- What mechanisms underlie the age-associated changes in cerebral blood flow regulation? How does this relate to future risk of cognitive decline?
- How does cerebral blood flow regulation differ between men and women? How do men and women adapt to transient changes in blood flow to the brain?
- How does neurovascular control of blood pressure change with age?
Successful aging is living without chronic, debilitating diseases and conditions that are typically associated with advancing age. With an expanding aging population, identifying at-risk individuals is key to prevention and promotion of successful aging. The Barnes Lab of the Bruno Balke Biodynamics Laboratory investigates potential risk factors for both cardiovascular disease and dementia. In addition, these studies will help identify therapeutic strategies that prevent or delay the onset of disease and will ultimately improve the quality of life in aging populations.
The primary focus of our research is to understand the effect of aging on blood flow regulation in humans and how this relates to the risk of cardiovascular disease and dementia. Dr. Barnes is specifically interested in how age-associated changes in the structure and function of blood vessels and sympathetic nervous system activity influence the control of blood flow to the brain. In addition, her research focuses on how lifestyle modifications may prevent, and how chronic diseases accelerate, these negative consequences of aging on brain blood flow regulation.