Vascular dementia

Vascular dementia (VaD) is the second most common form of dementia. It is a broad term for dementia caused by problems in the supply of blood to the brain. Risk factors for VaD include high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol and a history of stroke and other heart conditions.

The overall aim of this research area is to extend current knowledge on the relationship between vascular risk factors and dementia, with a view to developing an evidence base for early interventions.

We will conduct comprehensive physical profiling of all patients who use South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) memory services through electronic medical records.

Theme Lead: Professor Robert Stewart

Our objectives

  • Investigate the link between healthy weight loss and blood pressure decline as biomarkers to predict onset of dementia and progression of the disease.
  • Develop interventions to prevent cognitive decline in type 2 diabetes and to improve an individual’s biomarkers for dementia by reducing insulin resistance.
  • Develop models of vascular risk profiles most associated with cognitive decline within European, African-Caribbean and South Asian ethnic groups. We will then use these findings to optimise and evaluate interventions that will improve these risk profiles.
  • Work collaboratively with SLaM and King’s Health Partners to identify and improve vascular risk profiles in people with mild dementia and evaluate the impact of these interventions on functional outcomes.