As we age we develop a chronic low grade level of inflammation that subsequently contributes to the ageing process. This is called inflammaging.

A photographic image representing microglia - a type of neuroglia (glial cell) located throughout the brain and spinal cord.

A potential cause of inflammaging is the build-up of misfolded proteins, or molecules released from damaged cells, over time, that stimulate inflammatory mechanisms. Inflammaging may have a profound impact on diseases of aging including cardiovascular disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and many others.

A particular area of focus within the Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health is neurovascular disease. Neurovascular disease encompasses stroke and vascular dementia and has profound effects on human health. We study how inflammation, and therefore inflammaging, contributes to neurovascular disease, and we try to identify ways of limiting its effects.

Another area of interest within the Faculty is mental health, where inflammation caused by diseases associated with aging such as arthritis affects mood. These are highlight areas of importance within the Neuroimmunology Branch of the Lydia Becker Institute of Immunology and Inflammation