Ph.D. Position: Search for electrophysiological and imaging markers for identification of those at prodromal stages of Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies

The Department of Telecommunications, Brno University of Technology (Brno, Czech Republic) announces a full-time Ph.D. (doctoral student) position:

Electroencephalography evaluates spontaneous electrical brain activity through electrodes placed on the hairy skin of head. Specific changes on electroencephalogram (EEG) enable to differentiate patients with dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and dementia in Parkinson’s disease (PD) from healthy controls and patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Nowadays, it is possible to assess temporal and spatial patterns of EEG signal changes in various frequency bands, e.g. to explore relative frequency of specific EEG microstates. This method had not yet been used in patients with PD/DLB but there is some data suggesting that increased occurrence of specific EEG microstates might help to identify those at risk for hallucinations and cognitive fluctuations. Transcranial sonography (TCS) is a widely used method in medicine based on the Doppler principle and employed e.g. for evaluation of blood flow in vessels, imaging of organs in the abdominal cavity or for evaluation of heart function. Using TCS through so-called temporal window it is also possible to visualize some brain structures. Hyperechogenicity of substantia nigra is associated with iron deposition in this subcortical mesencephalic region and it is an early marker of PD/DLB. The main goal will be to combine these non-invasive techniques in order to identify those at prodromal stages of both diseases, i.e. prior to development of specific clinical symptoms that are necessary for clinical diagnosis. The research will be held in cooperation with from St. Anne’s University Hospital in Brno and Central European Institute of Technology.

For more info contact Jiri Mekyska ( Deadline: May 10, 2017.