Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences

Professor Martin Dennis

Professor Martin Dennis is Head of the Brain Vascular Disease section. In his research he aims to help detect, prevent and treat the complications of stroke.

Professor Martin Dennis

Chair of Stroke Medicine

  • Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences
  • Stroke Research Group


  • Trained St Thomas’ Hospital London, qualifying in 1980.
  • Oxfordshire Community Stroke Project. MD thesis on "Transient Ischaemic Attacks in the Community"
  • Moved to Edinburgh in 1990 as Senior lecturer, and to develop a stroke service. Personal Chair awarded in 2002
  • Established Scottish Stroke Care Audit (www.strokeaudit.scot.nhs.uk/)
  • Help set up the British Association of Stroke Physicians (BASP)
  • Chairman of the National Advisory Committee for Stroke in Scotland
  • Lead clinician for the Managed Clinical Network for Stroke in Lothian

Research summary

Prof Martin Dennis is a consultant stroke physician who looks after patients in the stroke unit and clinic. He also runs a programme of research aiming to help detect, prevent and treat the complications of stroke more effectively. He has completed large international studies to establish the best ways of feeding patients after a stroke and also how to reduce their risk of developing blood clots in their legs. The CLOTS trial 3 showed that intermittent pneumatic compression devices (see picture) applied to patients' legs reduced their risk of DVT and improved their chances of survival.

Clinical procedure on the legs
Intermittent pneumatic compression applied to the legs of a patients with a stroke.

Research aims and areas of interest

Prof Dennis' research interests have focused on the organisation and evaluation of stroke services, predicting the prognosis of stroke and the management of post stroke problems. More specifically:

  • A randomised controlled trial of a stroke family care worker
  • FOOD trials evaluating feeding regimes
  • CLOTS trials evaluating external compression for DVT prevention


Selected publications

  1. CLOTS Trials Collaboration. Dennis M, Sandercock PA, Reid J, Graham C, Murray G, Venables G, Rudd A, Bowler G. Effectiveness of thigh-length graduated compression stockings to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis after stroke (CLOTS trial 1): a multicentre, randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2009;373(9679):1958-1965.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19477503
  2. The CLOTS Trials Collaboration. Thigh-length versus below-knee stockings for DVT prophylaxis after stroke: a randomized trial. Ann Int Med 2010;153:553-562. http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=746334
  3. Dennis M, Sandercock P, Reid J, Graham C, Murray G, Venables G et al. The Effect of Graduated Compression Stockings on Long-term Outcomes After Stroke The CLOTS Trials 1 and 2. Stroke. 2013 Apr;44(4):1075-1079.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23482600
  4. Whiteley WN, Adams HP, Bath PM, Berge E, Sandset PM, Dennis M et al. Targeted use of heparin, heparinoids, or low-molecular-weight heparin to improve outcome after acute ischaemic stroke: an individual patient data meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. The Lancet Neurology. 2013 Jun;12(6):539-545.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23642343
  5. CLOTS (Clots in Legs Or sTockings after Stroke) Trials Collaboration. Effectiveness of intermittent pneumatic compression in reduction of risk of deep vein thrombosis in patients who have had a stroke (CLOTS 3): a multicentre randomised controlled trial. The Lancet 2013; 382:516 – 524. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(13)61050-8/abstract