In healthy humans, blood flow to the brain is regulated such that appropriate amounts of oxygen and glucose are delivered to brain tissue. Even when blood pressure changes or when a region of the brain becomes more active, brain blood vessels react in order to provide sufficient blood to their respective area of tissue. When these processes fail, disease states develop. For example, too little blood flow to the brain for even a few seconds causes fainting and too much blood flow can cause a stroke.
Our understanding of these processes is currently lacking, particularly with respect to the relationships between the sympathetic nervous system (associated with the "fight-or-flight" response), brain metabolism, and regulation of brain blood flow.
This project aims to develop a better understanding of the relationships between these processes.