In May 2022, the Stroke Association launched a UK-wide campaign called 'Research Means Everything' to raise awareness of the importance of medical research and to highlight our concerns around the lack of funding for stroke research.
We know that research can make a real difference to the lives of people affected by stroke. It can find new ways to drive improvements in preventing strokes and treating and supporting people after stroke.
Since the early 1990s, we’ve invested a significant amount of funds into research undertaken by stroke researchers at Scottish Universities. And much of this research has contributed towards real benefits for people affected by stroke.
This includes funding a clinical trial by Professor Keith Muir at the University of Glasgow into the emergency stroke treatment thrombectomy – a treatment that can save lives and reduce disability.
The disabling effects of stroke can be devastating, affecting mobility, speech emotions and personality. It's one of the biggest killers in Scotland and a leading cause of disability.
Yet stroke remains severely underfunded compared to the devastating impact it has on people's lives. Data shows that annually, only 1.2% of public and charity health research budgets in the UK (approx. £30m) are spent on stroke, compared with 18.9% (approx. £483m) on cancer.
This is not proportional, seeing as there are 1.3m people living with the effects of stroke in the UK, and 2.5m living with cancer.
Despite stroke still being the fourth biggest killer in Scotland, research has helped to more than half the rate of deaths from stroke over the last three decades.
It’s absolutely crucial that we continue this progress and support stroke researchers to do their vital work in Scotland.