I have recently been awarded an Alzheimer's Research UK Fellowship to study the role of extracellular vesicles in post-stroke vascular dysfunction. We know that patients who have had a stroke are three times more likely to develop dementia than those in the general population. One possible cause for this is changes in the way their vasculature functions.
We have data from animal models of stroke demonstrating that blood vessels distant from the injury function differently. One possible way this might be being mediated is by the release of extracellular vesicles into the circulation and into the brain. Extracellular vesicles are small lipid-bound particles which are released by almost all cells, all of the time, and which are released after a stroke. We currently do not know what these extracellular vesicles do and the principle aim of my fellowship is to study this in stroke.
My work to date has been funded by a number of internal grants as PI, including a John Fell and two MSIF grants as well as a Rosetrees Trust grant. This fellowship will give me the opportunity to more fully understand the role of extracellular vesicles in post-stroke vascular function.