Generous donation enables brain haemorrhage research

Kath Jasper presents the cheque to Dr Malik Zaben and BRAIN Unit Manager Laura Bunting 1
Kath Jasper presents donation to Dr Malik Zaben and BRAIN Unit Manager Laura Bunting

Academic neurosurgeon Dr Malik Zaben has been able to conduct an instrumental medical audit study thanks to a valued donation from a brain haemorrhage survivor.

Kath Jasper decided to present the generous contribution of £800 to Dr Zaben, a Lecturer at Cardiff University, after undergoing treatment for a near-fatal brain haemorrhage and realising the urgent need for research into this area.

Dr Zaben wasted no time in putting the funds to good use by launching a retrospective audit of the clinical presentation and management of brain haemorrhages in Wales.

Devastating condition

Spontaneous brain haemorrhages, which are commonly caused by brain aneurysms, arterio-venous malformations (AVMs), and dural arterio-venous malformations (DAVMs), often result in serious brain injury with effects that can last a lifetime.

The study examines the clinical presentation, brain imaging, management and clinical outcomes of all DAVM cases admitted to the University Hospital of Wales neurosurgical unit in the past five years.

Dr Zaben also aims to inform the management of cranio-cervical AVDMs, which are a very important feature of brain haemorrhages yet are rarely addressed in neuroscience literature.

“Although DAVMs are not as common as aneurysms, they are associated with an aggressive natural history,” said Dr Zaben. “Controversy exists regarding their optimal treatment, therefore more studies are needed to uncover their natural course and optimize management of this devastating condition.”

Valuable contribution

In March 2017, Dr Zaben recruited a medical student to assist with the necessary research for the study. Securing ethical approval from UHW Audit Department was followed by a six-week process of data collection, analysis and write up, with hopes of presenting the results into the surgical and radiological treatment of AVDMs.

“The value of the donor’s generous contribution cannot be overstated,” said Dr Zaben. “For someone who has personal experience of brain haemorrhages to actively seek to drive forward our research reinforces the importance of why we are here.

“Thanks to our donor’s incredible support, we hope this study will cast more light upon a serious condition which devastates the lives of thousands across the country.”

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