Atherosclerosis, the brain and vascular dementia – the role of inflammation in neurovascular function

Award Number
Award Type
Project Grant
Status / Stage
1 October 2020 -
1 October 2023
Duration (calculated)
03 years 00 months
British Heart Foundation (BHF)
Funding Amount
Funder/Grant study page
British Heart Foundation
Contracted Centre
University of Sheffield
Contracted Centre Webpage
Principal Investigator
Professor Sheila Francis
PI Contact
WHO Catergories
Understanding risk factors
Understanding Underlying Disease
Disease Type
Vascular Dementia (VD)

CPEC Review Info
Reference ID588
ResearcherReside Team


Award NumberPG/20/10010
Status / StageActive
Start Date20201001
End Date20231001
Duration (calculated) 03 years 00 months
Funder/Grant study pageBritish Heart Foundation
Contracted CentreUniversity of Sheffield
Contracted Centre Webpage
Funding Amount£265,307.00

Plain English Summary

Sheffield researchers will investigate if the vascular changes seen in the brain caused by atherosclerosis are similar to those found in vascular dementia, and if new treatments could help with both. Atherosclerosis refers to the build-up of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on your artery walls, which can restrict blood flow. Many of the factors that raise our risk of atherosclerosis and stroke, also raise our risk of vascular dementia. But despite the overlap between these conditions, they tend to be studied separately. This team plans to bring their discoveries about heart disease into the context of dementia. They will also test whether new medicines could help to combat both. The researchers have previously discovered that when mice have atherosclerosis, the vessels in the brain are also affected. Nerve cells in the brain die, and inflammation is increased. Now they will study this phenomenon in more detail, and see if the same changes are seen in mice with vascular dementia. The team have been instrumental in advancing potential new drugs for heart disease and stroke, which target inflammation. They believe that the overlap between the conditions could mean that these anti-inflammatories could also be useful in treating vascular dementia. Importantly, this grant will begin to gather evidence to see if that’s the case, as treatments for this condition are urgently needed.