Approximately 120,000 people in the Netherlands live with the consequences of a stroke. Each year 30.000 patients suffer a stroke as a result of a cerebral infarct or haemorrhage. Cerebral vascular accidents are the third largest cause of death in the Netherlands and are the most important cause of invalidity in the elderly. In 80% of the cases the cause is a cerebral infarct, whereby a part of the brain receives no oxygen and dies as a result of a blocked blood vessel. In 20% of the cases it involves a cerebral haemorrhage. Treatment of a cerebral infarct and a cerebral haemorrhage differ. Approximately 25% will suffer a new stroke within 5 years.
Improvement in the dissemination of information, prevention of, and research on CVA's is being addressed in various ways. This takes place in conjunction with charities (Hartstichting and Hersenstichting ) and the Dutch CVA patient society "Samen Verder". It is highly desirable that in the long term a European Consortium be formed to coordinate large therapeutic research with the help of clinical data and biobanks. The European Stroke Organisation is a European collaboration, but as far is known there are no developments in the area of European biobanks.