• 1 "If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we couldn't."

    -Emerson M. Pugh
  • 2 "I believe in an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out."

    -Arthur Hays Sulzberger
  • 3 "I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this."

    -Emo Phillips
  • 3 "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process."

    -Vincent Van Gogh
  • 4 "The purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one."

    -Malcolm Forbes
  • 5 "The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around."

    -Thomas A. Edison

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'Kidney Team at Home'

Pixantrone treatment

It is a pleasure to announce that Sohal Ismail and Jan van Busschbach have received two grants for implementing the ‘Kidney Team at Home’ (Nierteam aan Huis) project on a national level. The first grant of 1.7M Euro is a joint venture with the department of Internal Medicine, section Nephrology and Transplantation, and is subsidized by the Zorgverzekeraars Nederland. Sohal and Jan will use 157k Euro of the 1.7M Euro for project coordination (see description below). The second grant of 251k Euro will be used to investigate the cost-effectiveness of the ‘Kidney Team at Home’ interventions; this grant is provided by the Nierstichting.


Summary projects:
Implementation of ‘Kidney Team at Home’: A Home-based Educational Intervention.
The implementation of this program is based on the favourable results of a previous RCT during 2010-2014 at the Erasmus MC. Results showed that home-based educational interventions support well-informed decision making among renal patients and their social network and that the number of living donor kidney transplantations increases. The implementation of the intervention: dialysis patients and their family/friends will receive two home visits in addition to regular hospital information. The aim of this intervention is to provide broad and neutral information on kidney disease, dialysis, kidney transplantation and living kidney donation while highlighting the psychosocial aspects. Central to this intervention will be the promoting of communication between the patient and his/her social network regarding the different forms of treatment, of which transplantation with a kidney for a living donor is the most optimal. For this intervention the communication model and skills as elaborated in ‘multi-system therapy’ (MST) will be used. The objective of this implementation project is to map the generalizability while maintaining quality, by creating a secure framework and quality checks.
The second project will use data from the national implementation study and will be conducted by a PhD student in Health Economics. In order to make a confinable plea that nationwide investments in the educational programs is justifiable, the balance between costs and effects has to be established with a formal cost-effectiveness analysis. The aim is to execute a formal cost-effectiveness analysis on the basis of the national guideline for cost-effectiveness analyses. If the implementation of the home-bases intervention is effectively employed, it is likely that the number of patients on the waiting list for transplantation will drop. The model that will be used is a so called ‘dynamic population model’; the model will estimate these changing needs, and can therefore help to guide long term investments in dialysis centres and transplantation facilities.

“A longitudinal qualitative study of patients’ decision-making, experiences and preferences regarding Pixantrone treatment in aggressive B cell non Hodgkin lymphoma”

Pixantrone treatment

Servier Nederland has granted Jan van Busschbach and Sohal Ismail (MPP) 150k Euro to perform the observational research project entitled “A longitudinal qualitative study of patients’ decision-making, experiences and preferences regarding Pixantrone treatment in aggressive B cell non Hodgkin lymphoma”.


Summary project:
The diagnosis of a haematological malignancy and its treatment substantially lead to symptoms and complications that influence the quality of life (QOL). In contrast to the large number of QOL studies in patients with solid tumours, relatively few QOL studies have been conducted in patients with haematological malignancies. Targeted patients are patients with a relapsing or refractory aggressive B-cel non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) who were treated with at least 2 earlier regimens. Given the expected increase in NHL incidence rates due to the increasing average age and the relatively few QOL studies under this patient population, there is still much to be done to understand patients’ morbidity in this area of haematological malignancies. Pixantrone is indicated as monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with multiply relapsed or refractory aggressive NHL. The present longitudinal qualitative study reflects real life practice of Pixantrone use and aims to collect data on the patients’ considerations for, expectations of and experiences with pixantrone and trajectories in their quality of life values in a Dutch clinical setting.

MRace awarded Veerle Bergink with an Erasmus MC Fellowship 2016!

MRace Veerle Bergink Erasmus MC

This grant will allow Veerle to expend her research and research group focused on postpartum psychosis.

Summary project:
Postpartum psychosis (PP) is an acute and life-threatening psychiatric emergency with an incidence of approximately 1 in 1000 primiparous women. The relative risk for affective psychosis during the first month postpartum is 23 times higher than any other period in a woman’s life. Suicide risk is drastically increased in the first year postpartum with a mortality rate ratio of 289 compared to mothers with no psychiatric history.

In this study we will investigate the hypothesis of an immune related etiology of postpartum psychosis. Specifically, we will examine the association between severe postpartum psychiatric disorders and autoimmune disorders in a large population-based cohort. In an independent clinically-ascertained cohort, we will perform the first-ever brain imaging study in PP. The hypothesis is that the autoimmune pathophysiology of PP may result in white matter abnormalities.
In addition, we will utilize both the population-based and clinically-ascertained cohorts to elucidate predictors of the disease course. By combining the prospective OPPER study cohort and population-based Danish birth registry, this proposal is strongly positioned to significantly advance our understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying postpartum psychosis, and elucidate the long-term clinical disease course.