The role of changes in cerebral blood flow in the development of cognitive disorders

Tuesday 23 April 2024, 2:30 pm
PhD student
R.W.J. Weijs MSc.
prof. dr. D.H.J. Thijssen, dr. J.A.H.R. Claassen

Previous research suggests the clinical potential of cerebral blood flow (CBF) as a biomarker and target for diagnosis, prognosis, prevention and treatment of cognitive disorders. This PhD research explored longitudinal changes in CBF in different populations at risk of disturbed cerebrovascular physiology, and their relation with development of cognitive disorders. Larger reductions in CBF were associated with development of dementia, cognitive decline, and also early subjective memory complaints. Lower CBF during the application of a cerebral perfusion technique as part of aortic arch surgery was related to postoperative neurological complications. Intensive pharmacological antihypertensive treatment did not lead to a reduction in CBF. These observations emphasize the importance of sufficient CBF for brain health, and provide perspectives regarding healthcare improvement. Moreover, lifestyle adaptations, such as reducing sedentary behaviour, may contribute to sufficient CBF to prevent cognitive disorders.

Ralf Weijs (1993) obtained his Master's degree in Biomedical Sciences at the Radboud University in 2019. In the same year, he started with his PhD research at the departments of Physiology and Geriatric Medicine of Radboudumc. Currently, he is working as a lecturer in Nursing and researcher Acute Intensive Care at the HAN University of Applied Sciences.