Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Brain Veins
07 September 2013

Brain Veins

Every year around 15 million people worldwide suffer a stroke, where part of the brain shuts down because of a blocked blood vessel. Treatment during and after a stroke can help ensure a sound recovery, but our brain is a tangled mass of cells and blood vessels, and it can be difficult to monitor progress. Here, part of a live mouse’s brain has been viewed through a thinned section of the skull, and captured using a technique called optical coherence tomography, which gives an accurate 3D picture of the blood vessels. Vessels near the brain surface are coloured yellow and orange, and deeper ones are coloured green. This snapshot was taken seven days after a stroke – the curly yellow vessels near the centre are parts that have regenerated. This technique, coupled with measurements of blood flow, allows researchers to hone in on the affected area and monitor recovery.

Written by Emma Stoye

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