Frontier health outcomes for stroke and epilepsy patients

The University of Melbourne has welcomed a Federal Government announcement of more than $70 million from the Medical Research Future Fund for two major research projects to transform diagnosis and treatment of stroke and epilepsy.

The funding, provided as the first ever Stage Two disbursements from the Frontier Health and Medical Research Initiative, will see the University work as part of the Australian Stroke Alliance in the Stroke Golden Hour Project, and closely with the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in the Australian Epilepsy Project to deliver key outcomes for stroke and epilepsy patients respectively.

The Stroke Golden Hour Project, led by Professors Geoffrey Donnan and Stephen Davis, will develop and implement lightweight brain imaging devices that can be carried in road and air ambulances, which will enable rapid diagnosis and treatment to stroke victims across metropolitan, regional and rural Australia.

The Australian Epilepsy Project, led by Professor Graeme Jackson, will develop and deliver a platform of artificial intelligence-based expertise and clinical decision support to ensure people living with epilepsy receive best practice care from their first seizure and to develop a database for continuously improving epilepsy precision medicine.

University of Melbourne Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Mark Hargreaves said the funding is a big step towards enhanced management of stroke and epilepsy.

“Epilepsy and stroke have significant and long-term effects on the quality of life for patients, carers and their families. This funding will enable research with the potential to change the lives of people in Australia and around the world,” Professor Hargreaves said.

“These projects are a testament to the strong relationships we have with our precinct partners and other research institutes. We thank the Federal Government for its support and look forward to working closely with our partners at the Florey Institute, the Australian Stroke Alliance and other research and industry partners to deliver tangible benefits for stroke and epilepsy patients.”