BACKGROUND Cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) is a major health problem, with estimated 250,000 persons in Finland with severe white matter changes. Our first research project aims to find tools for future intervention studies in order to prevent and treat small vessel disease. By improving the function of the small vessels and thus avoiding vascular exacerbations, the clinical manifestations of neurodegenerative illnesses can be postponed, such as Alzheimer´s disease. CURRENT STAGE AND RESULTS At the moment we are recruiting and examining a hospital-based cohort of 200 patients with white matter changes ranging from Fazekas 0 to 3. The patients will undergo advanced brain imaging with resting state fMRI, multicontrast-MRI and tractography. In addition to clinical neurological examination, the patients are examined by neuropsychologist. We also analyze cerebrospinal fluid from a subgroup. Development of MRI protocols and pipelines for the new imaging methods has been an important part of the project. AIMS OF THE RESEARCH The SVD study is preparation for an intervention study, giving tools for detecting subtle changes in small vessels in an earlier phase than before.