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Group Biessels

Our research focuses on the role of vascular disease in cognitive decline and dementia. This is referred to as vascular cognitive impairment (VCI). Cognition and dementia in people with type 2 diabetes has been a key topic. We have made important progress in determining the severity and course of development of cognitive decrements in diabetes and pre-diabetic stages and in identifying MRI correlates of impaired cognition. We also address other vascular risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia.

Our next targets are to make prediction models to identify patients at increased risk of VCI and to refine our brain imaging markers of vascular damage in these patients, also using high-resolution MRI at 7T. To this end we establish cohorts of patients that represent different aspects of VCI, in whom we collect detailed data on cognition and their vascular risk factor profile and obtain state of the art MRI scans.

Research topics

  • MRI techniques
  • Brain connectivity
  • Lesion-symptom mapping
  • Microinfarcts
  • Diabetes

Groupmembers

  • Geert Jan Biessels - Professor of Neurology & Principle Investigator VCI Research Group 
  • Angela van Rossum - Secretary of prof. Biessels
  • Yael D. ReijmerZ - Postdoctoral researcher
  • Matthijs Biesbroek - Postdoctoral researcher & resident neurology
  • Lieza  Exalto - Postdoctoral researcher & resident Neurology
  • Manja Litjens - Research coordinator
  • Nick A. Weaver -PhD student
  • Rutger Heinen - PhD student & resident neurology
  • Hilde van den Brink - PhD student
  • Bruno M. Robalo -PhD student
  • Naomi Vlegels - PhD student
  • Jooske M.F. Boomsma - PhD candidate & resident neurology
  • Chloë Verhagen - PhD student
  • Jolien Janssen - PhD student & trainee GP
  • Hugo P.  Aben - PhD student & resident neurology
  • Doeschka Ferro - PhD student & resident Neurology
  • Sanne Kuipers - PhD student & resident Neurology

Department of Radiology / Image Sciences Institute

  • Jaco J.M. Zwanenburg - Associate professor
  • Hugo J. Kuijf - Assistant professor
  • Jacob-Jan Sloots -PhD student
  • Tine Arts - PhD student

Department of Geriatrics

  • Ineke Koek - Geriatrician & clinical epidemiologist

Key publications

Funding & Grants

8/16-8/21: VICI, from Dutch Research Council (NWO).

Microvascular function and brain networks: Keys to understanding the vascular burden in dementia. Personal grant to GJB; 1.500 kE.

12/15-12/20: Horizon 2020, EU, grant No 666881;

Small vessel diseases in a mechanistic perspective: Targets for Intervention. Affected pathways and mechanistic exploitation for prevention of stroke and dementia - SVDs@target.Program leader: Prof. M, Dichgans from Munich. GJB is PI of a work package on advanced imaging. 6.000 kE