Stroke research recognition for national trial recruitment

THE trust’s stroke research team has been recognised for recruiting to a national trial.

Ijaz Anwar, a consultant physician in the stroke unit at the University Hospital of North Tees,  is contributing to the RESTART study with support from consultant physician Arunkumar Annamalai.

Dr Anwar said: “The REstart or STop Antithrombotics Randomised Trial is trying to find out whether a certain antiplatelet medication which prevents clots, benefits people who have had a stroke due to bleeding, as these patients are at more risk of a clotting type of stroke than bleeding again.

“These drugs are likely to make heart attacks, strokes and other clotting problems less likely, although they have the potential to make a brain haemorrhage (bleed in the brain) worse.”

The important question is whether antiplatelet medication is beneficial overall for this group of patients.

More than one third of adults who have suffered a stroke due to a bleed in the brain have been taking medication to prevent blood clotting before the stroke.

The medication a stroke patient will have taken is usually stopped when the brain haemorrhage occurs. It is after a patient has recovered from a brain haemorrhage that they and doctors are often uncertain about whether to restart medications to prevent further clots occurring or whether to avoid them in case they increase the risk of bleeding.

The stroke team have recruited six patients to the study – a challenging target as it involves patients having to restart their medication after a bleeding type of stroke.  In recognition of this, they have been presented with a “Hit a Six Award” from the National Institute of Health Research.

Dr Anwar added: “It is a fantastic achievement that we have recruited a group of patients for this study. This is something that has been a real challenge and it is real credit to the whole team.”

The study will recruit more than 700 people across the country.

 

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