Stroke-IMPaCT (Stroke – Immune Mediated Pathways and Cognitive Trajectories)

European Coordinator:
  • Stuart ALLAN, University of Manchester (UK)
North American Coordinator:
  • Marion BUCKWALTER, Stanford University (USA)
Members:
  • Josef ANRATHER, Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York (USA)
  • Kyra BECKER, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle (USA)
  • Kristian DOYLE, University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, Tucson (USA)
  • Mitchell ELKIND, Columbia University Medical Center, New York (USA)
  • Maarten LANSBERG, Stanford University School of Medicine (USA)
  • Barry McCOLL, University of Edinburgh (UK)
  • Andreas MEISEL, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Germany)
  • Maria MORO, Universidad de Madrid Facultad de Medicina (Spain)
  • Craig SMITH, University of Manchester, Salford (UK)

Stroke is a major cause of death and disability worldwide. In stroke survivors one of the most distressing complications is post-stroke cognitive decline, which occurs in up to a third of individuals within five years and impacts significantly on quality of life and ability to work and participate in normal daily activities. Recent surveys of patients and health care professionals identified “What are the best ways to improve cognition after stroke?” as the top priority for stroke research. Indeed, stroke doubles the risk of later cognitive decline and dementia even taking into account known vascular dementia risk factors, making post-stroke cognitive decline an unaddressed and important component of vascular dementia. Although there are no treatments for post-stroke cognitive decline, recent studies by our team lend hope that the mechanisms are understandable and potentially treatable. Our major goals in assembling the Stroke-IMPaCT Network are thus: (1) to understand the mechanisms responsible for post-stroke cognitive decline, enabling us to identify targets for new treatments, and (2) to put in place knowledge, resources and a training environment to support long-term sustainable research in this vital area. To do this, our transatlantic network will conduct parallel multi-site studies in animal models and in stroke patients to uncover how changes in immune function after stroke cause cognitive decline, and how suffering a complicating infection during hospitalization for stroke affects later dementia risk. Our network assembles scientific leaders with complementary expertise in stroke, immunology, cognition, and in clinical studies of post-stroke outcomes. By the end of the program we expect to have established an international network of stroke researchers, trained young researchers in the field, collated an international resource of clinical and pre-clinical data and discovered possible new ways of preventing post-stroke cognitive decline.