Gillian Mead

Gillian Mead



Professor Gillian E Mead






Professor of Stroke and Elderly Care Medicine

Honorary Consultant Geriatrician





0131 242 6481


0131 242 6370


Room S1644, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 5NN




I did my medical training at University of Cambridge, and house jobs in Cambridge and Norwich. I moved to London for senior house officer posts, and then to Liverpool for specialist training in Geriatric Medicine.  My research training was at University of Manchester, where I led the first randomised trial of carotid surgery for acute stroke. I was awarded an MD by University of Cambridge for this work.  I completed my training in Geriatric and General Medicine in Edinburgh in 1999.  Before taking up my current post as Senior Lecturer in Geriatric Medicine in 2000, I spent six months working in Auckland, New Zealand, where I helped to establish a stroke service at Middlemore Hospital.

Professional Membership

British Association of Stroke Physicians: Scientific Committee

British Geriatrics Society: Academic and Research Committee 

Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network: member of guideline development group for stroke


Broad Areas of interest:






Physical fitness after stroke

Exercise after stroke


Post-stroke fatigue

Telemedicine for the evaluation of patients with ‘brain attacks’

Exercise for depression




Acute Medicine of Elderly and Acute stroke (Royal Infirmary), Stroke Rehabilitation (Astley Ainslie Hospital). In 200I, I established a Stroke clinic at the Royal Infirmary. In 2005, I led the development of a thrombolysis service for acute stroke at the Royal Infirmary.

I am a member of the Steering Group of the Lothian Stroke Managed Clinical Network        



Leading the development of an NVQ Level 4 course for exercise instructors, in collaboration with Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh 

Developed an e-library of cases in Geriatric Medicine, aimed primarily at Undergraduate students and available through Edinburgh Electronic Medical Curriculum 

Undergraduate and post-graduates in Geriatric Medicine

Member of Portfolio Subcommittee, University of Edinburgh

Contribute to Medical Biology BSc course and Cardiovascular Biology Workshop for BHF PhD students

Supervise post-graduate researchers


Methodological skills

Randomised trials of complex interventions, systematic reviews of randomised trials and observational studies, measurement of physical fitness.

Highlights of previous research

I was awarded the Research into Ageing Edgar Palamountain Prize in 1997, for my trial of carotid surgery in acute stroke.

STARTER (STroke: A randomised Trial of Exercise or Relaxation) was selected for presentation at a Stroke Symposium organised by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Executive in 2007.  This work has led to further funding to develop a course for exercise instructors about stroke. 

Hobbies & interests

Mountaineering.  Highlights include ascents of several of the Alpine 4000m peaks including the Matterhorn (4478 m). I have also climbed Mount Cook (3754m) in New Zealand and have completed ascents of all 284 Scottish peaks over 3000 feet (Munros).


Ongoing research projects

Scoping the provision of exercise services in Scotland for people after stroke
This new project will start in March 2009 and will map provision of exercise services for people after stroke and devise best practice guidelines which will inform the future development of exercise services for people after stroke.

Longitudinal cohort study of fatigue after stroke, and associations with physical inactivity
This project will seek to determine the natural history of fatigue after stroke, and the relationship between fatigue and physical inactivity. It will start in March 2009 and will run for almost three years.

Goal setting in exercise after stroke
This PhD project in collaboration with Queen Margaret University will seek to determine the role of goal setting in patients after stroke referred for community exercise classes.

Evaluation of Telemedicine for brain attacks
This project will determine whether telemedicine improves access to acute stroke treatments and secondary prevention, and whether it is acceptable to patients and carers.  


Fatigue after stroke
We will systematically review all available studies to determine a) independent risk factors for fatigue and b) effectiveness of treatments for post-stroke fatigue.

 Exercise for depression
This project systematically reviewed all randomised trial evidence on exercise for depression.

Exercise after stroke
We have performed our own randomised trial of exercise after stroke, and are currently systematically reviewing all available evidence for the Cochrane Collaboration.

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Research links:

STARTER (STroke: a Randomised Trial of Exercise or Relaxation)

Changes in muscle mass & strength after stroke

I am a member of the stroke research group at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh and work closely with this group.

Publications (2003 onwards):

Mead GE Exercise after stroke. Editorial, BMJ 339 247-248 (1st August 2009).

Mead GE. Morley W. Campbell P. Greig CA. McMurdo M. Lawlor DA. Exercise for depression (summary of systematic review) Mental health and physical activity. In press 

Saunders DS, Greig CA, Young A, Mead GE Physical fitness training after stroke: Cochrane database of systematic reviews. In press

Wevers L, van de Port I, Vermue M, Mead G, Kwakkel G. Effects of Task-Oriented
Circuit Class Training on Walking Competency After Stroke. A Systematic Review.
Stroke. 2009 May 21. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 19461035.

Mead GE, Dennis MS, Lewis SJ, McGeough E, Sharpe M. Interventions for
post-stroke fatigue. (review)  Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009
in press.
Carin-Levy G. Kendall M. Young A. Mead G. The psychosocial effects of exercise and relaxation classes for persons surviving a stroke. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy - Revue Canadienne d Ergotherapie. 76(2):73-80, 2009

Mead GE, Morley W, McMurdo M, Campbell P, Greig C, Lawlor DA. Exercise for depression. Cochrane Database of Systematic reviews, 2008; Issue 4

Carin-Levy G, Greig CA, Lewis SJ, Stewart A, Young A, Mead GE. The effect of different body positions on anthropometric measurements and derived estimates of body composition  International Journal of Body Composition Research 2008, issue 3  

Saunders DS, Greig CA, Young A Mead GE. Activity limitations in ambulatory individuals with stroke are associated with impaired explosive extensor power in both lower limbs. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2008; 89:677-83  

Mead GE, Dennis MS, Lewis SJ, McGeough E, Sharpe M. Interventions for post-stroke fatigue. (Protocol) Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 2.  

Henderson GR, Mead GE, van Dyke M, Ramsay S, MacDowall M, Dennis MS.  The use of statistical process control charts to identify improvements in the process of care: an example from stroke medicine Quality Safety in Health Care 2008; 17, Issue: 4.

 Mead G. Lynch J. Greig C. Young A. Lewis S. Sharpe M. Evaluation of fatigue
scales in stroke patients Stroke. 38(7):2090-5, 2007 .

Mead GE. Greig CA. Cunningham I. Lewis SJ. Dinan S. Saunders DH. Fitzsimons
C. Young A. Stroke: a randomized trial of exercise or relaxation. Journal of
the American Geriatrics Society. 55(6):892-9, 2007 .

Mead GE. Wardlaw JM. Lewis SC. Dennis MS. Lothian Stroke Registry Study
Group. No evidence that severity of stroke in internal carotid occlusion is
related to collateral arteries Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery &
Psychiatry. 77(6):729-33, 2006 .

Carin-Levy G. Greig C. Young A. Lewis S. Hannan J. Mead G. Longitudinal
changes in muscle strength and mass after acute stroke Cerebrovascular
Diseases. 21(3):201-7, 2006.

Colledge N. Sellar R. Wardlaw J. Lewis S. Mead G. Wilson J. Interobserver
agreement in magnetic resonance brain and neck imaging Journal of
Neuroimaging. 16(1):47-51, 2006 Jan.

GE Mead Exercise or Relaxation after stroke? (personal view) BMJ

Mead GE. Elder AT. Flapan AD. Kelman A. Electrical cardioversion for atrial
fibrillation and flutter Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
(3):CD002903, 2005.

Morley W. Jackson K.  Mead GE. Post-stroke fatigue: an important yet
neglected symptom. [Letter] Age & Ageing. 34(3):313, 2005 May.

Cordina J.  Mead G. Pharmacological cardioversion for atrial fibrillation
and flutter. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. (2):CD003713, 2005.

S Welsh G Mead H Chant A Picton PA O'Neill CN McCollum Early Carotid Surgery
in acute stroke: a multicentre Randomised Pilot Study Cerebrovascular
diseases 2004;18:200-205

D Saunders C Greig  A Young  GE Mead  Physical fitness training for stroke
patients (Cochrane review) In: The Cochrane Library, Issue 1, 2004.
Chichester UK

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