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Our research on vascular dementia and vascular cognitive impairment goes from molecules to patients. In our pioneering Centre for Prevention of Stroke and Dementia (CPSD) and across several different groups in Oxford we are using new approaches to understand how changes in blood vessels affect the brain.

Molecular mechanisms of disease

  • We are investigating the pathology of cerebrovascular disease and vascular dementia through brain banking studies. Our work focuses on the contribution of vascular pathology to cognitive impairment and on the relationship between neuroinflammation and small vessel cerebrovascular disease.
  • We are examining blood biomarkers and genetics of vascular cognitive impairment to understand these mechanisms better in our patients. 

Cognition, Behaviour & Neuroimaging

  • We have developed new, sensitive ways to measure memory and motivation in people with small vessel cerebrovascular disease (Cognitive Neurology).
  • Leveraging our expertise in brain imaging at the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging (WIN) and the Acute Vascular Imaging Centre (AVIC) we analyse brain structure and function, and how these are disrupted with vascular disease. 

Population and cohort studies

  • Our longstanding Oxford Vascular (OxVasc) cohort study tracks patients registered at eight general practices in Oxfordshire. The findings from this pioneering project have had a major impact on the treatment and prevention of stroke, and understanding risk factors for vascular dementia.
  • We are using the scale of the UK Biobank to examine how factors such as raised blood pressure, diabetes and smoking affect cognitive function in middle age. We study how their affects are mediated through their impact on brain networks.
  • Our researchers are studying how delirium in older age might increase the likelihood of developing dementia.

Clinical services

  • Our clinical services at the John Radcliffe Hospital – and linked hospitals – provide state-of-the-art clinical assessments and high quality clinical services for patients with small vessel disease, vascular cognitive impairment and vascular dementia.