Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) have received a $3.2 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Diseases (NINDS) to study the use of neuroimaging to pinpoint the risk factors of stroke recurrence.
It is the first-ever R01 grant for the Department of Radiology at the UC College of Medicine. Achala Vagal, MD, associate professor and vice chair of research in the Department of Radiology, is the principal investigator (PI) on the study, along with co-PIs Pooja Khatri, MD, professor of neurology and director of the UC Stroke Team, and Brett Kissela, MD, Albert Barnes Voorheis Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine and senior associate dean for clinical research.
Recurring stroke makes up about 25 percent of all stroke cases—nearly 800,000 annually—in the U.S. alone. Someone who has suffered a stroke has an increased risk of a recurring stroke for up to five years after the initial event.
“Compared to our understanding of the risk factors of an initial stroke, we have limited understanding of the factors surrounding recurrent strokes,” says Vagal.
Titled APRISE (Assessing Population-based Radiological brain health in Stroke Epidemiology), the study will build off of the Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Stroke Study (GCNKSS), a compilation of population-level stroke data since the 1990s that has been the source of national data on stroke in numerous studies.
“We hope by looking at imaging of small and large vessel disease in the brain, we could determine an accurate measure of a patient’s brain health or a predictor of future cerebrovascular events, like stroke or vascular dementia,” says Vagal, whose research is focused primarily on what happens to the brain and blood vessels after an initial stroke.