PhD candidate Julia Pottkämper
Phone: +31 534894051/1116
I started studying Psychology in 2012 and finished my first master’s degree in Clinical Psychology in 2016. During my clinical internship, I worked at a rehabilitation clinic with patients suffering from substance abuse disorder(s). I further worked on examined the role of expectancy effects in the Approach-Avoidance task. In January 2019 I finished my master’s degree in Cognitive Neuroscience, within the track ‘Plasticity and Memory’ at the Donders institute for brain, cognition, and behavior. In this master’s program, I investigated the role of REM sleep in relation to implicit negative memory processing with portable sleep EEG and TMS. I also conducted several independent MRI-related projects regarding visual processing and memory.
After seizures, epilepsy patients may experience a variety of postictal symptoms that often persist for a longer period than the seizure itself. However, treatment research of postictal symptoms is still underdeveloped. In my PhD project, I aspire to resolve the postictal state of epilepsy. In Rijnstate hospital, we are conducting a clinical randomized trial (SYNAPSE trial) to find new promising drug targets aiming at diminishing vasoconstriction-mediated hypoperfusion and hypoxia. Epilepsy research has the disadvantage that seizures have an erratic nature and render systematic research impracticable. As spontaneous seizures in epilepsy patients are comparable to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)-induced seizures in depressed patients (i.e., ictal and postictal spatiotemporal EEG characteristics and clinical manifestation), this presents a unique opportunity to investigate the postictal state. This line of research encompasses the field of psychiatry and neurology including EEG, MRI, and clinical measures. Results may present us with the first treatment for the postictal state for epilepsy patients and depressed patients receiving ECT.
Pottkämper, J. C. M., Hofmeijer, J., van Waarde, J. A., & van Putten, M. J. A. M. (2020). The postictal state - What do we know?. Epilepsia, 61(6), 1045-1061. https://doi.org/10.1111/epi.16519