Edinburgh Imaging

Small Vessel Disease (SVD)

Small vessel disease (SVD) of the brain relates to abnormalities of the tiny vessels known as arterioles, capillaries & venules & encompasses a range of neuroimaging, pathological, & associated clinical features.


Our research aims to determine the pathophysiology of cerebral small vessel disease including lacunar stroke, using medical imaging, particularly magnetic resonance, laboratory methods & clinical research methods in cohort studies & clinical trials.

We have pioneered developments in blood-brain barrier permeability & cerebrovascular reactivity imaging, as well as advanced image analysis methods for SVD, & integration of multi-modality DTI, spectroscopy, structural & blood flow imaging.

Current projects include cross sectional & longitudinal analysis of patients with stroke or cognitive presentations of SVD, to understand more about how & why SVD lesions develop & to develop treatments. These include the mild stroke study I, II & now III, the Foundation Leduq study of Sleep Apnoea, the UK Dementia Research Institute, SVD study (MSS3), the EU H2020 funded SVDs@Target studies of blood brain barriers & CVR (Investigate@SVD’s) & anti-hypertensive treatment (treat@SVD) & EPSRC funded studies of the retina & brain to detect early signs of SVD, & many studies of image analysis methods including developing approaches including industry collaborations funded by Innovative.

We recently completed the AI2 Soc funded Lacunar Intervention Trial – 1 (LACI-1) & are now running the BHF funded LACI-2, which aims to prevent worsening SVD.

The RowFogo centre for research into Aging & the brain recognises this body of work & forms a hub for future SVD research in Edinburgh.


Lead SVD researcher 

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Research staff with a SVD focus


Current projects
Completed projects