms of a heart attack.
- Nearly nine out of ten people (87%) would be worried if they experienced the symptoms of a mini-stroke, yet almost three quarters (74%) wouldn’t take emergency action and go to hospital.
- Over two thirds of respondents (68%) had never heard of TIA and two in five (40%) were unaware that a TIA was a warning sign of a major stroke.
Over 46,000 people have a TIA every year in the UK. Symptoms can include facial weakness, speech problems and pins and needles down one side of the body, but they often last for just a short time.
Earlier research carried out at the University of Oxford(ii) and funded by the Stroke Association revealed that one in ten patients who has a TIA will go on to have a major stroke within a week without treatment. The study predicted that if all patients experiencing a mini-stroke in the UK received emergency treatment, almost 10,000 strokes could be avoided each year.(iii)
Professor Peter Rothwell, Professor of Clinical Neurology, Oxford University and lead researcher of the project says;
“A TIA is an emergency and a significant proportion of people will go on to have a major stroke if they don’t seek urgent medical attention. However, this poll suggests that the signs of a TIA are still being ignored. This needs to change.”
In 2004 63 year old Robert Washbrook was mowing the lawn when he began to feel dizzy. After five minutes, the symptoms disappeared and Robert carried on with his day as normal, putting the experience down to a ‘funny turn’ and one too many drinks the previous night. A week later, Robert incurred a similar experience at work; he felt dizzy again and felt a tingling sensation in one of his arms. This time, Robert decided to go to his GP who told him that he’d had a TIA and he was sent to hospital immediately.
Jon Barrick Chief Executive of the Stroke Association says;
“The results of this poll are very concerning. Over 150,000 people have a stroke every year in the UK but up to 10,000 of these could be prevented if more people were aware of the symptoms of TIA and sought out emergency treatment. Not only would this save thousands from a lifetime of disability, it would also save the health service a considerable sum.
“Too many people remain unaware of the huge risk of stroke following a TIA. This needs to change. Anyone who experiences the symptoms, regardless of whether they disappear within a matter of minutes should go to hospital immediately. Assume it’s a stroke until it’s proven not to be by a medical professional.”
A TIA is a stroke-like event, which is caused by a temporary lack of blood flow to the brain. Like a major stroke, it can be diagnosed using FAST, but the symptoms are only temporary:
Facial weakness – has the person’s face drooped, usually down one side
Arm weakness – is the person able to lift both arms above their head
Speech problems – does the person’s speech sound slurred
Time to call 999 – if one or more of these symptoms are present call 999 immediately.
The Stroke Association is also launching the Stroke Solidarity String, the new worldwide symbol for stroke, to mark World Stroke Day. The charity is encouraging everyone to familiarise themselves with the symptoms of TIA and stroke and show their solidarity in the fight against stroke. You can purchase your own string from: www.stroke.org.uk/solidaritystring
For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Stroke Association’s media team on 020 7566 1500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 2009 adults aged 18+ in GB online between 3rd-4th October 2012. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at www.icmresearch.com.
- J. Lovett, M. Dennis, et al. (2003). Stroke; 34: 138-140.
- P. Rothwell (2007). Lancet; 370: 1432-1443.
- P. Rothwell, M. Giles and E. Flossman (2005). Lancet; 366: 29-35.
The TIA research carried out in Oxford led to the development of the ABCD scoring system which is now used worldwide by ambulance crews to predict those patients with the highest risk of stroke. The criteria include: the Age of the patient; their Blood pressure; the Clinical symptoms experienced during the transient episode; and the Duration that the symptoms lasted.(iv)
A stroke is a brain attack which happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, caused by a clot or bleeding in the brain. Around 150,000 people have a stroke in the UK every year and it is the leading cause of severe adult disability. There are over one million people in UK living with the effects of stroke.
Stroke Association / British Heart Foundation Joint Programme Grant in Stroke - Call for outline applications now open
We are inviting applications for a Programme Grant in the field of stroke to be awarded jointly between the Stroke Association and the British Heart Foundation.
Applications must be directly related to stroke illness and must have a vascular focus. Non vascular related applications, e.g. focusing on rehabilitation or the consequences of stroke, non angiogenic brain tissue regeneration or non vascular neuroscience will not be considered.
The award is for up to a maximum of £1 million over five years.
Applications should be submitted in outline in the first instance. Following adjudication of the outline applications, a shortlist of applicants will be invited to submit full applications in January 2013. The grant will be awarded in August 2013.
The closing date for receipt of outline proposals is 5pm, Friday 14 December 2012.
Further details are available from:
Or contact the Research department at email@example.com.
Research in the American Academy of Neurology Journal suggests that strokes are becoming more common at a younger age, with about one in five victims now below the age of 55. Despite this, there is an overall decline in the incidence of stroke.
Dr Clare Walton Research Communication's Officer at the Stroke Association says:
“This research is alarming. With the number of younger people having strokes increasing, greater strain will be placed on health services to support them with their recovery. This is particularly worrying given the proposed cuts to the NHS and social care which could seriously impact on patients’ life after stroke. A stroke happens in an instant but its effects can last a lifetime, leaving many with long-term severe disabilities.
“This problem needs to be addressed now. In many cases a stroke can be prevented and everyone can reduce their risk by making a few simple healthy lifestyle changes. For example, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and getting your blood pressure checked can all make a huge difference.”
According to researchers in Finland, a diet rich in tomatoes may reduce the risk of having a stroke. They were investigating the impact of lycopene - a bright red chemical found in tomatoes, peppers and water-melons.
Dr Clare Walton Research Communication's Officer at the Stroke Association says:
“We all know that eating plenty of fresh fruit and veg is good for our health. This study suggests that an antioxidant which is found in foods such as tomatoes, red peppers and water melons could help to lower our stroke risk. However, this research should not deter people from eating other types of fruit and vegetables as they all have health benefits and remain an important part of a staple diet. More research is needed to help us understand why the particular antioxidant found in vegetables such as tomatoes could help keep our stroke risk down.”
Researchers at Foothills Hospital in Calgary, Canada have done research that claims that TIAs (mini strokes) could cause long-term disability, and that clot busting drugs like Actilyse could be used to treat them.
They say that a combination of this and early brain scans could spare thousands of people who have mini strokes from a life of serious disability.
Dr Clare Walton, Stroke Association Research Communications Officer said:
“A Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) is a stroke-like event where symptoms last less than 24 hours. A TIA is commonly referred to as a mini stroke and should always be treated as a medical emergency. One in ten people who have a TIA are likely to have a full stroke within a week."
“This latest research shows that people can still be left with disability as a result of a TIA even if they do not go on to have a full stroke. Currently TIA patients do not receive the current clot busting thrombolysis treatments that are given to some people during stroke. This research suggests that brain scans could be used to identify which TIA patients might benefit from the current stroke treatments, however more research is needed."
“If you suspect the symptoms of a stroke or a TIA, seek urgent medical attention. A TIA can be identified using FAST:
- Facial weakness – has the person’s face drooped, usually down one side
- Arm weakness – is the person able to lift both arms above their head
- Speech problems – does the person’s speech sound slurred
- Time to call 999 – if one or more of these symptoms is present call 999 immediately.”
For more information see Daily Express