INflammation and Small Vessel Disease (INSVD)
Cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) represents damage to the small blood vessels of the brain and causes a quarter of strokes and is a major cause of dementia. Despite its importance, there are few effective treatments for SVD. This can be largely attributed to an incomplete understanding of the mechanisms behind what causes the disease. Recent evidence highlights two processes that are related to SVD – a dysregulated immune (or inflammatory) response, and leakiness of the blood brain barrier.
The INflammation and Small Vessel Disease (INSVD) study will follow up patients with SVD to characterize the abnormalities in the immune system both in the blood, and also in the brain using advanced brain imaging, and work out how these relate to disease progression. This information will help us to design drug interventions to inhibit this inflammation and potentially improve clinical outcomes through the reduction of stroke and dementia.
To do so, the INSVD study is currently recruiting participants with symptomatic small vessel disease. Participants will undergo a brain MRI scan, blood tests, and cognitive testing, and will undergo follow-up assessments at 2-years.
This study is jointly funded by the British Heart Foundation and the Dutch Heart Foundation. The research is being conducted in both the UK (Cambridge) and Netherlands (Nijmegen), in collaboration with Professor Frank-Erik de Leeuw from Radboud University.