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Canadian Paediatric Stroke Imaging Research Platform: Harnessing an International Focus

Principal Investigator:
  • Nomazulu Dlamini, The Hospital For Sick Children
Team Members:
  • Trish Domi, University of Toronto
  • Andrea Kassner, The Hospital For Sick Children
  • Adam Kirton, Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute
  • Bruce Bjornson, University of British Columbia
  • Michael Rivkin, Boston Children's Hospital
  • Mubeen Rafay, Winnipeg Children's Hospital
  • Stephen Strother, Rotman Research Institute
  • Steven Miller, The Hospital For Sick Children
  • Gabrielle A. deVeber, Hospital for Sick Children
  • SIckKids Foundation

Project Overview

Stroke is a leading cause of adult and childhood focal brain injury and disability. Most stroke patients die or face disability (mental or physical), impacting individuals for many decades. Children are 3 times more likely to have normal motor outcomes than adults with similar strokes. However, the burden of lifelong disability from motor and emergent non-motor sequelae of injury remain poorly understood. Since the developing brain has an enhanced capacity for recovery, pediatric stroke provides a unique model for studying mechanisms of focal brain injury and repair. Imaging is a crucial next step in advancing this understanding. The Platform will harness investigator talents across Canada and internationally to study mechanisms of brain injury and, more importantly, brain recovery after stroke. Elucidating mechanisms of plasticity/rewiring will inform the development of more effective mechanism-specific treatment approaches including neuroprotective and rehabilitation strategies to reduce stroke-related death and disability. This could benefit stroke patients at all ages. A coordinated multi-site approach, achievable by a funded Platform will accelerate this goal. Other forms of acquired focal brain injury (traumatic, neoplastic, infection) could also potentially benefit from rehabilitation treatments developed in this process. Combined sharing of adult stroke and pediatric stroke data-sets and analysis pipelines will be the future of the Platform, thereby synergizing our understanding of stroke recovery mechanisms across the human lifespan.