The primary aim of NISAN is to conduct high quality epidemiological studies and clinical trials to improve the health and outcomes in people with major neurological disorders – the current emphasis being on stroke and traumatic brain injury. Research with this aim is unique within the landscape of existing research groupings in New Zealand.
NISAN is envisaged to be a hub for information sharing and the fostering of a more cohesive network of communication between existing research and clinical groups with interests in public health, neurorehabilitation, neurology, psychology, neuroepidemiology, and biostatistics.
This direction will allow a more cohesive approach to communicating and working collaboratively with other groups, both inside and outside AUT University. NISAN makes use of the current expertise within the School of Rehabilitation and Occupation Studies, the School of Public Health and Psychosocial Studies, and relevant institutes and centres of AUT University, and it extends their work into areas of growing national and international demand.
Currently available cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment algorithms allow calculation of absolute risk of CVD (including stroke) but they are designed for use by health professionals and require lab test to complete. Yet, one of the main challenges in effective stroke prevention on an individual level is the lack of awareness about stroke symptoms and risk factors as well as self-managing strategies to reduce their risk of stroke.