Tracking the links between cardiovascular health and dementia

Cardiovascular mechanisms linked to cerebral amyloid β deposition and cognitive decline: A substudy of INSIGHT 46

Alun Hughes (lead researcher)

University College London

Start date: 01 February 2018 (Duration 2 years 6 months)

The number of people affected by dementia has increased dramatically in recent years. Heart and circulatory diseases are known to be associated with dementia, but the processes underlying this link are poorly understood. It is suspected that low blood flow into the brain may be a contributing factor. In this project, Professor Alun Hughes and his team at UCL will study the relationships between the structures and function of brain and heart and circulatory system. They will follow the progress of 375 people taking part in the MRC National Survey of Health and Development. The participants have all had their brain, blood pressure and heart function monitored throughout their adult life. At age 70 their levels of β-amyloid, a marker of dementia, were also measured. In this project, Professor Hughes and his team will measure the blood flow in the brain of the participants, now aged 72, to investigate whether heart and circulatory disease can influence mental decline and dementia. The results will increase our understanding of the causes of cognitive decline, whether blood flow to the brain is compromised in people with β-amyloid, and whether this is linked to cardiovascular health. The results could highlight new pathways for treatments, help find the best time points for the prevention of dementia, and identify those individuals most at risk.

Project details

Grant amount £273,844
Grant type Project Grant
Start Date 01 February 2018
Duration 2 years 6 months
Reference PG/17/90/33415
Status In progress

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