Damage to the small blood vessels in the brain (known as „Small Vessel Disease“) can lead to stroke and vascular dementia.
Despite causing these important conditions small vessel disease remains relatively poorly understood compared to other blood vessel diseases. With the better understanding of small vessel diseases, the study SVDs@target will develop novel therapeutic treatments and finally contribute to the prevention of stroke and dementia.

The project also includes 3 studies with stroke patients. They are:

ZOOM@SVDs, a high-resolution imaging study to look at vascular function and brain  damage

INVESTIGATE-SVDs, an imaging study to assess the blood/brain barrier and vascular function,

TREAT-SVDs, testing the effects of different blood pressure lowering agents on vascular function in patients with distinct SVDs

Michael Stringer_UEDIN

We spoke with Michael Stringer, Research Fellow in Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Image Analysis from the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, Edinburgh Imaging and the UK Dementia Research Institute at the University of Edinburgh.

Why does this trial (Zoom/INVESTIGATE or TREAT) on small vessel diseases matter?

Investigate-SVDs recruits small vessel disease (SVD) patients to have advanced magnetic resonance imaging scans. SVD remains poorly understood, this study has great potential to further knowledge & ultimately improve outcomes for patients.

What is it that you do in this project?

As a research fellow in medical physics at the University of Edinburgh I helped setup the magnetic resonance imaging protocol (guide to running the scans), liase with other sites and am heavily involved with analysis of the imaging data.

Why do you do it?

My research focuses on applying advanced imaging and mathematical methods to study disease. I enjoy applying these tools to study real world problems, and as a highly multidisciplinary area it provides a lot of variety – it is seldom dull.

SVDs@target has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 666881.

Photo credit: A print screen from the official SVDs@Target website.