Quantitative Characterization of Enlarged Perivascular Spaces in CADASIL
Perivascular spaces are cerebrospinal fluid filled areas that surround the brain’s blood vessels and are involved in waste clearance and molecule distribution. When these perivascular spaces become enlarged (ePVS), they become visible on MRI and may represent a response to blood brain barrier pathology and neurodegeneration.
Cerebral arteriopathy dominant arteriopathy with sub-cortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) is an autosomal dominant inherited small vessel disease that causes deterioration of small blood vessels, strokes, and cognitive impairment as early as the fourth and fifth decades of life. Due to their presence along the brain’s blood vessels, ePVS may serve as a particularly relevant biomarker for understanding CADASIL disease progression and vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia.
Despite their relevance to this disease, ePVS have not yet been rigorously quantified in CADASIL. My project aims to quantitatively characterize ePVS in CADASIL and test our hypothesis that ePVS load and spread are associated with cognitive decline, changes in mood, and the presence of biomarkers of neurodegeneration.
Message to Sponsor
- Major: Molecular and Cell Biology: Immunology
- Sponsor: Zara Fund
- Mentor: Fanny Elahi