The ‘Prevention of complications to improve outcome in elderly patients with acute stroke’ (PRECIOUS) project, led by neurologist Bart van der Worp of UMC Utrecht, Netherlands, has been awarded €6 million from the European Commission’s Horizon2020 programme.
Stroke is the world’s second-largest cause of death and the leading cause of acquired long-term disability. Elderly patients have a high risk of complications after stroke, such as infections or fever.
These complications are strongly associated with a higher risk of death or dependency. The PRECIOUS project will assess whether a pharmacological strategy to prevent the most common complications in elderly patients with acute stroke reduces the risk of death or long-term disability.
Professor Kennedy Lees and Dr Jesse Dawson, from the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences at the University of Glasgow, will be responsible for training investigators in the assessments and methods of collection, for providing a secure web-based system for handling the video-recorded assessments, training and assisting other work packages in coordinating a team of independent outcome rates to score these assessments, and for managing the flow and reporting of the outcome assessments. They will be supported by colleagues Professor Peter Langhorne and Terry Quinn.
Prof Lees said: “We’re very pleased to be part of this joint effort to reduce the burden of stroke on patients across the world.”
Coordinator Bart van der Worp, said: “Our hope is that with a preventive treatment with cheap and safe drugs the chances of good recovery after a stroke increase, both within Europe and beyond. This simple and generally available treatment strategy has the potential to lead to an annual reduction of over 25,000 elderly Europeans dying or becoming dependent as a result of stroke at very low costs.”
PRECIOUS will recruit 3,800 patients in 80 hospitals to the study. Patients aged 66 years or older will be randomised to a strategy to prevent complications in the first four days of their hospitalisation, or to standard care.