Edinburgh Imaging

13 Dec 18. Prof Joanna Wardlaw

Christmas lecture. Brain Health: a small matter of the blood vessels.


Edinburgh Neuroscience's 2018 annual Christmas Public Lecture explored 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. "