In a huge leap forwards, The Mild Stroke Study 3 recruited its first participant on 22 August.
The study hopes to improve understanding of what makes small vessel disease (SVD) worsen (or perhaps improve) and identify novel targets for SVD prevention and therapy.
The team, led by Professor Joanna Wardlaw, aims to assess factors that affect brain small vessel dysfunction in SVD, how this damages the brain, whether the effects are permanent or can resolve, the associated factors, and whether some individuals are more vulnerable than others to the effects of small vessel dysfunction, for example due to having less resilient white matter structure.
The team will recruit participants who have suffered a minor stroke due to SVD (lacunar ischaemic stroke), or who present with minor non-lacunar ischaemic stroke. They will use brain MRI to assess the extent to which SVD lesions can change over time, the integrity of the white and grey matter, small vessel blood flow and function and blood-brain barrier leakage.
The team will also image the retinal small vessels, measure blood pressure, systemic vascular compliance and obtain detailed information about medical and lifestyle factors, to understand how small vessel dysfunction and SVD lesion development are related to the clinical, cognitive and physical features of SVD.
The Mild Stroke Study 3 receives support from the UK DRI, Fondation Leducq and Row Fogo Charitable Trust.