Targeting interventions for small vessel disease to prevent stroke and dementia

The SVDs@target programme

Published: Wednesday 12 October 2016

Hi, I’m Joanna Wardlaw. I’m a professor at the University of Edinburgh specialising in Neuroradiology – things to do with the brain. I’ve dedicated the last fifteen years of my life to understanding a key cause of both stroke and dementia. It’s known as ‘small vessel disease’ or ‘SVD’ for short.

There are many types of SVD, and I’m pleased to let you know that, with other leading European researchers, we secured important funding for a new European research programme to investigate SVD in greater detail than ever before. The programme is called SVDs@target.

SVDs can damage the small blood vessels in the brain, gradually starving it of the oxygen and food it needs. This leads to harmful changes in the brain’s structure.

These changes cause about a third of all strokes, and at least two out every five cases of dementia. However, despite this huge impact, there are still no treatments that are proven to help.

From important research, like this, my hope is that one day we can stop SVDs from ever developing.

SVDs@target is funded by a 6 million euro grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme. Stroke Alliance for Europe (SAFE) is a key partner, representing stroke patient groups from across Europe, including the Stroke Association.

To find out about more about SVDs@target visit our website.

Further information about the researcher

Professor Joanna M. Wardlaw CBE is Chair of Applied Neuroimaging and Head of Neuroimaging Sciences at the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh.

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