Back to top

The VESPAR Project

Vascular mEchanisms in Stroke, dePression, dementiA and deliRium 

What we are doing?

We are aiming to determine the feasibility of a combined Transcranial Doppler ultrasonography and near infrared spectroscopy approach to measure cerebral Haemodynamics (assessing neurovascular coupling) in dementia, delirium, stroke, and depression. We will also assess blood pressure (BP), end-tidal CO2 (EtCO2), heart rate (HR), and cortical oxygenation. We will indirectly assess haemodynamics with task-activation protocols increasing CBF. 

Why we are doing it?

epression, dementia, delirium, and stroke are significant mental health disorders nationally and globally and all are known to exacerbate each other. There is also increased morbidity and mortality associated with combined cognitive and depressive disorders such as these. In addition, vascular mechanisms are known to be vital drivers in cognitive dysfunction. However, we wish to investigate the vascular mechanisms of these conditions in tandem because they have only been investigated individually until now and we believe investigation in tandem will reduce patient burden. Therefore, we will use Transcranial Doppler ultrasonography (TCD) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to assess Haemodynamics. 

What the benefits will be and to whom?

We believe individuals suffering with any of these conditions have the potential to benefit from this work in many ways. Using non-invasive techniques such as Transcranial Doppler ultrasonography and near-infrared spectroscopy will reduce patient burden and aid diagnosis and prognosis. 

Who we are working with?

  • University of Leicester Cardiovascular Sciences Department
  • University Hospitals Leicester
  • Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust


James Ball, PhD student, University of Leicester,