Dr Atticus Hainsworth is a Neuroscientist, expert in stroke, dementia and Vascular Cognitive Impairment.
His current research focuses on stroke and dementia. He is particularly interested in cerebral small vessel disease – a widespread cause of damage to small arteries, deep inside the brain, particularly in older people. Cerebral small vessel disease is the primary cause of lacunar stroke, which accounts for more than 20 per cent of all ischemic stroke, and is the primary cause of vascular cognitive impairment, including vascular dementia. Dr Hainsworth explores the cellular and other processes that cause the disease and resulting damage.
The techniques he employs in his research include human brain histopathology; human brain protein biochemistry; stroke models in vivo; and cell culture/cytotoxicity assays.
His recent studies of post mortem human brains have investigated endothelial cell markers such as thrombomodulin, ICAM-1, and VEGF receptor-2. Endothelial cells line all blood vessels and lymph vessels, providing many essential functions. Dysfunctional endothelial cells can contribute to vascular disease as well as other conditions.
Dr Hainsworth obtained his first degree in natural sciences (part II pharmacology) from Cambridge University, and a PhD in Physiology and Biophysics from Rush Medical Center, Chicago, USA. He held postdoctoral Fellowships at Oxford University and École Normale Supérieure in Paris, and lecturer positions at the University of Greenwich and at De Montfort University in Leicester before joining St George's in 2006.
Dr Hainsworth is a member of the International Society for Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism (ISCBFM); the British Neuroscience Association ; the British Pharmacological Society; the Physiological Society and ISTAART.
see also ResearchGate
Ahmed-Jushuf F, Jiwa NS, Arwani AS, Foot P, Bridges LR, Kalaria RN, Esiri MM, Hainsworth AH. Age-dependent expression of VEGFR2 in deep brain arteries in small vessel disease, CADASIL, and healthy brains. Neurobiol Aging. 2016. 42:110-115.
Hainsworth AH, Yeo NE, Weekman EM, Wilcock DM. Homocysteine, hyperhomocysteinemia and vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia (VCID). Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016. 1862:1008-1017.
Markus HI, Mäkelä KM, Bevan S, Raitoharju E, Oksala N, Bis JC, O'Donnell C, Hainsworth A, Lehtimäki T. Evidence HDAC9 genetic variant associated with ischemic stroke increases risk via promoting carotid atherosclerosis. Stroke. 2013, May; 44(5): 1220-5.
Brittain JF, McCabe C, Khatun H, Kaushal N, Bridges LR, Holmes WM, Barrick TR, Graham D, Dominiczak AF, Mhairi Macrae I, Hainsworth AH. An MRI-histological study of white matter in stroke-free SHRSP. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2013, May; 33(5): 760-3.
Sahin P, McCaig C, Jeevahan J, Murray JT, Hainsworth AH. The cell survival kinase SGK1 and its targets FOXO3a and NDRG1 in aged human brain. Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 2013, Jan 30. Epub ahead of print.
Giwa MO, Williams J, Elderfield K, Jiwa NS, Bridges LR, Kalaria RN, Markus HS, Esiri MM, Hainsworth AH. Neuropathologic evidence of endothelial changes in cerebral small vessel disease. Neurology. 2012, Jan 17; 78(3): 167-74.
Hainsworth AH, Markus HS (2008). Do in vivo experimental models reflect human cerebral small vessel disease? A systematic review. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 28:1877-91.
Hainsworth AH, Bermpohl D, Webb TE, Darwish R, Fiskum G, Qiu J, McCarthy D, Moskowitz MA, Whalen MJ. Expression of cellular FLICE inhibitory proteins (cFLIP) in normal and traumatic murine and human cerebral cortex. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2005, 25: 1030-40.
Dr Hainsworth's research group comprises:
Dr Leslie R Bridges, consultant Neuropathologist at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Mrs Joycelyn Andoh, research associate (Alzheimer Society funded)
Owen Phillips, who is working on D-SEG, a novel technique for more accurate detection of age-related brain lesions and prediction of future cognitive decline (this project is funded by Age UK)
Kinga Szewczyk, who is undertaking ultrastructural studies of activated osteoclasts. (funded by the Royal College of Pathologists)
At St George's, Dr Hainsworth collaborates with colleagues in the Stroke and Dementia Research Centre, including Tom Barrick, Jeremy Issacs and Jeremy Madigan.
He works collaboratively with colleagues around the UK:
Professor Margaret M Esiri, professor emeritus of neuropathology at the University of Oxford and honorary consultant neuropathologist to the Oxford Radcliffe NHS Trust;
Professor I Mhairi Macrae, professor or neuroscience (stroke and brain imaging), University of Glasgow;
Professor Raj Kalaria, professor of cerebrovascular pathology (neuropathology), Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle University;
Dr James Murray, School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College Dublin;
Professor Hugh Markus, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Cambridge.
Repurposing of the PDE5 inhibitor tadalafil for vascular cognitive impairment. A test of concept in elderly people.
Alzheimers Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF)/Alzheimer's Society (UK).
PI: A Hainsworth. Co-applicants: J Isaacs, J Madigan, TR Barrick
A novel technique for more accurate detection of age-related brain lesions and prediction of future cognitive decline (PhD studentship)
Awarded to T Barrick, pricipal investigator (PI) and co-applicants H Markus, AH Hainsworth
Blood-brain barrier neuropathology, white matter lesions and dementia
Awarded to A Hainsworth (PI) and co-applicants T Barrick, H Markus, P Ince, S Wharton
Carotid artery endothelial growth: a novel in vitro assay
Awarded to A Hainsworth (PI)
A novel sgk1-inducer drug to protect against ischemic brain injury
Awarded to AH Hainsworth (PI) and co-applicants R Yanez, J Murray
Action Medical Research UK
Dr Hainsworth is coordinator for research degrees that are undertaken within the Division of Clinical Sciences. He leads the Clinical Neuroscience module on offer to medical students who opt to undertake an intercalated BSc course.
He is an external examiner (year 1 MBBS) for the University of Edinburgh and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.