As a postdoctoral research biochemist I am looking for risk factors for recurrent stroke by identifying changes in the blood which may take place prior to, during or after a stroke.
Previously in the Northwick Park Heart Study II, I studied the disturbance of the haemostatic mechanism and found that one of the clotting factors, factor XIIa, was associated with coronary heart disease. I am extending this study to see if similar changes can be detected in stroke patients.
I am also searching for new biomarkers of stroke which ideally need to be brain specific and detectable shortly after the event in quantities proportional to the lesion size or severity of stroke. This will help the diagnosis and prognosis of individuals and aid in decisions relating to their care and treatment.
Another area of my research is the incidence of fatigue following stroke. I am determining whether glutamic acid can be used as a marker of fatigue or predictor of stroke severity. This will aid in the understanding of the mechanism by which fatigue manifests itself and lead to more effective treatment.
I am also involved with the collection and processing of a DNA bank from stroke patients. We are looking for differences in genes associated with risk factors for stroke and collaborate with other groups both in the UK and internationally. Some sub-types of stroke are relatively rare so we share data to aid our understanding of the significance of the polymorphisms.