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A Vessel for Change: Endothelial Dysfunction in Cerebral Small Vessel Disease

A Vessel for Change: Endothelial Dysfunction in Cerebral Small Vessel Disease
  • 1 Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Institute for Regeneration and Repair, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH16 4UU, UK.
  • 2 UK Dementia Research Institute at UCL, University College London, London, UK.
  • 3 Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Institute for Regeneration and Repair, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH16 4UU, UK. Electronic address: anna.williams@ed.ac.uk.
Abstract
The blood vessels of the brain are lined with endothelial cells and it has been long known that these help to regulate blood flow to the brain. However, there is increasing evidence that these cells also interact with the surrounding brain tissue. These interactions change when the endothelial cells become dysfunctional and have an impact in diseases such as cerebral small vessel disease, the leading cause of vascular dementia. In this review, we focus on what endothelial dysfunction is, what causes it, how it leads to surrounding brain pathology, how researchers can investigate it with current models, and where this might lead in the future for dementia therapies.
Keywords: endothelium; myelin; vascular dementia.
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