Center for Imaging of Neurodegenerative Diseases Seminar Series


4/15/2014, 10:00 a.m.


SVFVAMC Building 13 CIND Conference Room


Susan Tan, 415-221-4810 Ext 6467


Name: Leif Østergaard MD, MSc, PhD, DMSc

Title: Director, Center of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience; Professor, Department of Neuroradiology

Institution: Århus University Hospital

Presentation: The Capillary Dysfunction Hypothesis of Alzheimer’s Disease


The talk will present the hypothesis that the amyloidosis in AD is facilitated by tissue hypoxia that results from risk-factor related capillary dysfunction.

A recent re-analysis of oxygen transport in the brain shows that while cerebral blood flow (CBF) determines the brain’s oxygen supply, the extent to which oxygen can be extracted by tissue is limited by capillary transit time heterogeneity (CTH). As a result, changes in capillary diameter (eg. altered wall morphology) or in blood rheology (leukocytosis, hypercholesterolemia) can in theory cause reductions in tissue oxygen tension and oxygen availability, although CBF is well above established ischemic thresholds. Finally, Dr. Østergaard will present preliminary CTH measurements from AD patients 

About the speaker:

Leif Østergaard received his M.Sc. (Astronomy, Physics, and Mathematics) in 1992 and his M.D. in 1994 from Aarhus University in Denmark. After a research fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, he defended his Ph.D. thesis on steroid action in brain tumors, and his D.M.Sc. thesis on the cerebral circulation in acute stroke, at Aarhus University in 2000. He is now consultant at the department of neuroradiology at Aarhus University Hospital and professor of experimental neuroradiology at Aarhus Universty. 

Since 2004, Leif Østergaard has directed the Danish National Research Foundations  Center of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience (CFIN), and since 2008 MINDLab, a crossdisciplinary neuroscience and cognition network funded by the Danish Governments Excellence-initiative.  

Leif Østergaard has developed methods to study the cerebral microcirculation by MRI and has used them to study the pathophysiology of acute stroke (the perfusion-diffusion mismatch), dementia, and depression. He is interested in how the microcirculation limits the delivery of nutrients to tissue and whether capillary dysfunction plays a role in aging and disease. 

Leif Østergaard received the Elite Research Prize in 2008, The Golden Scalpel  Award in 2009, the Monrad Krohn Prize in 2012, and was elected fellow of  the Danish Royal Academy of  Sciences and Letters in 2008.


Leadership in research, education, psychiatric care and public service