Stroke is a devastating disease, worldwide affecting an additoinal 15 million people each year. Therefore it is not suprising that most of us know at least one person that has had a stroke. To understand stroke, we need to start understanding the basic principles of the brain's vasculature which supplies the necessary "fuel" to brain cells that keeps them going. In the background section of the brain I briefly introduce the basic principles and a discussion on the prevalence of stroke worldwide.
While the existence of stroke has been known for millenia, it is very difficult to fully grasp it's contributing factors. Stroke is a sudden event and at the moment we cannot predict who, and even more importantly, when a person will suffer from one. Therefore, most investigations look at stroke patients after the event already happened, with the hope to identify the key components that can make a difference between a good and bad outcome. The key challenge herein lies with the relatively low quality imaging data that can be acquired in the emergency room due to medical considerations. Nonetheless, more and more scientists recognize the large burden this disease has on society and significant amounts of effort are dedicated to change the landscape of this medical field.
As part of my research efforts so far, I have started to develop dedicated methodology which can work with these challenging data, helping to quantify brain structures and identifying spatial patterns. Moreover, I am dedicated to bridge the gap between novel research areas, such as connectomics, and their clincal utility, ultimately aiming to further out understanding of the disease, with the hope to improve patients' outlook.