Turning research findings into benefit for patients after intracerebral haemorrhage

A life-saving stroke project pioneered in Salford is to spread to the rest of England.

The Stroke Association has given Salford Royal Consultant Neurologist Dr Adrian Parry-Jones its Margaret Giffen Reader Award to develop new anti-inflammatory treatments for intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH), a type of stroke caused by bleeding on the brain, and to improve the delivery of standard care for ICH patients.

Dr Parry Jones, who is a Senior Lecturer at The University of Manchester, has been awarded a £254,000 grant over five years from March 2020.

He will build on his work on the ABC bundle of care for ICH, which will now be introduced in hospitals across the NHS in England through the National Stroke Programme. Dr Parry-Jones will evaluate the national roll-out to see whether it reduces deaths and improves recovery.

The bundle of care combines three standard treatments for patients and has already been tested in the stroke units at Salford Royal, at Fairfield General and Stepping Hill hospitals between 2015 and 2017. Results have been promising – at one hospital, the number of people who died within 30 days after an ICH stroke was reduced, saving around two lives every month.

The Lectureship award, which is supported by the Margaret Giffen Charitable Trust, will also support Dr Parry-Jones’ research into inflammation in the brain after stroke, which can lead to swelling in the brain, causing further damage. This may result in more severe disability and increased risk of death after stroke.

A protein called interleukin-1 (IL-1) is a molecule in the body that causes inflammation and has an important role in tissue damage. The inflammatory effects of the IL-1 are blocked in the body by another molecule – Interleukin-1 Receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra). An artificial version of IL1-Ra is licensed as a drug treatment for some inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

One of the pieces of work that Dr Parry-Jones will undertake during his Lectureship will investigate whether IL-1Ra has an effect on levels of inflammation and swelling in the brains of ICH patients. It will also look at whether IL-1Ra improves recovery at six months after ICH. He hopes that by reducing inflammation in the brains of ICH patients, there will be less swelling. This should result in less damage being caused to the brain in the days and weeks after stroke.

Dr Adrian Parry-Jones is pictured above left with John Butt (trustee of the Margaret Giffen Charitable Trust), Barry Rogers (chairman of the Margaret Giffen Charitable Trust) and TV presenter Kaye Adams.