Stroke can be a devastating event. For those that survive, the sudden transition from being able and healthy to often long term disability can have a major impact not just on the individual, but also their immediate family, professional working life and wider society. Improving our understanding of how and why different types of strokes occur and how we can best prevent them from happening is a major goal of our work at TICR. The wide range of expertise and facilities at TICR enable us to study blood vessel health, the single most important aspect contributing to a stroke, and how lifestyle and medical interventions can be optimised to maintain this health.
Many thousands of people across Tayside over many years have gifted a sample of their blood and provided permission for the genetic information obtained from the blood sample to be linked to their medical records. As a consequence, researchers at TICR are able to determine how specific genes we have inherited affect the health of our blood vessels and consequently not only our risk of stroke, but also how to help recovery following a stroke. Furthermore, this information is enabling us to understand better the specific kinds of medication that an individual can take to reduce the risk in the future with minimal unwanted side effects. We are working towards using this information in the future to ensure we give each individual optimal therapy tailored specifically for them to maximise chances of a long and healthy life.