Biggs Institute joins NIH stroke research network


UT Health San Antonio is now part of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) stroke research network.

The Determinants of Incident Stroke Cognitive Outcomes and Vascular Effects on Recovery (DISCOVERY) Network will examine why 30% of stroke patients go on to develop dementia.

Sudha Seshadri, M.D., professor of neurology and founding director of the Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases, is serving on the Steering Committee as co-leader of the Genetics and Genomics Core.

“There is a growing awareness of the connection between vascular health and brain health,” Dr. Seshadri said. “The brain requires a continuous supply of blood to provide the energy it needs to carry out a myriad of functions. A stroke injures this blood supply, which may set more harmful events in motion. This study will reveal more about what causes post-stroke vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia.”

DISCOVERY, supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Institute on Aging of NIH, will enroll 8,000 patients with an emphasis on recruiting a diverse population in the U.S., including African Americans and Hispanics. These groups experience a higher number of strokes and stroke death.

The Glenn Biggs Institute, established in 2017 as part of the Long School of Medicine, is becoming a major Hispanic recruitment center for clinical trials of prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The Biggs Institute is one of 30 clinical sites in the DISCOVERY network.

Patients will be followed for two or more years and undergo cognitive assessments, brain imaging, genetic analyses and fluid biomarker testing.

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