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Research into strokes and vascular dementia took a major step forward on Thursday 5 March with the official opening of our Wolfson Centre for the Prevention of Stroke and Dementia (CPSD) based at the new Wolfson Building.

The new centre is the only purpose-built clinical research centre looking specifically at stroke and dementia in the UK, and will house an estimated 25% of all the UK’s active stroke researchers. Funding for the CPSD, and the new Wolfson Building, was provided by the Wolfson Foundation and the Wellcome Trust. The building was designed by Oxford-based architects fjmt and built by contractor SDC

The Centre for the Prevention of Stroke and Dementia, part of the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences (NDCN), was officially opened by Emeritus Professor of Medical Neurology, Charles Warlow, the neurologist who first developed stroke research in the UK.

The ceremony was followed by a celebration reception for the new Wolfson Building, which also houses an annexe for the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, also a part of  NDCN. This event was enjoyed by funders, contractors, estates and development office staff who were all involved in the building project in recent years.

The CPSD will allow substantial expansion of the previous Stroke Prevention Research Unit, already regarded as one of the most productive stroke research groups in the world. The researchers use a broad range of techniques to increase our understanding of the causes of cerebrovascular disease and improve the prevention of stroke in routine clinical practice. These include large population-based cohort studies, state-of-the-art brain and blood vessel imaging and biobanks. The work of the CPSD has already led to major changes in clinical practice and guidelines, such as demonstrating the benefits of emergency treatment after a mini-stroke or TIA to prevent major stroke.

Gavin Screaton, Head of the University of Oxford’s Medical Sciences Division, said: 'There are 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK, and someone has a stroke here every five minutes. This new state-of-the-art centre represents a major step forward for stroke and vascular dementia research, not only in Oxford, but in the UK. Given the relatively large number of scientists and clinicians working here, the new expanded centre promises to keep Oxford at the forefront of research in this field, and ensure that we continue to deliver benefits for patients.'