Stroke is the leading cause of disability, and fifth leading cause of death in the United States, suggested the American Stroke Association. Common therapies after a stroke include anticoagulants (blood thinners), cholesterol-lowering statin therapy and, periodically, antidepressants.
UT Southwestern Medical Center has joined an international consortium of leading universities to study the effectiveness of various stroke treatments from the patient's perspective.
‘UT Southwestern Medical Center has joined an international consortium of leading universities to study the effectiveness of various stroke treatments from the patient's perspective.’
PROSPER (Patient-Centered Research into Outcomes Stroke Patients Prefer and Effectiveness Research) is a multicenter study of thousands of stroke survivors comparing the effectiveness of certain treatments and their impacts on: stroke recurrence, survival, hospital readmission, functional status, depression, fatigue, and quality of life. One of the first projects awarded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, PROSPER aims to ensure that research findings provide useful information to help patients make individualized, informed decisions.
"Prior studies have not addressed the full range of benefits or harms given the personal characteristics, conditions, and preferences of most stroke survivors," said Dr. DaiWai Olson, Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics, and Neurological Surgery at UT Southwestern. "Although we are only halfway to recruiting study participants, we are already gleaning valuable data."
The PROSPER study includes stroke patients as study collaborators, such as Deidre Hannah, a former UT Southwestern rehabilitation patient. "I just hope the work of PROSPER will improve treatment for stroke patients," Ms. Hannah said.
Some early trial results already have been reported. One of the first published studies found that stroke patients with atrial fibrillation who were treated with the anticoagulant warfarin after their stroke fared better than other stroke patients. The study examined outcomes of 12,552 trial participants, 88% of whom were treated with warfarin. Those receiving warfarin were less likely to experience another major adverse cardiovascular event (MACE), and spent more time at home vs. hospitalized. While warfarin has been used to prevent stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation, the use and clinical benefit of warfarin for atrial fibrillation had not been well-defined, especially among older ischemic stroke patients. That paper, published recently in the journal BMJ
, was co-authored by Dr. Olson.