UofG scientists awarded major grant to better understand brain bleeding

Issued: Tue, 30 Jan 2018 10:16:00 GMT

Researchers from the University of Glasgow have been awarded £875K from the MRC (Medical Research Council) to lead a multi-centre, international research project to better understand the cause of brain bleeding (haemorrhaging) in patients who have had a stroke.‌Stroke450

Currently, strokes due to haemorrhaging have a poor prognosis, with no available treatment options. They account for 20% of strokes in adults and half of all strokes in children.

The researchers have already identified that changes in a gene called Collagen 4, are a risk factor for brain bleeding. But it is not known how many people carry these changes or how they cause brain haemorrhaging.

The researchers in this study want to better understand Collagen 4’s role in brain bleeding and determine what types of changes in this gene exist in the general population. In so doing they will identify which specific changes are associated with a risk of brain bleeds and in how many patients these changes may have contributed to the brain bleeding.

Importantly, understanding the mechanism of how these changes lead to haemorrhage could lead in the long term to more tailored treatment option for stroke sufferers.

Dr Tom Van Agtmael, Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, who is leading the study, said: “Stroke due to brain bleeding is a devastating disease and often affects children. Treatments are urgently required and this type of large scale global research effort provides a way forward. It is particularly important that mechanistic studies that will guide future therapies are part of this study and we are grateful to the MRC for this funding.”‌

Dr Bruna Galobardes, Programme Manager for Neurological Disorders at the MRC, said: “There is increasing recognition of the vascular contribution to brain disease, however the mechanisms are not well understood. Funding this research is crucial: This study aiming to understand the role of collagen IV, a protein forming the scaffolding that gives support to blood vessels, is pivotal in advancing towards treatment of haemorrhagic stroke while learning more about biological factors that underpin aging of the brain, nerves and blood vessels.”

Enquiries: ali.howard@glasgow.ac.uk or elizabeth.mcmeekin@glasgow.ac.uk // 0141 330 6557 or 0141 330 4831

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