Stroke is the second most common cause of death globally and is the leading cause of adult physical disability (World Health Organisation). Globally, seventeen million people had a stroke in 20151. Of these, approximately 33% died and 33% were permanently disabled2. An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain is blocked by a clot, preventing blood flow, and causing brain damage. 


The economic burden of ischemic stroke is significant. The total estimated costs of stroke in Europe in 2010 were €64 billion: €42 billion in direct medical costs; €17 billion in direct non-medical costs and €5 billion in indirect costs3. Total estimated costs of stroke in the United States in 2016 were $33.6 billion4. Between 2012 and 2030, total direct medical stroke-related costs are projected to triple5.