Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Theme 3: Plasticity and Memory

Cerebral Circulation and Cognition in Mice and Men

The group of people already suffering at a young age from overweight and obesity (which are risk factors for hypertension, stroke and cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s disease; AD) is growing exponentially. Our research focuses on the effect of diet on brain perfusion and brain structure and function, involved in the diseases mentioned above. Via a multidisciplinary approach in mouse models for (neuro)vascular and neurodegenerative disorders (hypertension, stroke, obesitas and AD), in collaboration with clinical research groups (Geriatrics, Neurology, Radiology and Internal Medicine), TNO and food industries, translational research on the effect of nutrition is being carried out with neuroimaging on cerebral blood flow, inflammation, brain metabolism and functional and structural connectivity, in combination with cognition and postmortem biochemical and immunohistochemical measures. In a large postmortem study of human brains of people who suffered from chronic hypertension during their lives, we investigate the very early pathological changes in small cerebral vessels which is recently recognized as an important risk factor for stroke and Dementia/Alzheimer. Moreover, we started a human study on the relation between obesity and brain structure and function in morbid obese persons who undergo bariatric surgery. By using neuroimaging, cerebral blood flow and the integrity of white and grey matter in correlation with cognition and microbiome is investigated, in collaboration with Rijnstate hospital, the Donders Institute, Internal Medicine and TNO.

Name: Amanda Kiliaan
Telephone: 024-3614378

Visiting address:

Department of Radiology, Nuclear Medicine & Anatomy, Radboud University Medical Center, Route 109
Geert Grooteplein Noord 21,
6525 EZ Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Postal address: Department of Radiology, Nuclear Medicine & Anatomy, Radboud University Medical Center
P.O. Box 9101/ 109
6500 HB Nijmegen
The Netherlands


  • Brain-body interaction in mice and men (BARICO study) 2019-2023. Collaboration TNO
  • Early development and validation of DVC for  research purposes. 2019-2023 Collaboration Tecniplast Italy

  • Early nutritional Interventions for healthy brain development 2017-2020 EFRO WP3.
    Collaboration MJ

  • Influence of increased body weight on brain structure and function; are we getting dumber? 2017-2021. Rijnstate Radboud Initiative.
    Collaboration Dept Bariatric Surgery Rijnstate Hospital and TNO

  • Early nutritional Interventions for healthy brain development 2016-2020. EFRO


1: Tengeler AC, et al, Kiliaan AJ. Gut microbiota from persons with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder affects the brain in mice. Microbiome. 2020 Apr 1;8(1):44. PMCID: PMC7114819.

2: Nota MHC, Vreeken D, Wiesmann M, Aarts EO, Hazebroek EJ, Kiliaan AJ. Obesity affects brain structure and function- rescue by bariatric surgery? Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2020 Jan;108:646-657  PMID: 31794778.

3: Arnoldussen IAC, Gustafson DR, Leijsen EMC, de Leeuw FE, Kiliaan AJ. Adiposity is related to cerebrovascular and brain volumetry outcomes in the RUN DMC study. Neurology. 2019 27;93(9):e864-e878. PMID: 31363056.

4: Vreeken D, et al, Kiliaan AJ. Study rationale and protocol of the BARICO study: a longitudinal, prospective, observational study to evaluate the effects of weight loss on brain function and structure after bariatric surgery. BMJ Open. 2019 Jan 9;9(1):e025464. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-025464.PMCID: PMC6340014.

5: Wiesmann M etal, Kiliaan AJ. Hypertension, cerebrovascular impairment, and cognitive decline in aged AβPP/PS1 mice. Theranostics. 2017 Mar 6;7(5):1277-1289 PMCID: PMC5399593.

6: Wiesmann M et al Kiliaan AJ. A specific dietary intervention to restore brain structure and function after ischemic stroke. Theranostics. 2017 Jan 6;7(2):493-512. PMCID: PMC5327363.

7: Kiliaan AJ, Arnoldussen IA, Gustafson DR. Adipokines: a link between obesity and dementia? Lancet Neurol. 2014 Sep;13(9):913-23 PMCID: PMC4228955.

update May 2020

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Theme 3:
Plasticity and Memory

Research Group
Cerebral Circulation and Cognition in Mice and Men

Principal Investigator
Prof A.J. Kiliaan, PhD

Group members:

Ilse Arnoldussen
Maximillian Wiesmann

Denise Doomernik
Klara Lohkamp
Florine Seidel
Justin Shenk
Gemma Solé Guardia
Anouk Tengeler
Debby Vreeken

Jos Dederen
Bram Geenen
Vivienne Verweij

update May 2020