Researchers Find Eye Link To Stroke

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9th June 2009, 12:25pm - Views: 888

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Media Release

For Immediate Release


9 June 2009

Researchers find eye link to stroke

Researchers from the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) and their collaborators have

discovered a link between changes to the eye and a certain type of stroke that could lead to

early diagnosis and more effective treatment. 

The study, reported online in the leading journal, The Lancet - Neurology has found that

people with people with diseased retinal blood vessels at the back of the eye are more likely

to have small blood vessel or ‘lacunar’ stroke. 

It has long been thought that ischaemic strokes are caused by blood clots in brain vessels

cutting off the oxygen supply to parts of the brain. There are two types of ischaemic stroke,

one occurring in the brain’s small, blood vessels and one occurring in the large vessels. 

However, vascular disease in the retina is caused by blood vessel thickening, indicating that

the same process could be occurring in small vessel strokes. This finding could lead to a

change in treatment that focuses on blood vessels rather than blood clots.

Professor Tien Wong, Director of the Retinal Vascular Imaging Centre, CERA said: “This is a

landmark study. It could not only lead to a change in treatment but also suggest that eye

imaging has a role in classification of stroke subtypes.”

“The new knowledge it provides could improve treatment for sufferers by providing an

accurate diagnosis tool, similar to the MRI scan and with more research lead to preventative

screening,” he continued. 

The findings are the result of the Multi-Centre Retina and Stroke Study collaborative group

that includes the Centre for Eye Research, Australia (CERA) in Melbourne; Centre for Vision

Research, Sydney; and the Singapore Eye Research Institute.

The study involved 1300 people with acute stroke admitted to three centers’: Westmead

Hospital, Sydney; Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne; and Singapore General Hospital,

Singapore, from 2005-2007 and was funded by a NHMRC grant

- ends -

For more information or to arrange an interview with Professor Tien Wong contact:

Lauren Metcalfe

BH: 03 9929 8360

MOB: 0409 255 980

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