Big ambitions for young adult stroke research

Stroke Foundation has welcomed the return of a research grant with the objective to deliver a better future for young adults with stroke.

The Tim Glendinning Memorial Research Fund was lovingly established in 2018. It is the ongoing legacy of Sydney man Tim Glendinning who lost his life to stroke at the age of 36. Tim, who is remembered as a beautiful soul with a big heart, had seven strokes in 17 years – each one impacting his physical and mental health and quality of life.

Stroke Foundation Research Advisory Committee Chair Professor Amanda Thrift said this was the second time the grant has been offered thanks to the generosity and support of Tim’s family.

“It is an honour to include the Tim Glendinning Memorial Research Fund in the 2021 research grant round,” Prof Thrift said.

“The grant’s focus, on supporting young adults affected by stroke and finding solutions to critical challenges faced following stroke, is much needed.

“Too many young people are having strokes. It’s estimated there are more than 142,500 working-age Australians living with the impact of the disease. And worryingly, the occurrence of stroke is rising year on year, largely due to lifestyle factors.”

The Tim Glendinning Memorial Research Grant offers up to $75,000 over 18 months for researchers to engage with young adult stroke survivors to achieve optimal outcomes.

Professor Thrift added high-quality, evidence-based research, which could lead to the next breakthrough, was needed now more than ever and input from those living with the reality of stroke was vital to success.

“Every stroke experience is unique and the recovery journey can be overwhelming, full of uncertainty and sometimes isolation,” Prof Thrift said.

“Sadly, our current health and social services systems are not designed or equipped to meet the needs of younger people with stroke. Needs include regaining independence, returning to work and resuming roles in families.

“We know that two years after a stroke most survivors report they have a significantly reduced quality of life. Many are affected by depression and anxiety. All young people with stroke need and deserve the opportunity to live and live well after stroke.”

Melbourne researcher Karen Borschmann and her project team were awarded the first Tim Glendinning Memorial Research Grant in 2019 to identify current service gaps and determine what was important to younger stroke survivors and their carers to help in their recovery.

Building on this work, Dr Borschmann will shortly launch an Australia-wide review of what health services exist for young people with stroke to determine what should be included in a new health service model specifically designed for younger people. An important step towards improving outcomes for those who experience stroke at a younger age.

The Tim Glendinning Memorial Research Grant is one of six grants available in the Stroke Foundation’s 2021 Research Grant Program, with applications opening today. It is open to researchers of any career stage.

Stroke Foundation has awarded almost $5 million to more than 200 researchers since 2008 as part of the Program.

Applications close on Friday 4 September 2020 (5pm AEST).

Application outcomes will be advised mid-December 2020.

Statistics:

Around 20 strokes a day impact Australians under the age of 65.

142,000 survivors of stroke are of working age.

96 percent of young people with stroke report having ongoing needs after their stroke.

88 percent of young people who have survived a stroke report unmet needs across health, everyday living, leisure activities, employment and finance – greater than older people with stroke.

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