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Special Report: The Bugher Network in Hemorrhagic Stroke

Key findings

  • The Henrietta B. and Frederick H. Bugher Foundation and American Heart Association have created the Bugher Network in Hemorrhagic Stroke to support multi-disciplinary research in intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Three centers were selected: Mass General Brigham, University of California, San Francisco-Benioff Children's Hospital, and Yale University
  • The funding is supporting synergistic projects in basic, clinical, and population science aimed at decreasing the burden of intracerebral hemorrhage, developing better acute and post-acute treatments, and reducing health inequalities

Since 1986, the Henrietta B. and Frederick H. Bugher Foundation has supported cardiovascular research in partnership with the American Heart Association. In 2021, the foundation made an $11.12 million gift to create the Bugher Network in Hemorrhagic Stroke, targeting that stroke subtype because it's associated with the highest morbidity and mortality.

The principal goals of the new network are to identify effective preventive strategies to decrease the societal burden of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and develop better acute and post-acute treatments to improve functional outcomes. The first awards went to three centers: Yale University, Mass General Brigham, and San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital of the University of California.

The Bugher Center at Mass General Brigham is directed by Jonathan Rosand, MD, MSc, also the managing co-director of the McCance Center for Brain HealthSusanne J. van Veluw, PhD, a principal investigator at the Mass General Research Institute, Alessandro Biffi, MD, neurologist in the Department of Neurology, Steven M. Greenberg MD, PhD, director of the Hemorrhagic Stroke Research Program, Christopher D. Anderson, MD, director of Acute Stroke Services and researcher at the Center for Genomic Medicine, and colleagues provide details in a special report in Stroke.

The Projects

As with prior Bugher Networks, cross-center and cross-disciplinary collaboration is the defining principle of the Bugher Network in Hemorrhagic Stroke. The initial funding is supporting synergistic projects in basic, clinical, and population science.

Basic science

  • Sympathetic activation, hypertension, and inflammation in experimental ICH
  • Mechanisms of hemorrhagic stroke after superficial siderosis
  • Predictors of growth, recurrence, and high-risk features in pediatric brain arteriovenous malformation

Clinical science

  • Spironolactone-containing treatment as a novel strategy for improved blood pressure management in survivors of ICH (the REDUCE trial)
  • How race/ethnicity influence control of hypertension after ICH
  • Predicting outcomes in pediatric hemorrhagic stroke with personalized connectomics

Population science

  • Polygenic susceptibility to hypertension in ICH
  • Precision clinical and genetic tools for brain health in hemorrhagic stroke
  • Epidemiology of pediatric hemorrhagic stroke and arteriovenous malformations in a multicenter, international cohort

Advancing Equity

Several studies from the network centers have demonstrated a disproportionate burden of ICH in U.S. racial/ethnic minority populations. Investigation of social determinants of health and how to reduce health disparities will be cornerstones of the research. In addition, all centers are working to increase the diversity of trainees, mentors, and study participants.

Accelerating Progress

The report describes a training program for the next generation of hemorrhagic stroke researchers, with the goal of supporting five to ten trainees who will enter academia with a focus on hemorrhagic stroke science. In addition, the Network will identify other funding opportunities, perhaps resulting in the creation of a national network of ICH research centers.

In the meantime, opportunities and resources are available to external researchers who are interested in collaborating with any of the centers.

Learn more about the Department of Neurology

Learn more about the McCance Center for Brain Health

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