One in four older people have ischemic lesions on brain imaqing, without having had clinical signs of TIA or stroke. These so-called silent brain infarcts are associated with higher risk of subsequent stroke and dementia, but optimal clinical management is uncertain. What should diagnostic work-up for these patients look like, and whom should we treat more aggressively to prevent later complications?
The main aim of this project is to determine the optimal management of silent brain infarcts for the prevention of stroke and dementia. During this research, you will use clinical data and brain imaging to understand which patients with silent infarcts are at highest risk of complications. This project is a collaboration between the departments of Epidemiology, Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, Neurology, and Geriatric Medicine. Your research activities will take place primarily within the population-based Rotterdam Study (in Dutch: ERGO-onderzoek)
, a cohort of over 18,000 inhabitants of Rotterdam, who are followed since 1990 for the occurrence of stroke, dementia, and other morbidity. Within the consortium you will collaborate closely with the local Alzheimer Centre and TIA clinic, as well as leading international cohort studies in Europe and the United States.
As a PhD student you will be involved in data collection, analysis, and dissemination. More specifically, you will assess research participants at the study centre, and collect data from medical records. You analyse the acquired data in relation to the research questions, and present the results at (inter)national conferences, in scientific publications, to lay audiences, and eventually in your PhD thesis. As part of your PhD training, the department will give you the opportunity to obtain an MSc in clinical epidemiology or public health at the Netherlands Institute of Health Sciences (Nihes).