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Small vessel disease of the brain – the epidemic of the 21st century?

The symposium will be held at the Novo Nordisk Foundation 11 May 2017, 8:00-18:00


Small vessel disease of the brain – the epidemic of the 21st century?

The symposium will bring together leading international experts to discuss the complex biological and metabolic mechanisms that lead to fluid accumulation, inflammation, and neuronal loss observed in clinically active small vessel disease (SVD). The purpose of the symposium is to leverage the rapid technical development in neuroimaging and novel pre-clinical experimental work to generate new insight into SVD disease mechanisms, prevention, and treatment.



  • Helene Benveniste, United States
  • Geert Jan Biessels, The Netherlands
  • Sandra E Black, Canada
  • Serge Charpak, France
  • Martin Dichgans, Germany
  • Anne Joutel, France
  • Sudha Seshadri, United States
  • Kenneth J. Smith, United Kingdom
  • Joanna Wardlaw, Untied Kingdom
  • Berislav V. Zlokovic, United States



  • Mark Nelson, United States
  • Joanna Wardlaw, United Kingdom


Who can attend

The symposium is open to participants of all career levels from student to professor.


Poster session

All attendants are encouraged to bring a poster for the poster session within the following categories:

  • epidemiology of small vessel disease
  • cognitive dysfunction in diabetic patients and their relationship to small vessel disease
  • neuroimaging correlates of small vessel disease
  • clinicopathological continuum of small vessel disease with Alzheimer Disease
  • rodent models of small vessel disease
  • white matter loss in vascular diseases
  • glymphatic system in vascular disease
  • hypoxia in small vessel disease
  • inflammation and myelin loss in small vessel disease

The poster should fit a poster board size A0 (841mm × 1189mm) – portrait orientation.

If you wish to bring a poster, you must select participation with poster on the registration site.


Preliminary program


8:00-8:30. Registration and breakfast

8:30-12:00. Morning session:
The symposium will start with a lecture on the epidemiology of small vessel disease by Dr. Seshadri, Boston University. Vascular dementia is the most common form of dementia after Alzheimer and the incidence is rapidly increasing in Western countries. Dr. Seshadri will focus on vascular and metabolic risk factors in determining dementia risk with a special focus on understanding the putative causal pathways and biomarkers, such as leptin and other adipokines, in mediating this risk, and understanding the genomic and epigenetic variation underlying vascular cognitive impairment. The role of reversible lifestyle will also be addressed. Dr.  Biesels (UMC Utrecht) will address cognitive dysfunction in diabetic patients and their relationship to small vessel disease. Longitudinal studies have shown that diabetes as a risk factor for dementia, doubling the risk of senile cognitive impairment.  Dr. Wardlaw, University of Edinburgh, will address the neuroimaging correlates of small vessel disease and how novel neuroimaging observations may be informative for basic research focused on defining the pathobiology of SVD. Dr. Black, Sunnybrook Research Institute, will discuss the clinicopathological continuum of small vessel disease with Alzheimer Disease and novel neuroimaging tools. Dr. Dichgans will address genetics and small vessel disease. Chair of session: Dr. Wardlaw.

12:00-13:30. Lunch and poster session:
A poster session will be following lunch. A committee selected among the speakers will identify the best 3 posters and the winners will be announced and poster prizes awarded during the final session.

13:30-16:00. Afternoon session:
Dr. Joutel, INSERM, will give an overview of rodent models of small vessel disease including the CADASIL, a monogenic model of SVD, which Dr. Joutel discovered is caused by mutations of Notch 3. Dr. Zlokovic, USC will present findings based on high field, small animal MRI showing that white matter loss is the first symptoms of vascular diseases and present evidence supporting that dysfunction of both the blood brain barrier and pericytes underlie this pathological stage. Dr. Benveniste, Stony Brook University, will describe changes in glymphatic fluxes in rodent models of SVD and discuss whether glymphatic stagnation of fluid transport and lactate accumulation is causally implicated in development of white matter lacunar infarcts. Dr. Charpak, Universite Paris Descartes, will address the role of hypoxia in small vessel disease, while inflammation in the setting of myelin loss in SVD will be discussed by Dr. Smith, UCL. Chair of session: Mark Nelson

16:00-17:00. Round table discussion:
The final session will consist of a round table discussion with the speakers headed by Dr. Nedergaard. The discussion will be focused on current barriers in clinical and experimental SVD research. The session will identify and rank the most important questions that need to be addressed in future basic and clinical SVD research.

17:00-18:00. Reception