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Title: Modelling the role of nitric oxide in cerebral autoregulation
Author: Catherall, Mark
ISNI:       0000 0004 5353 3281
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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Malfunction of the system which regulates the bloodflow in the brain is a major cause of stroke and dementia, costing many lives and many billions of pounds each year in the UK alone. This regulatory system, known as cerebral autoregulation, has been the subject of much experimental and mathematical investigation yet our understanding of it is still quite limited. One area in which our understanding is particularly lacking is that of the role of nitric oxide, understood to be a potent vasodilator. The interactions of nitric oxide with the better understood myogenic response remain un-modelled and poorly understood. In this thesis we present a novel model of the arteriolar control mechanism, comprising a mixture of well-established and new models of individual processes, brought together for the first time. We show that this model is capable of reproducing experimentally observed behaviour very closely and go on to investigate its stability in the context of the vasculature of the whole brain. In conclusion we find that nitric oxide, although it plays a central role in determining equilibrium vessel radius, is unimportant to the dynamics of the system and its responses to variation in arterial blood pressure. We also find that the stability of the system is very sensitive to the dynamics of Ca2+ within the muscle cell, and that self-sustaining Ca2+ waves are not necessary to cause whole-vessel radius oscillations consistent with vasomotion.
Supervisor: Payne, Stephen J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Mathematical biology ; Biology (medical sciences) ; Stroke ; Biomedical engineering ; Mathematical modeling (engineering) ; Medical Engineering ; nitric oxide ; autoregulation ; myogenic response ; arteriole ; blood flow ; sensitivity analysis ; dementia ; vasomotion ; endothelium