Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Theme 3: Plasticity and Memory

Cerebral Circulation and Cognition in Aging Humans

Cerebral Circulation and Cognition in Aging HumansThe brain has a high demand for glucose and oxygen; with a weight of only 100-1300 grams, it receives 15 -20 % of the body’s circulation. Inadequate blood flow leads to neuronal injury. Cerebral autoregulation is the mechanism that aim to maintain a stable blood flow to the brain, despite changes in blood pressure. Neurovascular coupling is the mechanism that drives a large increase in regional brain perfusion following cognitive activation. A well known example is the BOLD response to cognitive activation that is used in fMRI.

We use transcranial Doppler, Near Infrared Spectroscopy, and MRI ASL to measure cerebral perfusion, cerebral autoregulation and cognitive activation. These physiological mechanisms play an important role in Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, and cognitive aging.

Name: Jurgen Claassen
Visiting address: Department of Geriatrics, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, route 925
Reinier Postlaan 4
6525 GC Nijmegen
The Netherlands
Postal address:

Dept. of Geriatrics, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center
P.O. Box 9101 / 925
6500 HB Nijmegen
The Netherlands

  • NILVAD: EU funded project investigating the effect of nilvadipine in Alzheimer. Our lab will focus on the effects on cerebral blood flow and cerebral autoregulation
  • AWAKE: effects of sleep deprivation on Alzheimer
  • CARnet: multi-center study on harmonization of cerebral autoregulation measurements
  • Cognitive aging: effects of working memory training on frontal cortical activation
  • Cerebral autoregulation in sepsis (collaboration with ICU)
  • Effects of hypertension on cerebral perfusion and cognition (translational study with Kiliaan's lab)

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Theme 3:
Plasticity and Memory

Research Group
Cerebral Circulation and Cognition in Humans

Principal Investigator
Dr. J.A.H.R. Claassen

Group members


Rianne de Heus
Daan de Jong
Carlijn Maasakker
Freek Nieuwhof
Sharon Ooms
Marit Sanders

Research assistant:
Jana Thomas