About the Research Group

The group consists mainly of researchers with a clinical background in neurology, neurosurgery, neuroradiology and ophthalmology. The large proportion of the research projects are epidemiological longitudinal population-based studies, but we also other research approaches, such as clinical observational studies, translational research, and clinical trials.

An important part of our research activity is on carotid atherosclerosis, stroke and vascular cognitive disturbances. We have conducted carotid artery ultrasound examinations (plaque assessments and intima-media thickness (IMT)) in 7000 subjects who participated in the population-based Tromsø Study, with repeated measurements in the majority. Plaque and IMT measurements are measurements of atherosclerosis and markers of cardiovascular risk, and are used both as risk factors and as (surrogate) endpoints for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in analyses. We study the relationships between novel biological markers and ultrasound-assessed carotid atherosclerosis and stroke. The ultimate goal is to develop better risk prediction models for optimization of individual prevention of disease.

We participate in the longitudinal follow-up of cardiovascular disease in the Tromsø Study cohorts, where we are responsible for the update of incident strokes subtypes in the Tromsø Study’s Cardiovascular Disease Registry.        

An important research area is on cerebral aneurysms/subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). We have developed a working patient-specific numerical simulation model of hemodynamic stress in intracranial vessels and aneurysms. The research is a combination of clinical research and basic research in computer technology, imaging technology, physics and mathematics.

The primary objective of this research activity is to investigate whether fluid dynamics simulations based on patient-specific anatomies can be used to quantify the risk for both development and rupture of aneurysms. Our long-term goal is to develop a novel method for estimating patient specific risk for development and future rupture of intracranial aneurysms.

We also collaborate with the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT) on a study of incidence and risk factors of aneurysmal SAH.

The microvasculature is a considerable part of the circulation but its contribution to cardiovascular disease is less investigated than the macrovasculature. In the eye the microvasculature may be studied in vivo. Retinal microvascular changes are frequent in the general population and are associated with systemic macrovascular changes and manifest cardiovascular disease. We have assessed retinal microvascular changes in 6,550 persons who partipated in the 6th survey of the Tromsø Study. We explore gender-specific relationships between retinal vessel calibres, cardiovascular risk factors, carotid atherosclerosis, cognitive function and cardiovascular disease.