The Reading Platelet Function Study investigates blood cells, known as platelets, that control blood clotting. While these cells perform an important role to protect us following an injury, they can also trigger clots leading to heart attacks and strokes. A number of medicines that are used to prevent the function of platelets successfully prevent these conditions, although they do not work in some patients.
We have found that the ability of platelets to form a blood clot varies considerably from person to person, although we do not know why this is and whether this results in increased risk of cardiovascular disease. We have therefore developed new tests to analyse an individual’s platelets which will allow us to determine which patients are most likely to benefit from ‘anti-platelet’ medicines, and which treatments are most likely to be effective. We anticipate that this approach, which is known as personalised or precision medicine, will in the future increase the chance of successfully preventing clot forming diseases.
The Reading Platelet Function Study, which is based at the Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) and the University of Reading, is a British Heart Foundation-funded study. We will use our new tests to assess the function of platelets from patients that are being investigated for heart disease.. This will enable us to determine whether our tests may be used in the future to identify patients that are most likely to benefit from specific anti-platelet medicines. Type 2diabetes is also known to increase our potential risk of blood clots, and therefore we will also determine the effects of this condition in our studies. We will recruit patients with or without heart disease and with or without type 2 diabetes.
In this study, patients are invited to participate during their clinic visit to the RBH. Analysis of platelet function, the biological mechanisms that control this and data analysis will be performed in the Institute for Cardiovascular & Metabolic research at the University.
We hope to use these webpages to provide update reports as the project progresses. Further information on participation in the study can be found here (hyperlink to the Participant information sheet – on which the URL will need to also be added) or by contacting Prof Jon Gibbins (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)