I started my PhD research in 2017 as part of the so-called MD/PhD track offered by the University of Groningen. This means that I alternate between doing clinical rotations and research. In 2020 I graduated as a basic physician and now I can work full time on my PhD research.
My research focuses on the so-called non-motor symptoms (such as psychological complaints or sleep problems) in people with dystonia. These non-motor symptoms are very common and have a great impact on the quality of life that people with dystonia experience. It is important that clinicians are aware of these non-motor symptoms, so that the right treatment can be started quickly. I also investigate whether the substance serotonin plays a role in these non-motor symptoms. I do this by means of blood tests, feces tests and PET scans. In this way we aim learn more about the cause of the non-motor symptoms, which can lead to better and more adequate treatment.