Research Projects

Why do blood vessels function differently after a stroke?

Awarded to:
Dr Yvonne Couch

Current award:

University of Oxford

1 September 2020 - 31 August 2023

Full project name:

The Role of Extracellular Vesicles in Post-Stroke Vascular Dysfunction






Researchers at the University of Oxford are investigating how messages from brain cells change our blood vessels behaviour and increase the risk of dementia following stroke.

One in every four or five people who have a stroke go on to develop dementia, with most of those cases thought to be vascular dementia

There are lots of things that happen in the brain during and after a stroke. This includes a change in the way the blood vessels in our brains work. Scientists are now trying to understand what causes the blood vessels to change and why this increases the risk of developing dementia.

Dr Yvonne Couch and colleagues at the University of Oxford will investigate whether brain cells send out signals that change how blood vessels behave. They will study whether these signals are delivered to blood vessels through tiny information packages sent out by nerve cells.

The researchers will work to understand how these tiny information packages change after a stroke and how that affects the signals that they send to blood vessels.

By increasing our understanding how the brain and blood vessels communicate after a stroke, scientists hope that they may find new clues as to how we can reduce the risk of dementia.

Vascular dementia

Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease.