Submitted by Brigitte Jacoby, Leading Clinical Research Coordinator, and Dr. Sanjula Singh, Leading Research Fellow – both from the McCance Center of Brain Health at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Also on behalf of Principle Investigators Dr. Rosand and Dr. Towfighi, we are delighted to announce that the McCance Center for Brain Health at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School has been awarded a multi-million-dollar R01 research grant by the National Institutes for Health, for a research study called “REACH-ICH”. 

What is the REACH-ICH Study in a nutshell?  

  • Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a brain bleed, a specific type of stroke. 
  • People who have had a brain bleed have a high risk of developing another stroke, memory problems, and depression.  
  • Doctors still do not understand why some people will develop another stroke, memory problems, and depression and some people will not. 
  • You can reduce these risks by keeping your blood pressure (BP) healthy. 
  • This study will help doctors learn why some people are protected from another stroke and some people are not. It will also help people keep their BP healthy through a state-of-the-art blood pressure management program.  

Social determinants of health and blood pressure 

This grant has been awarded to the McCance Center to support the REACH-ICH study. This study will investigate how social determinants of health (SDOH) affect participation in a program that aims to keep your BP healthy after an ICH. It also investigates how SDOH impact risks of cognitive decline and recurrent stroke after ICH in different ethnic US communities that have received limited attention in medical research.

Social determinants of health are factors in the places where people live, work, and learn that impact their quality of life and health risks. Some examples include education access and quality, social community including racism, economic stability, neighborhood, and healthcare access and quality. To date, it remains unclear how these factors influence people’s participation in BP management programs.

How to keep a healthy blood pressure for people who had a stroke, including ICH, remains a persistent challenge. Past studies have shown that more than 50% of ICH survivors have uncontrolled hypertension after ICH, with substantially higher rates among Black and Hispanic patients. Our focus is to break down roadblocks to blood pressure management in patients who have had a stroke, specifically in patients from underrepresented communities.

Hence, REACH-ICH will recruit from 7 academic centers across the US that primarily serve these unrepresented communities research (including different ethnicities, such as Afro-American, Hispanic and Native Hawaiian). The REACH-ICH study will be one of the first national studies to have a primary goal addressing the connection between blood pressure, social determinants of health, and outcomes after a first stroke (ICH).

State-of-the-art blood pressure management 

All participants of REACH-ICH will be offered a state-of-the-art BP program, including:

  • Text message reminders for patients to facilitate engagement and BP collection
  • At-home blood pressure cuffs to collect weekly data
  • Monthly progress reports to the patients about their blood pressure
  • Regular phone calls with a health coach to address potential challenges to maintaining a healthy BP
  • Study material availability in English and Spanish to address language barriers and include more patients

Kick-off meeting in Los Angeles with national collaborations 

A phenomenally successful REACH-ICH kick-off meeting in Los Angeles was organized by the McCance Center for Brain Health team in collaboration with Dr. Towfighi’s team from Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Physicians, researchers, and clinical research coordinators attended this kick-off meeting from all the collaborating medical centers, which are the following: Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Yale University, University of Maryland, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Rancho Research Insititute, The Queens Medical Center in Hawaii, and University of Texas Houston. Northwestern University and Wake Forest University will provide technical support (including text-messaging) and statistical support, respectively. The REACH-ICH study will begin enrolment from April 1, 2023 onwards.

More information?

If you would like to receive more information about the REACH-ICH study, please do not hesitate to contact the REACH-ICH Study team at