Ageing Brain

Dementia and Stroke Research

Cognitive decline and dementia are growing and global problems, with few therapeutic options apart from modest symptomatic treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. Vascular dementia (including dementia after stroke and subcortical vascular dementia), a key area of interest within the theme, is the second commonest cause of dementia.

The main research strands within the Ageing Brain theme are to investigate key mechanisms and substrates underpinning cognitive decline and brain ageing, with the aim of identifying new targets to assist with early diagnosis, including identification of those ‘at risk’, and for novel therapeutic intervention.

Through a combination of longitudinal clinical studies and studies on tissue from the Newcastle Brain Tissue Resource, we are identifying important cognitive, clinical and brain imaging changes associated with different brain pathologies and investigating both pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapeutic approaches.

Specific studies include determining the pathological basis of dementia after stroke; determining the molecular mechanisms by which vascular pathology accelerates cognitive decline; determining the potential importance of copper as a mechanism for increasing degenerative change; and investigating the brainstem contribution to locomotion after stroke to aid clinical recovery.

We are also investigating the therapeutic potential of vascular interventions, for example intensive blood pressure lowering, both on clinical and biomarker outcomes and the impact of potentially adoptable rehabilitation strategies after stroke.

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