Using exercise and innovation to facilitate secondary prevention of stroke
Transient ischaemic attack (TIA) is “a transient episode of neurological dysfunction caused by focal brain, spinal cord, or retinal ischemia, without acute infarction”. Traditionally, signs and symptoms are expected to resolve within 24 hours. Diagnostic imprecision leads to inexact incidence and prevalence figures, but there are an estimated 1.1 (0.98–1.23) TIAs per thousand per year, or between 46,000 and 65,000 new cases annually in the UK. Approximately 11-14% of people with TIA will have a stroke within the first week. Current guidelines recommend that following TIA or minor stroke people should receive secondary prevention advice in relation to lifestyle factors and management of medication. There is some evidence at present to suggest that current practices may have an effect in the short term on changes in lifestyle but no evidence to suggest that any changes are sustained.
The research will look at identifying a multifactorial intervention based on scientific literature studies and test this is in a population of people with TIA/minor stroke. There is potential to develop/evaluate technologies as part of this study.
The supervisory team are members of the Acquired Brain Injury Rehabilitation Alliance (ABIRA): a multi-disciplinary, international research group along with other colleagues in the UEA. The student will be immersed into ABIRA and expertise available includes: neurophysiology; physiotherapy; movement science; medical statistics; health economics; innovation and technology. The immediate environment also includes: a state-of-the-art movement analysis laboratory (neurophysiology and biomechanics), movement exercise laboratory and industrial collaborations for development of technology. The wider research environment includes: the Norwich Clinical Trials Unit; the NEAT Centre (new and emerging applications of technology); and a personal and professional development programme tailored for individual students. The research training environment is therefore optimised to enhance employability post-PhD.
Candidates should have at least an upper second class first or a Masters degree in an area with relevance to the research area for the studentship. This includes, but is not exclusive to: neuroscience, movement science, physiotherapy and occupational therapy. If participants in the studies are NHS patients then the student will require CRB clearance. Registration with a clinical professional body is not essential.
To find out more about undertaking a PhD in the School of Health Sciences at UEA, visit https://www.uea.ac.uk/medicine-health-sciences/graduate-school .