2021 EF Benjamin Gaastra

Dr Benjamin Gaastra

2021 Entry Clinical Fellowship

A proteomic discovery study of cerebrospinal fluid after subarachnoid haemorrhage

Subarachnoid haemorrhage is a type of stroke. It occurs when a weakness in a blood vessel (an aneurysm) bursts releasing blood over the surface of the brain. It is the most severe type of stroke: a third of patients die, a third are disabled, and even amongst the third that regain independence, most have significant problems with fatigue, anxiety and cognition that change their lives forever.

Very little is known about what mechanisms cause brain damage and disability after a subarachnoid haemorrhage.

My aim is to improve our understanding of the mechanisms underlying brain injury after a subarachnoid haemorrhage and why some individuals suffer more serious complications and disability than others. If we can better understand what underlies brain damage and disability, and what mechanisms are involved, ultimately, we can develop treatments to prevent the devastating consequences of this type of brain bleed.

To do this I will study the brain fluid (also called cerebrospinal fluid or CSF) from patients who have suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage. I will look at how proteins in the brain fluid differ between patients with different amounts of brain damage following a subarachnoid haemorrhage. Proteins form the structure of all living things and are coded by our genes. There are many thousands of proteins in the human brain. Previous studies have chosen only a small number of proteins to look at without building up a full picture. This study will build a complete picture by looking at how all the thousands of proteins interact and change after subarachnoid haemorrhage.

If I find that there are protein differences which explain the amount of brain damage following subarachnoid haemorrhage, they would then be good targets to study in the future in my aim to improve outcomes and help to treat this devastating condition.

2021 EF Benjamin Gaastra Figure


Duration and characteristics of persistent headache following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

Gaastra B, Carmichael H, Galea I, Bulters D

Headache. Nov 25 2022; https://doi.org/10.1111/head.14418

25 November 2022

Evidence-based interconversion of the Glasgow Outcome and modified Rankin scales: pitfalls and best practices

Gaastra B, Ren D, Alexander S, et al.

Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases, Dec 2022;31(12):106845; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2022.106845

26 October 2022

A Genome-Wide Association Study of Outcome After Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Haemorrhage: Discovery Analysis

Gaastra B, Alexander S, Bakker MK, et al.

Translational Stroke Research Oct 20 2022; https://doi.org/10.1007/s12975-022-01095-4

20 October 2022

Genetic variation in NFE2L2 is associated with outcome following aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage. Eur J Neurol

Ben Gaastra, Poppy Duncan, Mark K. Bakker, Isabel C. Hostettler, Varinder S. Alg, Henry Houlden, Ynte M. Ruigrok, Ian Galea, Will Tapper, David Werring, Diederik Bulters

European Journal of Neurology, Sep 23 2022; https://doi.org/10.1111/ene.15571

23 September 2022

Long-term fatigue following aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage and the impact on employment

Gaastra B, Carmichael H, Galea I, Bulters D

European Journal of Neurology, Aug 30 2022; https://doi.org/10.1111/ene.15533

30 August 2022