Brain blood flow research in the news

By NZDF. Published on 4/2/2020

In January 2020, New Zealand Professor Julian Paton’s neurological research hit the headlines.


Scientists had long suspected that the brain had a way of monitoring and regulating its own blood flow, but no one had proven this. Professor Patton’s was part of a team involving scientists from the University of Auckland, University College London, and Bristol University is the first ever to identify blood flow sensors within the brain. In the researchers’ animal study they found the sensors, tiny cells called astrocytes, strategically squeezed between blood vessels and nerve cells in rats’ brains. When blood supply is reduced, they release a chemical signal to nearby nerve cells that raise blood pressure, restoring blood flow to the brain. The researchers hope this finding could eventually lead to new approaches to treating some forms of dementia and other neurological conditions.

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