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Obesity and neurodegeneration: studying the role of cerebrovasculature and inflammation in the effect of obesity on neurodegeneration

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  • Full or part time
    Dr C Lawrence
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Obesity is associated with an increased risk of several diseases, such as diabetes and some cardiovascular conditions. However, recent data also suggest that obesity is a risk factor for several neurodegenerative conditions, such as stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, obese mice suffer worse outcome after experimental stroke. The mechanisms underlying the effects of obesity and changes in energy balance on brain diseases are unknown, but may be related to changes in the vasculature of the brain and/or inflammation. This project will study the role of cerebrovasculature and inflammation in the effect of obesity on neurodegeneration, and can either focus on stroke or Alzheimer’s disease.

A combination of techniques will be employed such as experimental surgery, in vivo behavioural analysis, histology and immunohistochemistry.

Funding Notes

This project has a Band 2 fee. Details of our different fee bands can be found on our website. For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website. Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor.


Knight, E.M., Luckman S.M., Verkhratsky A., Allan, S.M. and Lawrence C.B. (2012) Hypermetabolism in a triple transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Neurobiology of aging, 33, 187-93. (Epub 2010 Mar 31).
McColl B., Rose N., Robson F., Rothwell N.J. and Lawrence C.B. (2010) Increased brain microvascular MMP-9 and incidence of haemorrhagic transformation in obese mice after experimental stroke. JCBFM 30(2):267-72. (Epub 2009 Oct 14).
Bruce-Keller et al (2009) Obesity and vulnerability of the CNS. Biochim Biophys Acta 1792, 395-400.
Naderali et al (2009) Obesity and Alzheimer’s disease: A link between body weight and cognitive function in old age. Am J Alzeimer’s Disease & other dementias Oct 2 (Epub ahead of print).

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