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The University of Southampton
Engineering

Research project: Blood flow control in the brain

Currently Active: 
Yes

Collaboration between engineers, medical physicists and clinicians to improve the care of neurological patients.

This project uses signal processing methods (including system identification) to quantify the relationship between continuous measurements of cerebral blood flow and  blood pressure (‘cerebral autoregulation’), and in some studies other variables also (e.g. changes in CO2 levels in the blood). Transient fluctuations in blood pressure (either provoked by experimental procedures or those occurring spontaneously) lead to associated changes in blood flow; if the control system is active, the latter are attenuated. Impairment of this process has been associated with stoke, head trauma and a number of other serious neurological conditions.

We aim to measure and study this process, to improve diagnostics and clinical management in these patients. The challenge arise from the complexity of the data, with multiple factors influencing both blood pressure and blood flow, adding ‘noise’ to the measurements. Constraints on experimental procedures in patients who are seriously ill and time-varying behaviours add to the on-going need to improve measurement and data analysis methods.

Related research groups

Signal Processing, Audio and Hearing Group

Key Publications

Articles

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