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Wolfson Centre for Prevention of Stroke and Dementia

We increase understanding of the causes of cerebrovascular disease and improve the prevention of stroke and vascular dementia in routine clinical practice.

Centre for the Prevention of Stroke and Dementia

The Stroke Prevention Research Unit was founded in 2000 by Professor Peter Rothwell with initial funding from the MRC and the Stroke Association.

Now comprising about 30 researchers and support staff, the centre is regarded as one of the most productive stroke research groups in the world. In summer 2019, it moves into a purpose-built new facility on the John Radcliffe Hospital site.

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Research Projects

Oxford Vascular Study

The Oxford Vascular Study (OxVasc) investigates vascular diseases (e.g. strokes, heart attacks) in patients registered with eight general practices in Oxfordshire. We run a rapid-access clinic for patients with suspected Transient Ischaemic Attacks (TIAs) or minor strokes. All OxVasc clinics held in the Wolfson Centre for the Prevention of Stroke and Dementia follow Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust infection control guidelines.

Large Artery Disease

CPSD runs several research studies looking into the causes, investigation, and management of large artery atherosclerosis, carotid stenosis, vertebral artery disease and intracranial atherosclerosis.


The Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Ageing (OPTIMA) started in 1988 and the last LEAD participants were seen in March 2015. We are no longer recruiting to any of the cohorts. However, we are currently creating the OPTIMA Legacy Resource from which data collected from the OPTIMA cohorts is available and samples are biobanked and available. Brain tissue is available as part of the Brains For Dementia Research (BDR) collection.