Published date
Friday, 4 September, 2015

(Last updated Friday 11 September 2015)

(Our speakers and delegates on a break from the priority setting today, at our vascular dementia workshop)

What is Vascular Dementia?

Dementia is the loss of mental ability due to the gradual death of brain cells. Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia. It is estimated to account for about 20% of all cases of dementia, which itself affects around 850,000 people in the UK. It is more common in men and usually starts before the age of 75.

What causes Vascular Dementia?

Vascular dementia development is attributed to a lack of blood supply to the brain. This is generally caused by cerebral small vessel disease (SVD), which is a narrowing and hardening of the blood vessels to the brain and which leads to changes deep in the brain, including tiny strokes.

What led to today's workshop?

On 29 January 2015, we held our research round-table meeting on vascular dementia to help develop research priorities in this area. The report can be found here.

What happened at the workshop?

Our workshop engaged with stroke survivors, carers and clinicians as well as key researchers and other funders to further discuss and refine these research priorities in vascular dementia.

Professor Pat Kehoe (University of Bristol) chaired the meeting, which opened with an introduction to the Stroke Association Research Strategy and to our Priority Programme awards by Dr Kate Holmes (Stroke Association).  Professor Joanna Wardlaw (University of Edinburgh) then gave an overview of the current challenges and gaps in vascular dementia research, 

What followed was a review of our priority short-list from our research round-table on vascular dementia,  and a series of rich and diverse discussions of the various issues around vascular dementia from both a professional and patient perspective.

In the afternoon, delegates continued to discuss and came to agreements on what their main priorities were for research into this field, and finally, each delegate placed a vote for their top 3 priorities. 

What will happen next?

In Autumn 2015, we will meet with other funders to discuss the new research priorities.  We plan to go ahead with a call for research proposals in early 2016. Our intention is to fund new research in this area at the end of 2016.

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