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South Western Sydney Stroke and Neurology Group (SWS Strong)

South Western Sydney Stroke and Neurology Group (SWS Strong) is a collaboration of clinicians and researchers from South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD) and the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research. Led by Associate Professor Dennis Cordato, SWS Strong is one group belonging to the Ingham Institute’s expansive Clinical Sciences research stream.

The group focuses their research on stroke and neuroscience, with a number of existing research opportunities for Independent Learning Projects (ILP), Honours, Masters, and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) students available.

SWSLHD has one of the largest stroke referral centres in NSW, including an active endovascular clot retrieval service. SWS Strong has a special interest in providing excellence in the diagnosis and management of acute stroke patients.

SWS Strong have dedicated clinical trials and research staff tasked with leading the community, driving research, and participating in a number of multicentre international clinical trials.


SWS Strong aims to promote collaborative research within South Western Sydney Local Health District and external partners to deliver health excellence for the population of south western Sydney.


  • Clinical trials of novel therapies for stroke patients.
  • Investigator led clinical research to determine causes, risk factors, diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes of stroke.
  • Delivery of stroke education to patients, families, and the community.

Liverpool Hospital was ranked number one for acute stroke service out of 117 hospitals across Australia in the 2017 National Stroke Audit. 



Time of stroke onset to hospital presentation is an important determinant of whether patients qualify for time-sensitive reperfusion therapy. As such, initiatives promoting awareness about benefits of early presentation are keys for delivering improved care to stroke patients.

The study focusses on patients of diverse cultural and linguistic background (CALD) with historical evidence of delayed hospital presentation for stroke and lower likelihood to call an ambulance (Bhaskar, S., Thomas, P., Cheng, Q., Clements, N., McDougall, A., Hodgkinson, S., Cordato, D. (2019).Trends in acute stroke presentations to an emergency department: implications for specific communities in accessing acute stroke care services. DOI: 10.1136/postgradmedj-2019-136413).

The study will investigate their stroke awareness and knowledge. CALD patients have higher incidences of cardiovascular diseases and vascular risk factors. The survey and education will raise their stroke awareness, emphasise the importance of early hospital presentation and optimal risk factor management.

Study Objectives:

  • To understand community awareness and knowledge of stroke.
  • To encourage community leaders to communicate and emphasize the importance of early hospital presentation for time critical treatments.
  • Develop and facilitate education sessions that will translate into improved stroke awareness using FAST (Face, Arm, Speech, Time) knowledge of stroke symptoms, and risk factors to prevent stroke.

To find out more about SWS Strong, please contact


  • Tenecteplase versus Alteplase for Stroke Thrombolysis Evaluation (TASTE)
  • A randomized controlled trial of DIRECT endovascular clot retrieval versus standard bridging thrombolysis with endovascular clot retrieval within 4.5 hours of stroke onset (DIRECT-SAFE)
  • A multicentre, randomised controlled Trial of Exenatide versus standard care in Acute Ischemic Stroke (TEXAIS)
  • Phase 2 Program of AntiCoagulation via Inhibition of FXIa by the oral Compound BAY 2433334 – non-cardioembolic STROKE study (PACIFIC-STROKE)
  • Glibenclamide for large hemispheric infarction analyzing mRS and mortality (CHARM)
  • Stopping haemorrhage with Tranexamic acid for hyperacute Onset Presentation including Mobile Stroke Units (STOP MSU)
  • Extending the time window for Tenecteplase by Effective Reperfusion of peNumbrAL tissue in patients with Large Vessel Occlusion (ETERNAL LVO)
  • Ultra-Early, minimally inVAsive intraCerebral haemorrhage evacuation versus standard trEatment (EVACUATE)
  • A Randomized Controlled Trial to Optimize Patient’s Selection for Endovascular Treatment in Acute Ischemic Stroke (SELECT 2)
  • Antithrombotic Treatment with Factor XIa Inhibition to Optimize Management of Acute Thromboembolic Events in Secondary Stroke Prevention (AXIOMATIC-SSP)
  • Phase III Trial of “Triple Pill” telmisartan 20mg, amlodipine 2.5mg, and indapamide 1.25mg vs placebo in patients with recent ICH (within 6 months) and hypertension (TRIDENT)
  • A Multicentre, Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled Trial to Evaluate the Effectiveness and Safety of Sailuotong (SLT), a Standardised Chinese Herbal Medicine Formula in Patients with Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease with Cerebrovascular Disease
  • Modafinil In Debilitating Fatigue After Stroke 2 (MIDAS 2)