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Approved Research

Progression rate of structural brain changes associated with cerebral small vessel disease, and their relationship with longitudinal measures of blood pressure

Principal Investigator: Dr Karolina Wartolowska
Approved Research ID: 61621
Approval date: September 1st 2020

Lay summary

Many cases of stroke and dementia are related to subtle changes to brain structure caused by damage to small brain vessels. High blood pressure is the main treatable factor responsible for these changes. Most of the existing studies have been done in older people with very high blood pressure. The aim of this project is to use the UK Biobank study to analyse the relationship between blood pressure measured at several visits and the progression of damage to the brain visible on brain scans as areas of scarring in the brain and subtle structural damage visible only as changes in the localised movement of water in the brain tissue. Results of this study would inform us about how much blood pressure affects the progression of injury to the brain, and to plan future clinical trials of treatments to stop or slow down these vascular changes and prevent incidents of stroke and dementia.