Research Fellows Directory
Dr Fiona McBryde
University of Bristol
My current research investigates the role of the 'selfish brain' in regulating blood pressure. We propose that the brain puts the utmost priority on maintaining its own supply of blood and oxygen, even if this occurs at a cost to other organs. For many years it has been known that the blood vessels supplying the brains of hypertensive people show signs of hypertrophy (wall thickening), and it has been assumed that this occurs in response to hyeprtension, to protect the brain from prevailing high levels of arterial pressure. We are investigating the novel possibility that impaired brain blood flow occurs early, and may in fact be a primary trigger for hypertension. Thus, we propose that cerebral perfusion is maintained at the expense of systemic hypertension.
To address these questions, in conjunction with our collaborators we have developed advanced techniques to enable us to make long term recordings of blood pressure, sympathetic nerve activity and brain oxygen levels.