Stroke in children will be focus of $3 million grant

March 13th, 2014
Researchers at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus, already focused on understanding and minimizing the effects of stroke in children, will receive $3 million as part of a national effort to better understand stroke.

The funding, part of a $9 million package that includes two other universities, begins in April. With this grant, CU will become part of the American Stroke Association-Bugher Centers of Excellence in Stroke Collaborative Research.

"This grant represents several important things," says Vice Chancellor for Research Richard J. Traystman, PhD. "First, It's about funding, which is great. We are very thankful.

"Second, it also shows recognition of the excellent work in stroke being done on the Anschutz Medical Campus. And third, it increases worldwide attention on pediatric stroke as a significant disease of children."

Stroke in children can have devastating lifelong consequences. Researchers at CU's medical campus in Aurora have shown that clinical aspects of pediatric stroke, mechanisms of injury to the brain, protection of the brain, and recovery and repair of brain tissue following stroke, differ between adults and children.

Traystman, a CU School of Medicine faculty member in the Department of Pharmacology, said the stroke center will look into mechanisms of injury, protection and repair of the brain following stroke. The plan, he said, is to train a new generation of pediatric stroke physicians and researchers "to better understand and treat children with stroke throughout the world."

The Anschutz Medical Center Pediatric Stroke Center includes clinical and basic science projects of stroke. Along with Traystman, the director, the center includes Tim Bernard, Paco Herson, Wendy Macklin, Sharon Poisson, as major investigators, as well as collaborating investigators from Children's Hospital Colorado, University of Colorado Hospital, and the School of Medicine.

The overall funding will be divided among CU, the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Miami. UCLA will zero in on prevention of stroke damage, ways to improve patient activity and recovery after stroke, and the identification of molecules in the brain that promote repair. In Miami, researchers will study improving cognition after stroke.

Traystman said he intends to seek additional funding available for collaborative projects with the other universities.

Provided by University of Colorado Denver

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