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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S031510/1
Title: Water exchange in the vasculature of the brain (WEX-BRAIN)
Principal Investigator: Parker, Professor GJM
Other Investigators:
Boutin, Dr H Herholz, Professor K Parkes, Dr LM
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr B Dickie
Project Partners:
Lund, University of Philips Siemens plc (UK)
Department: Computer Science
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 August 2019 Ends: 31 July 2022 Value (£): 800,509
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Medical Imaging
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare
Related Grants:
EP/S031375/1 EP/S031367/1 EP/S031332/1
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
09 Apr 2019 EPSRC Physical Sciences - April 2019 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The blood-brain barrier separates blood vessels from brain tissue. It allows molecules critical to normal brain function to pass but blocks other, potentially toxic, molecules. Such toxic substances can pass into the brain when the blood-brain barrier if not functioning correctly. Abnormal blood-brain barrier function is associated with many brain conditions (for example, stroke, dementia and multiple sclerosis) and is thought to play an important role in the development of these conditions. It is important to be able to measure blood-brain barrier function as this may help with diagnosis, developing therapies and monitoring treatment. Unfortunately, currently there are no non-invasive and reliable methods to do this. Within this project we plan to develop new ways to measure blood-brain barrier function by measuring how easily water passes across it. We will develop new advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning and computer-based analysis to generate images that tell us how leaky the blood-brain barrier is. We will test these measurements using computational simulations and animal measurements. We will then apply these measurements in a small set of human volunteers and patients in order to demonstrate that these methods can detect blood brain barrier abnormalities and can do so in a clinical setting. The outcome of the project will be new tools to enable doctors to diagnose and treat patients with brain conditions more effectively.
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