Government funding boosts stroke recovery research

With one stroke occurring every nine minutes and 20 strokes a day impacting Australians of working age, Stroke Foundation has welcomed the federal government’s $1 million research boost to support treatment options to aid stroke recovery.

The organisation says the ‘Return to life, return to work’ research package has the potential to provide new medicines to working-age Australians who have suffered a stroke.

Stroke Foundation CEO Sharon McGowan says the government has invested in the future of the nation’s younger stroke survivors, noting that around 142,500 Australian survivors of a stroke are of working age.

“International evidence shows incidence of stroke among young people is increasing, so we must do more to ensure tailored services and supports are available,” she said.

“Stroke strikes the brain and can leave a lasting impact on independence, family life, finances and careers, particularly for those in their 20s to 50s.

“While advancements in acute stroke treatment mean more Australians are surviving than ever before, recovery can be a long and challenging journey, physically, cognitively and mentally.”

Ms McGowan says she believes the funding could lead to improved access to treatments for those suffering from the impact of stroke, optimising their recovery and enabling a return to the things that fulfil them.

The three-year research package has been funded through the Medical Research Future Fund and includes the nation’s first multicentred clinical trial of the perispinal etanercept breakthrough treatment in chronic stroke.

The funding builds on the $1.5 million announced in August by Health Minister Greg Hunt to allow the Stroke Foundation and Cochrane Australia to provide healthcare professionals with the latest clinical guidelines and real-time research findings, thus providing stroke patients with the best chance for survival.

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