Priority Research Area Theme 2:
Identifying novel methods of early detection of vascular conditions
Many chronic vascular diseases such as dementia occur due to abnormalities of small blood vessels and are hard to detect until they cause obvious impairment in the function of critical organs such as the brain, the heart and the kidney. Therefore, patients may be unaware of the ongoing damage to their blood vessels until they begin exhibiting symptoms of dementia or heart disease. Once the disease is identified it may be too late to modify risk factors and change the disease outcomes. While we have screening and diagnostic tests to identify the presence of some cancers and other chronic diseases, there are few accurate tests available to look for early stages of vascular disease.
The goal of this research priority area is to identify new ways of looking for early stages of vascular disease. By identifying changes to the blood vessels early on in disease progression, clinicians may then be able to recommend significant lifestyle changes and treatments that could stop or reverse the progression of disease. We are working towards being able to identify and prevent diseases like dementia and cognitive decline before they happen.