Second Joint Stroke Association/BHF Programme Grant – How intensively should we treat blood pressure in established cerebral small vessel disease?

Award Number
Chairs & Programme Grants
Status / Stage
7 January 2011 -
7 January 2016
Duration (calculated)
05 years 00 months
British Heart Foundation (BHF)
Funding Amount
Funder/Grant study page
British Heart Foundation
Contracted Centre
University of Cambridge
Principal Investigator
Professor Hugh Markus
PI Contact
WHO Catergories
Understanding risk factors
Understanding Underlying Disease
Disease Type
Dementia (Unspecified)

CPEC Review Info
Reference ID618
ResearcherReside Team


Award NumberRG/10/8/28561
Status / StageCompleted
Start Date20110107
End Date20160107
Duration (calculated) 05 years 00 months
Funder/Grant study pageBritish Heart Foundation
Contracted CentreUniversity of Cambridge
Funding Amount£770,710.00

Plain English Summary

Disease of the small blood vessels in the brain is an important cause of stroke and is the most common cause of cognitive impairment and dementia. High blood pressure is the major factor causing small vessel disease of the brain. We know that we greatly reduce the chance of this disease if we treat blood pressure (BP) before the disease develops. However, once people have established disease we do not know how intensively we should treat BP. Some doctors believe that even at this stage treating BP will reduce progression of the disease. Others believe that by the time well established disease develops, the brain is unable to cope with any reduction in blood flow caused by BP, and therefore, treating BP too intensively could worsen the disease and in particular, worsen cognition. The only way we can answer this question is by carrying out a clinical trial in a sufficiently large number of individuals. In this study Professor Hugh Markus and colleagues are testing the theory that by treating BP more intensively progression of the disease is delayed. They will also use state-of-the-art MRI imaging techniques to look at the mechanisms by which any beneficial effect of BP might occur. MRI techniques will allow the team to look at damage to the brain in a more sensitive way, and also at blood flow in the brain.