Stroke patients’ survival odds could improve thanks to brain bleed research funding

The survival chances of stroke patients suffering brain bleeding could be boosted thanks to new research funding secured by the University of Leicester.

The Stroke Association has awarded a five year Senior Clinical Lectureship for Medical Professionals to Dr Jatinder Minhas, Clinical Associate Professor of Stroke Medicine.

The funding has been matched by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), and will allow Dr Minhas to advance his research into acute stroke and improving outcomes for patients with brain bleeding, alongside his clinical practice as an Honorary Consultant Stroke Physician at University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) NHS Trust.

“Ultimately, I want to improve the outcomes for stroke patients who suffer from brain bleeding,” said Dr Minhas. “More broadly, I want to focus on ways to prevent a patient from having a second stroke.

“The main question we get from patients is ‘am I doing everything I possibly can to stop this happening again?’. This study strives to answer that by investigating the risk factors that we don’t necessarily know are there – and MRI scans are starting to pick up these unknown risks which include blockage type strokes. 

“I also want to ensure that our current treatments are giving the maximum benefit for these vulnerable patients, who can’t tolerate further setbacks due to the nature of this kind of stroke.”

The funding will see Dr Minhas trained in the latest MRI methods to track brain blood flow, which is preferable to using ultrasound technology.

More than 200 patients will also be recruited to take part in the study, and the funding will also support a PhD student.

Dr Minhas will also recruit two members of the 4Ward Strokes support group, which is based in Braunstone, to sit on a trial steering group to help direct how the study is conducted, the interpretation of the results and how the results will be shared with the stroke community.

Dr Minhas said: “My work with 4Ward Strokes has informed the work I want to target as part of this award, as it has given me a great insight into what’s important to patients who have survived brain bleeds.”

Over the last 30 years, the Stroke Association has worked to build capacity in stroke research, funding over 100 research fellows as well as the UK’s first Chair in Stroke.

The Stroke Association Lectureship programme aims to address succession and sustainability in the careers of stroke researchers. These positions will play a critical role in building a vibrant community of clinical and non-clinical stroke researchers across the UK.