Within the Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Preventive Medicine, the Center for Vascular Prevention focuses on research on primary and secondary prevention of vascular diseases. As non-communicable diseases (NCDs), cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases in particular have become the leading causes of death and years lived with disability (LLD) worldwide in recent years. Risk factors contributed by unhealthy lifestyle, such as obesity or type II diabetes, show a significantly increasing prevalence, both in rich and in economically weaker countries. Research in the field of vascular prevention is therefore of great importance for health policy.
The research questions of the center are developed in a strictly academic way and are focused on epidemiology of risk factors, influence of lifestyle and preventive management. National and international collaborations are always sought.
Projects to date:
- The Early Prevention of Diabetes Complications in Europe (e-PREDICE) study (completed December 2017) investigates the effects of pharmacological therapy (metformin or sitagliptin) in combination with lifestyle modification on macro- and microvascular, neurological, and psychological endpoints in patients with type II diabetes.
- The Austrian Polyintervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Decline after Ischemic Stroke (ASPIS) tested the potential benefits of a multimodal lifestyle-modifying program on cognitive abilities after a first stroke. Although statistically neutral, this study has provided valuable information for further study designs on possible prevention of vascular-related cognitive decline.
- Pharyngeal Electrical stimulation for Acute Stroke dysphagia Trial (PhEAST): This international randomized trial will test whether, in clinical practice, pharyngeal electrical stimulation can improve swallowing in patients with stroke compared with conventional treatment. For this purpose, 800 patients with acute stroke and feeding tube will be recruited in 50 hospitals in 4 European countries (UK, Austria, Denmark, Germany). These patients will be randomly assigned to receive either a special feeding tube for 6 days, via which electrical stimulation will be applied simultaneously, or to continue to receive the feeding tube already in place. The Center for Vascular Prevention is the planning and coordinating partner of the University of Nottingham in this study.
- Magnetic stimulation for the treatment of aphasia: The aim of this planned randomized study is to scientifically answer the question to what extent a non-invasive brain stimulation, the so-called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), leads to a reduction of the language deficit in patients after stroke.
- Collaboration in the international project "Cut stroke in Half - Polypill for Stroke Prevention" (in cooperation with the Center for Neuroscience).