Brain Health - a small matter of the blood vessels
December 13, 2018
Anatomy Lecture Theatre, Doorway 3, Old Medical School, Teviot Place, Edinburgh
Join us at 5.30pm for EdInburgh Neuroscience's 2018 annual Christmas Public Lecture and find out why our blood vessels are so critical to the health of our brains. Professor Joanna Wardlaw is one of Edinburgh's pioneering neuroscientists and a Principal Investigator in the new UK Dementia Research Institute at the University of Edinburgh.
The human brain is like a very complex computer, possibly the most sophisticated biological structure in the known universe. It needs a lot of energy and oxygen to work. How does it get this? Can it store energy? Where does the waste go and how does it get out? Can there really be 650 km of blood vessels inside every brain?
In this Christmas lecture, I will tell you about some of the clever ways that the blood vessel and brain cells work together to deliver the right amounts of energy and remove waste products. Do the brain blood vessels do more than that to help the brain? And why it is that when diseases of the brain blood vessels are amongst the commonest and most devastating in the whole world, do we still know so little about what goes wrong with them and how to make it better? I will explain some of the ways in which researchers are trying to make brain blood vessel diseases less troublesome.
Professor Joanna Wardlaw, CBE, FMedSci, FRSE, is Professor of Applied Neuroimaging and Consultant Neuroradiologist at the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian. She is a Principal Researcher in the new UK Dementia Research Institute at the University of Edinburgh. She has worked for many years to understand the brain and its blood supply, and on treatments to improve blood flow to the brain, such as the clotbusting drugs now used routinely to treat acute stroke.
She now focuses on a much more complicated problem of the brain and its blood flow called ‘small vessel disease’, which, as well as being a common cause of stroke, is also a common cause of dementia. She and her colleagues have been instrumental in advancing understanding of the causes of small vessel disease, identifying and now testing possible treatments.
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the UK’s Academy of Medical Sciences, she was the first woman to be awarded the American Heart Association’s Feinberg Award for Clinical Advances in Stroke in 2018, was one of 25 Women in Medicine recognized by the UK Royal Medical Colleges 2017 and was made a CBE for services to Medicine and Neuroscience in 2016.
Following the talk (5.30 - 6.30 pm), there will be a reception in the Anatomical Museum with a chance to talk to researchers about their work.
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