Prestigious Junior Investigator Award for stroke research
21 June 2012
Congratulations to Dr Andreas Charidimou who has been awarded a prestigious Junior Investigator Award for outstanding research in stroke by a young investigator at the XXI European Stroke Conference 2012.
This is in recognition of the importance of the team's research on characterising the spectrum of transient focal neurological episodes in cerebral amyloid angiopathy.
Dr David Werring (Clinical Senior Lecturer in UCL Institute of Neurology's Stroke Research Group, Department of Brain Repair and Rehabilitation) said:
"Cerebral amyloid angiopathy is a very common disease as
populations get older, but is under-recognized by doctors, including
neurologists and stroke physicians."
"This work is important, because it clearly shows that
transient focal neurological symptoms may be related to bleeding in the
brain (rather than ischaemia), and signify a very high risk of cerebral
haemorrhage. This is a new observation with important treatment
implications, because giving antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs could
be hazardous after these attacks if they are misdiagnosed. The study
highlights the importance of blood-sensitive MRI sequences in
investigating these types of episodes to make sure patients get the
Dr Andreas Charidimou said, "I am delighted because the
award is obviously a great honour and also an opportunity to increase
awareness of cerebral amyloid angiopathy as a cause of transient
Sporadic cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) is a very common
disease in the elderly which is caused by the progressive amyloid-β
deposition in the walls of cortical small vessels in the brain. The most
widely recognised clinical presentation of CAA is with symptomatic
lobar intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) in elderly individuals. CAA is
also associated with transient focal neurologic episodes (TFNE)
(sometimes called "amyloid spells): these have been described as
typically recurrent, stereotyped, spreading paraesthesias, usually
lasting several minutes.
The study carried out by the team is the first to
systematically characterise the prevalence, clinical and imaging
spectrum and prognostic significance of TFNE in CAA, in a European
multicentre collaboration between the UK and Belgium. They have shown
that: (1) TFNE are common in CAA; (2) TFNE have a spectrum of clinical
features which include both predominantly positive ("aura-like") or
negative ("TIA-like") symptoms; (3) TFNE may be caused by superficial
cortical siderosis or convexity subarachnoid haemorrhage (cSAH); and (4)
TFNE predict a high early risk of symptomatic ICH (about 50% at 2-3
months), which may be amenable to prevention.
At the conference, Dr Charidimou gave a talk entitled:
"Clinical-radiological spectrum of transient focal neurological episodes in cerebral amyloid angiopathy: multicentre MRI cohort study and systematic review"