What is it about?

We found that the neuron rich layer of tissue on the surface of the brain is filled with low-flow spots, and that there is no possible arrangement of arterioles and venules that could eliminate these spots. Instead, minimizing the influence of low-flow spots creates an optimal ratio of arterioles to venules that is remarkably close to that seen in real brains.

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Why is it important?

The work shows that due to the low blood flow spots in the cortex, the hydraulics of brain blood flow are both exquisitely complex, surprisingly robust to some forms of damage, and surprisingly vulnerable to other types of damage.


When people suffer brain injuries, sometimes they bounce right back. Other times, they may never recover. We hope that our work will explain some of the physical reasons why brain blood flow is barely affected in some injuries, but experiences life-limiting changes in other injuries.

Yujia Qi
University of California Los Angeles

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Control of low flow regions in the cortical vasculature determines optimal arterio-venous ratios, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, August 2021, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2021840118.
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