Will Whiteley awarded Scottish Senior Clinical Fellowship
Jan 2018: Congratulations to Dr Will Whiteley of the CCBS Stroke Research Group, who has been awarded a prestigious Scottish Senior Clinical Fellowship from the Chief Scientist Office to study the contribution of vascular risk factors to dementia.
About 40% of people with dementia have problems with the small brain blood vessels that contribute in part or wholly to their dementia. People with higher levels of blood pressure, LDL cholesterol or diabetes in their middle years have a higher risk of dementia. This may be because these risk factors lead to symptomatic or asymptomatic strokes, due to damage to the small brain blood vessels, or an effect of brain damage due to Alzheimer's disease. However, we don’t know whether treating these risk factors lowers the risk of dementia.
Dr Whiteley will examine whether reducing blood pressure, cholesterol or glucose in late mid-life lowers the risk of dementia before death.
His work uses very long-term follow-up of randomised trials, and the better use of large electronic health record datasets, for more efficient clinical trials and cohort studies.
His previous support has included the UK MRC (Clinician Scientist fellowship 2010-2015), the Chief Scientist Office (2006-2009, 2018-2025), and the Stroke Association, and importantly the collaborative environment of the Stroke Research Group and the wider CCBS.