Cerebral Small Vessel Disease

Quantification of mutation-dependent heterogeneity in murine models of cSVD using multimodal MR imaging

Vascular cognitive impairment and dementia (VCID) is any level of cognitive alteration that is attributable to cerebrovascular pathologies. VCID is second only to Alzheimer’s disease as a cause of dementia and accounts for ~15-30% of all dementia cases. Cerebral small vessel diseases (cSVDs) are group of pathologies afflicting the microcirculation of the brain that collectively account for up to 20% of all strokes and is the most common pathology underlying VCID. The impact of cSVD and VCID is expected to increase rapidly as the population of the US and other countries ages. Importantly, the pathogeneses of cSVDs are incompletely understood which represents a major barrier in developing strategies for prevention and treatment.

Our laboratory is part of an interdisciplinary team of experts (co-PIs: Professor Douglas Gould, Professor Scott Earley) that integrate unique genetic resources, vascular pressure myography, patch-clamp electrophysiology, calcium imaging, learning and memory behavior assays with our specialized magnetic resonance imaging modalities to develop and characterize multiple novel genetic models of cSVD using genes that contribute to disease in humans.