World-leading stroke research at AUT

23 Jan, 2019
 
Word leading stroke

Stroke is the second cause of death worldwide and a leading cause of disability - but research at AUT is set to play a vital role in preventing these casualties.

A clinical trial that has the support of the World Stroke Organization has been developed by AUT Professor Valery Feigin to test a new approach aimed at reducing the worldwide incidence of stroke by half within the next 10 years.

“Each year, more than 14 million people suffer a stroke. Cutting that number in half would have huge implications – not just for stroke, but for a raft of noncommunicable diseases.”

One of the most cited scientists in New Zealand, Valery says while his goal is ambitious, it is achievable with his novel strategy that combines medication and technology to combat stroke.

Formulating breakthrough research is not a first for Valery, who is recognised internationally for his pioneering work in epidemiology, prevention and management of stroke and traumatic brain injury.

An award-winning stroke assessment app, Stroke Riskometer, developed by Valery, has been translated into 14 languages and downloaded more than 150,000 times by people in 78 countries.

Data from app users that opt in is now contributing to the world’s largest collaborative mobile health project - the RIBURST study: Reducing the International Burden of Stroke Using Mobile Technology - which involves 300 stroke researchers in 102 countries.

Valery, who was awarded the McDiarmid Medal of the Royal Society of NZ and the World Stroke Organization President’s Award for his “outstanding contribution to stroke research and prevention”, is also co-chair for the neurology section of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, run by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

Despite the international demand for Valery’s expertise, his research activity remains firmly centred at AUT where he is the director of the National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences.

Having world-renowned academics at AUT brings a massive pay-off for the University’s highly-connected community of researchers.

In a collaboration with The Lancet Neurology and the GBD study, AUT recently hosted the Global Burden of Disease Brain Summit which brought together the world’s leading minds on neurological disorders.