Epileptic seizures are often followed by postictal phenomena, such as sensory, motor or memory deficits, or impaired cognition, lasting several minutes to hours after the seizure. The pathophysiology of postictal phenomena is poorly understood. Seizure-induced postictal vasoconstriction with hypoperfusion has been proposed as a candidate mechanism. Consequently, medications to revert vasoconstriction improved the post ictal stage in animal models.
Motivated by these findings, we will systematically study the putative role of postictal vasoconstriction in human seizures, including potential modification by drugs that may modulate vasoconstriction. Given the erratic nature of seizures in patients with epilepsy, we will study the postictal phenomena in patients in whom seizures are induced as effective treatment for severe depression (electroconvulsive therapy ). In patients with ECT induced seizures, postictal phenomena are also recognized and valued as important negative side effects. Thus, treatments to attenuate postictal phenomena will benefit ECT patients as well.
We will conduct a randomized clinical trial in patients with ECT induced seizures at the ECT expertise center at the department of psychiatry in Rijnstate Hospital, Arnhem. Effects of vasodilating treatments will be compared with placebo. Outcome measures will include clinical, EEG and MRI measures. Important challenges include clinical trial design and conductance, and advanced EEG and MRI data acquisition and analysis.
Funding was obtained from the Epilepsy Foundation.
We are looking for a highly motivated researcher with an MSc degree in Technical Medicine, Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience or an equivalent study. The candidate should have a strong interest in applied clinical research and biomedical signal analysis. Candidates need to have good social skills, and must like to work in an interdisciplinary environment, as well as in a hospital. For interaction with patients, fluency at Dutch is an advantage. An interview and presentation will be part of the selection procedure.
Information and application
For additional information regarding this application, you can contact prof.dr.ir. M.J.A.M. van Putten, clinical neurophysiologist, dr. J. Hofmeijer, neurologist, or dr. J.A. van Waarde, psychiatrist, through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your application, including cv, can be submitted before the 21st of September 2018 by using the link below.
We offer a scientific education in a multidisciplinary setting: technical university and hospital. The assignment will be for four years, with a go/no go assessment at six and twelve months. The candidate will be embedded in our research group at UT, which includes a varying number of PhD, master, and bachelor students. In the hospital, he / she will closely collaborate with medical personnel and residents in training.
The gross monthly salary starts with € 2.222,- in the first year and increases to € 2.840,- in the fourth year of your employment. Additionally, the University of Twente provides excellent facilities for professional and personal development, a holiday allowance (amount to 8%) and an end of year bonus of 8,3%.
The research has to result in a PhD thesis at the end of the employment period.