Brain Canada is pleased to announce the awarding of a 2021 Platform Support Grant (PSG) to Dr. Sean Dukelow from the University of Calgary. Together with the University of Calgary, CPSR and Sunnybrook, Brain Canada is awarding $3.6M to support the expansion of the Canadian Stroke Recovery Clinical Trials platform (CanStroke).  

Brain Canada’s Platform Support Grants are awarded to teams that are creating and/or enhancing centralized shared resources to increase access to equipment, expertise, data and protocols across research networks.

In 2017, Canada saw 89,500 new strokes in people aged 20 and older and counted 878,500 people living with stroke, many of whom experience long-term disability. Recognizing the urgent need to develop innovative therapeutics, devices and clinical interventions for stroke survivors, a group of Canadian stroke recovery researchers realized that, to move the field forward, they needed to bring together Canada’s stroke recovery investigators to facilitate multi-site clinical trials. This led to the creation of CanStroke, which was funded in part by a Brain Canada PSG and which now includes eight sites from across Canada.  

This platform is a world-first and has been a true Canadian success story. We are proud to see that our investment in CanStroke has resulted in a resource that is so useful to the research community that an expansion is now needed.”

Dr. Viviane Poupon, Brain Canada President and CEO

Indeed, with five trials underway, another five in development, and demand from both Canadian and international academic researchers and industry, CanStroke can no longer meet the needs of the community without expansion.  

“Expanding CanStroke will increase the platform’s capacity for trials but will also allow for enhancements that will have benefits beyond the research community,” says Dr. Dukelow, member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the Cumming School of Medicine. “It will allow for improved diversity and representation in patient recruitment which will represent the population of Canadian stroke survivors.” 

In addition, the expansion will include an open access knowledge hub – facilitating the sharing of data between researchers – and enhanced training programs to ensure the excellence of the next generation of stroke researchers and strengthen Canada’s position as a leader in stroke recovery. 

The goal of the expansion is to create a sustainable, efficient, world-leading platform for stroke recovery trials, which will accelerate the Canada-wide adoption of effective therapies in stroke recovery and improve clinical care and outcomes. CanStroke is poised to help take the numerous innovations in stroke recovery from ideas to reality, transforming outcomes for the millions world-wide affected by stroke.  

Funding for this PSG has been made possible with the financial support of Health Canada, through the Canada Brain Research Fund, an innovative arrangement between the Government of Canada (through Health Canada) and Brain Canada. 

To learn more about the project, visit our directory of funded grants.