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Approved Research

Understanding the causes and consequences of deep and periventricular white matter hyperintensities

Principal Investigator: Dr Nicola Armstrong
Approved Research ID: 81195
Approval date: April 12th 2022

Lay summary

White matter hyperintensities (WMH) are abnormalities observed on brain scans and are commonly observed in older adults. A high burden of WMH is linked to age-related decline and disease. Genetics plays an important role in the development of these abnormalities, and it has recently been discovered that two regional subtypes of WMH have different genetic aetiologies. We will undertake studies to identify the key genes that play a role in deep and periventricular WMH to improve our understanding of the development of these phenotypes. We will also investigate potential risk factors for WMH and examine its impact on the cognitive and general clinical health of an individual that has (or develops) WMH. Our findings will lay the foundation for ultimately developing novel strategies to prevent, retard or reverse the progression of DWMH and PVWMH and hence minimise negative health outcomes and promote healthy brain ageing.