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Reducing Stroke Burden with Hospital­-Ready Biomarker Test for Rapid TIA Triage

Status: 
Active
Competition: 
2012 Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition – Genomics and Personalized Health
Sector: 
Health
Genome Centre(s):
Genome British Columbia, Genome Alberta
Project Leader(s):
Andrew Penn (Vancouver Island Health Authority), Christoph Borchers (University of Victoria), Shelagh Coutts (University of Calgary)
Fiscal Year Project Launched: 
2012-2013
Project Description: 

Every year, 50,000 Canadians have a stroke, making it the leading  cause of disability in the country. However, an equal number of people suffer what are  called transient ischemic attacks, or TIAs, which, while less serious, can lead to strokes.  The problem is that many conditions, including migraines, can present as TIAs, leading  to expensive neuroimaging testing. What’s needed is a quick, inexpensive test that  would differentiate TIAs from other conditions. The team led by Drs. Andrew Penn,  Christoph Borchers and Shelagh Coutts are developing just such a test, which will  provide results within an hour or so, for a fraction of the cost of imaging. With the results  of this test, doctors will know whether to keep patients for further care or send them  home. This will reduce unneeded imaging risks and costs as well as prevent TIAs from  progressing to a full stroke. Averting just 4,000 strokes would save $210 million per year  in direct health care costs. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada will work to  ensure that physicians, allied healthcare providers, the public and other stakeholders  are aware of the outcomes and clinical impacts of this project.