A new multi-million Euro initiative funded by the European Commission has been set up to help prevent stroke in patients with existing conditions.

The €6.9m project is aimed at patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), a common heart condition which causes an irregular and abnormally fast heartbeat, who have previously had a stroke caused by bleeding in the brain (termed intracerebral haemorrhage or ICH).

The Prevention of Stroke in intracerebral haemorrhage survivor with Atrial Fibrillation (PRESTIGE-AF) brings together scientists and clinicians across Europe with the goal of reducing the risk of further stroke in this group of patients.

Stroke is one of the largest public health challenges around the world, and occur when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted, such as through a clot or a brain bleed.

It is the most common cause of adult-acquired disability, the second leading cause of death globally and the second most frequent cause of dementia. In addition, as stroke is a disease of the elderly, its impact is expected to further increase in the coming decades due to the ageing population.