Edinburgh Imaging

25 Jun 18. Dr Tom MacGillivray

Dr Tom MacGillivray highlights the main focus of his research - how retinal imaging might tell us more about human body & brain health, especially in stroke & dementia.


Transcript - Dr Tom MacGillivray, 2018

"My name’s Tom MacGillivray, and I’m a Senior Research Fellow here at the University of Edinburgh.

I have a particular interest in imaging the retina, and how the retina might be able to tell us something about the health of the human body and brain. Many people are familiar with this type of imaging technology through the high street optician, where they will go for a check-up of eye health. But here at the Edinburgh Imaging group, we’re interested in how this technology could be used for new ways.

There are two key aspects to this, the first is that through the eye, the retina, we get a glimpse of blood vessels inside the human body, which is really important for studying diseases that affect the circulatory system, such as diabetes and hypertension. The second is that the eye and the brain are very closely interlinked, and share key features such as blood vessels, but also nerve tissue, so by studying images of the retina by computational analysis, we can learn things about brain health, which is particularly important for conditions such as stroke and dementia.

So what retinal imaging could become in the future is a new clinical tool for doctors to detect people that maybe have problems they didn’t know about, such as high blood pressure, or a means of monitoring peoples response to disease, or even screening for the earlier signs of changes to brain health years before the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s."