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Dr Luca Biasiolli, based in OCMR, is studying whether a new type of MRI scan offers a more accurate and easier way to identify the potentially dangerous plaques that cause stroke. Her research is supported by the British Heart Foundation. A stroke happens when the blood supply to part of your brain is cut off. Most occur as a consequence of plaque – a condition called atherosclerosis – building up in arteries in the neck. If a piece of this plaque breaks off, it can lead to a clot forming in the brain and cause a stroke.