Neurovascular Determinants of Cognitive Function in Adults With Sickle Cell Disease


> 18 Years

Study type






About the study

Cognitive impairment is a poorly understood, serious, and emerging complication for adult
patients with sickle cell disease. Because there is extensive microvascular damage from
oxidative damage in sickle cell disease, the investigators hypothesize that this is also
present in the cerebral microvasculature to cause cognitive impairment. The investigators
plan to test this by correlating markers of inflammation and oxidative damage with cognitive
performance and 7 Tesla brain MRI microvascular findings in these patients, with the long
term goal of understanding the mechanisms and risk factors of cognitive impairment in sickle
cell disease.

participation requirements

1. Age 18 and above

2. Able to provide informed consent

For Non-SCD :

1. Between age 18 and 55

2. Able to provide informed consent

3. Are age, race, and gender matched to a Sickle Cell Disease study subject.

participation restrictions

1. Age less than 18 years

2. Current pregnancy or lactation

3. Any medical condition that may result in neurocognitive or brain dysfunction that is
not secondary to SCD including:

1. Diabetes mellitus

2. Coronary artery disease

3. Peripheral vascular disease

4. Other causes of cerebral vasculitis such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)

4. Any contraindication to MRI scanning including:

1. History of claustrophobia

2. Presence of metallic implants such as cardiac pacemaker or implantable
defibrillator, surgical aneurysm clips, or any implanted device (e.g. insulin
pump, drug infusion device)

3. Any known metal fragments embedded in the body (eg: ear implant)

4. Neural stimulator (e.g. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Unit)

5. Metal in the eye (e.g. from machining)

6. Any metallic foreign body, shrapnel, or bullet

7. Inability to lie still for 30 minutes or more

5. Inability to provide direct consent

6. In a current medical or pain crisis as diagnosed by attending physician –