Research interests

My research focuses on the development and application of deep brain stimulation (DBS), in collaboration with the departments of neurology (R.M.A. de Bie) and psychiatry (D. Denys). I was principal investigator of the clinical trial that demonstrated the efficacy of DBS for tremor and its superiority over lesioning techniques, which led to the endorsement of DBS by the Dutch health authorities and contributed to the acceptance of the application of DBS worldwide. Our team has since worked on various clinical trials studying the effects of DBS in different areas of the brain in patients with Parkinson's disease, dystonia and obsessive compulsive disorder. Recently, we started with the application of DBS in intractable epilepsy.

 

Future research will focus on both clinical and technical aspects of the application of DBS: Further improvement of surgical technique, with emphasis on the potential scientific benefit of micro-electrode recordings during surgery and improving image-guided electrode implantation. Assessing the long-term effects of DBS in movement disorders, for which the experience is currently limited to roughly 10 years of individual patient follow-up. Defining new indications and limitations of the application of DBS, taking into account emerging pathophysiological knowledge, clinical, ethical and economical aspects of the treatment. Developing new advanced methods for applying DBS by designing new equipment and stimulation paradigms, in collaboration with medical industry. Application of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in psychiatric disorders, in particular obsessive compulsive disorder and major mood disorder. Focus will be on both clinical efficacy and fundamental aspects of the changes of cerebral functioning induced by electrical stimulation of various targets in the brain.

 

specialisation

functional neurosurgery

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