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Blood flow in the brain is regulated by neurons and astrocytes. Knowledge of how these cells control blood flow is crucial for understanding how neural computation is powered, for interpreting functional imaging scans of brains, and for developing treatments for neurological disorders. It is now recognized that neurotransmitter-mediated signalling has a key role in regulating cerebral blood flow, that much of this control is mediated by astrocytes, that oxygen modulates blood flow regulation, and that blood flow may be controlled by capillaries as well as by arterioles. These conceptual shifts in our understanding of cerebral blood flow control have important implications for the development of new therapeutic approaches.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/nature09613

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nature

Publication Date

11/11/2010

Volume

468

Pages

232 - 243

Keywords

Alzheimer Disease, Brain, Brain Ischemia, Cerebrovascular Circulation, Humans, Neuroglia, Neurons, Neurotransmitter Agents, Nitric Oxide, Oxygen, Signal Transduction