Taking stroke prevention into the lounge room

Feb 3 2020

Emily Ramage has received a $50,000 Stroke Foundation research grant

Stroke survivors will be able to tap into technology at home to access an exercise and diet program, aimed at preventing a secondary stroke.

University of Newcastle researcher Emily Ramage has received a $50,000 Stroke Foundation research grant to test the program; a program which will be delivered via the internet.

Ms Ramage said around 40 percent of stroke survivors could go onto experience another stroke within a decade, but the risk may be significantly reduced by living a healthy lifestyle.

“We know survivors of stroke often have very low levels of physical activity and need more than just advice to help them make and maintain lifestyle changes,” Ms Ramage said.

“The beauty of the ENAbLE Pilot Randomised Controlled Trial program is they will not be alone. Health professionals will provide support and supervision online to keep them on track and improve their diet or activity levels.

“The program can be used no matter where the stroke survivor lives, in the comfort of their own lounge room.”

The diet and exercise programs in the ENAbLE Pilot Trial have been designed by researchers, people with stroke, carers and health professionals.

The feedback and results of the participants in this program may pave the way for its expansion on a national scale.

Stroke Foundation Research Advisory Committee Chair Professor Amanda Thrift said this project had the potential to make a real difference to the lives of people with stroke.

“Many strokes can be prevented,’’ Prof Thrift said.

“We know the physical benefits of exercise on risk factors for stroke including reduced cholesterol, improved blood pressure and diminished stress, anxiety and depression.

“Ultimately we want people living with the effects of stroke to have a good quality of life and avoid having another potentially devastating stroke.”

There are more than 475,000 people in Australia living with the effects of stroke. Emily Ramage is one of four researchers to be awarded a share of $200,000 through the Stroke Foundation 2020 research grants round.

Stroke Foundation has awarded more than $4.9 million to more than 200 researchers since 2008. The ENAbLE Pilot Trial is being led by Professor Coralie English in collaboration with dietetics researchers at University of Newcastle.