The role of psychostimulants in fatal stroke among young people

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Date Commenced:
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Drug Type:
Project Members: 
image - Julia Lappin
Senior Lecturer
Ph +61283821575
Project Main Description: 

The study will examine all cases of fatal stroke in Australia amongst young people (<45 years) over the period 2009-2016 to determine the role of psychostimulants in these events.

Project Collaborators: External: 

Professor Johan Duflou
University of Sydney

Dr Sharlene Kaye
NSW Health


Stroke can be a catastrophic consequence of methamphetamine use. In recent work on methamphetamine-related death we documented 38 cases of methamphetamine-related stroke, 2.3% of all methamphetamine-related deaths. The role of methamphetamine, and other psychostimulants such as cocaine, in the overall causation of fatal stroke in Australia amongst young people (<45 years) is unknown.   

Aims: 1. Determine the proportion of cases of fatal stroke amongst people aged <45 years in which psychostimulants were present in the blood, 2009-2016; 2. Determine trends over the study period in the contribution of psychostimulant-related stroke to overall stroke amongst young people; 3. Determine the relative role of psychostimulants in overall ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke amongst young people in Australia; 4. Determine the sites in the brain of strokes amongst cases of fatal psychostimulant-related stroke and other cases of stroke amongst young people.  

Design and Method: 

Examination of all cases of fatal stroke amongst young people in Australia recorded in the National Coronial Information System.


The project will provide the first national data in the world on the contribution of psychostimulants to fatal stroke amongst young people.

Project Research Area: 
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