Philip Ainslie

Canada Research Chair in Cerebrovascular Physiology in Health and Disease

Tier 2 - 2017-11-01
Renewed: 2016-05-01
The University of British Columbia
Canadian Institutes of Health Research


Research involves

Using sophisticated imaging techniques to unravel the mechanisms that regulate how the brain regulates its blood supply in healthy people and in those with disease.

Research relevance

This research will lead to the development of new diagnostic and treatment tools for disorders that are associated with impairment in brain blood flow.

Why the Brain Needs the Heart to Exercise

About 80 per cent of all deaths in Canada are associated with heart or brain dysfunctions. While such dysfunctions frequently overlap, surprisingly little is known about the linkages between changes in heart and brain function, especially during aging and related diseases such as strokes, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Enter Dr. Phil Ainslie, Canada Research Chair in Cerebrovascular Physiology in Health and Disease, who is using sophisticated imaging techniques and other approaches to provide insight into brain function during aging and in selected diseases.

Ainslie is also assessing how exercise programs can offset declines in brain function. Regular aerobic exercise is already associated with a reduced future risk of heart disease and there is an urgent need for cost-effective interventions that can slow down or prevent normal brain aging and cognitive decline such as dementia.

He believes that by promoting healthy heart function, exercise can diminish disease burden in the brain.

Ainslie’s work will go a long way toward answering why the brain needs the heart to exercise.