GCU leads international communication disorder project

01 December 2014

GCU leads aphasia network

GCU leads aphasia network

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is leading a new collaborative network of European researchers in aphasia, a communication disorder which affects around 250,000 people in the UK alone.

Aphasia is a condition, resulting from stroke and common progressive neurological conditions, which affects the brain and leads to problems using or understanding written or spoken language correctly.

Professor Marian Brady, who specialises in the development, conduct and delivery of high-quality evidence relating to the effectiveness of stroke rehabilitation interventions, is Chair of the new four-year research project.

The Collaboration of Aphasia Trialists network will enhance knowledge, skills and methodology relating to aphasia research.

The group will facilitate work between international members in aphasia assessment and diagnosis. Data sharing activities will support enhanced prognosis and rehabilitation of aphasia, helping people to get back into their daily activities.

In addition, the group will foster and coordinate the development of high-quality aphasia research activity across European countries and internationally, which will address the needs of people with aphasia and their families, health and social care providers and voluntary groups.

The project spans four working groups: Assessment of Aphasia; Prognosis and Predictors of Recovery; Effectiveness of Therapeutic Interventions; and Societal Impact and Reintegration.

Funded by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology), one of the longest-running European frameworks supporting cooperation among scientists and researchers internationally, the project has partners across 25 countries, including Australia, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Greece and Serbia.

Professor Brady said: “This collaboration offers us an exciting opportunity to support the sharing of multidisciplinary expertise in aphasia research and to develop international collaborations which seek to undertake ambitious aphasia research activities. These will significantly improve the rehabilitation and recovery of people with aphasia as a consequence of stroke.”

Professor Brady directs a programme of work on stroke rehabilitation in the Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit (NMAHP RU), a multidisciplinary national research unit funded by the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist Office with academic bases within GCU and the University of Stirling.

GCU’s stroke and neurological conditions research interests include basic care issues, such as incontinence and oral health care and interventions that address the needs of stroke survivors and their carers as they adapt to life after stroke.

Methodologically, GCU has research expertise in the design, development and evaluation of complex multidisciplinary interventions, surveys, mixed methods, randomised controlled trials, systematic reviews, meta-analyses and the creation and use of secondary data archives.