Awardee: Dr Nele Demeyere, University of Oxford
Professor Sir Mark Walport, Dr Nele Demeyere & Lady Estelle Wolfson
Award Type: Non-Clinical Lecturer Award
The non-clinical lectureship is intended either for those whose qualifications and experience are non-clinical and purely academic, or those who are clinically qualified but have now left clinical practice to embark upon a pure academic research career pathway.
Description of research:
There's a high incidence of cognitive problems after stroke. However, how the formal diagnosis of such problems links to measures of functional activity used by therapists and to performance in daily life is poorly understood.
In the first part of this project, I'll evaluate how a given score on a formal standardised cognitive assessment relates to observable difficulties in more functional assessments. For example, how do scores on a standardised measure of unilateral neglect relate to the functional ability of the stroke survivor in washing and dressing? Can we scale the measures in a meaningful way?
In the second part of the project, I'll investigate the course of the recovery of cognitive functions over time and ask whether early assessments can inform us about daily functioning after six months. Once patients are home, different aspects of activities of daily life and quality of life come into focus.
I'll ask whether initial formal cognitive assessments predict daily function in the chronic phase. Is it useful to have such assessments to target early intervention? In addition, what are the differences between patients who recover from cognitive problems and those who do not? Is this related to initial severity of the problems?
Is the presence of some underpinning ability (such as the ability to sustain attention or to process information rapidly) critical, rather than a specific problem in language or memory, for example? This would be important because most standard tests to not assess such underpinning processes. Do measures of these processes predict functional measures and carer reports better than other measures?
These questions will be addressed by carefully following up a wide range of stroke patients and assessing formal cognitive outcomes as well as detailed patient and carer reports on daily functioning.