Apathy has a major effect of quality of life for a SVD sufferer; we have shown that for the patient it is more important in determining quality of life than is disability, such as weakness, from the stroke itself.
Using genetics to understand why disease of the small blood vessels in the brain occurs
Professor Joanna Wardlaw CBE talks about the new SVDs@target programme - Targeting interventions for small vessel disease to prevent stroke and dementia. This programme was funded by a 6 million euro grant from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme.
Can using a tissue sample from the buttock help us understand the main genetic cause of stroke?
Can we identify genetic risk factors that cause disease of small blood vessels in the brain?
This research programme could substantially increase our understanding of how SVD develops, leading to new ways to investigate SVD and test drugs which may help treat it.
Cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) is usually associated with high blood pressure, and causes 20% of all strokes. It is the main cause of cognitive changes and dementia associated with stroke. Behavioural symptoms such as apathy are also common in patients with SVD.
In this project, the aim is to demonstrate that failure of drainage of fluid from the grey and white matter of the brain is a mechanism underlying SVD.
A key cause of both stroke and dementia is known as ‘small vessel disease’ or ‘SVD’ for short.