Return to Life Return to Work research grants announced

Australia’s working age stroke survivors are set to benefit from research into innovative recovery and rehabilitation clinical interventions.

Stroke Foundation today announced the recipients of the $1 million ‘Return to life, return to work’ clinical research grants for 2019.

Funded by the Federal Government through the Medical Research Future Fund, the research package includes Australia’s first multicentred clinical trial of Perispinal Etanercept in chronic stroke.

Stroke Foundation Research Advisory Committee Chair Professor Amanda Thrift said the grants were an investment into the future of Australia’s younger stroke survivors.

“Around 142,500 Australian stroke survivors are of working age. International evidence shows incidence of stroke among young people is increasing, so we must do more to ensure tailored services and supports are available,” Professor Thrift said.

“Stroke strikes the brain and can leave a lasting impact on independence, family life, finances and careers – particularly for those in their 20s to 50s.

“While advancements in acute stroke treatment mean more Australians are surviving than ever before, recovery can be a long and challenging journey physically, cognitively and mentally.

“This funding package has the potential to provide break-through treatments to those suffering from the impact of stroke allowing them to optimise their recovery and return to the things in life which fulfil them most,” she said.

Grant recipients:

Professor Vincent Thijs, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health

Perispinal Etanercept to improve Stroke Outcomes (PESTO)

Seeks to determine if Perispinal Etanercept improves quality of life in working age patients who have a history of stroke and moderate to severe disability. It will also investigate if repeated treatments lead to improved quality of life compared to one treatment.

Associate Professor Natasha Lannin, School of Allied Health, Latrobe University, Alfred Health

Does an embedded vocational rehabilitation intervention improve employment outcomes above and beyond standard stroke rehabilitation?

The grant will fund a pilot project to test the feasibility and potential benefit of building on current clinical rehabilitation by adding an embedded 12 week targeted vocational rehabilitation.

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