In search of a new treatment for epilepsy

What if your life were in danger every time you took the stairs or drove a car? This applies to epilepsy patients: an epileptic seizure on the stairs or behind the wheel could have a very bad outcome. That is why Jana Desloovere (UGent) is working on new and more effective treatment. In this way she hopes that in the future people with epilepsy can drive a car or climb the stairs without worries.
van den Boogaard

Lifecraft: training to manage your own happiness

Did you know that besides basic physical needs, such as sleeping and eating, you also have basic psychological needs? You will not die immediately if these psychological needs are not fulfilled, but it can make you very unhappy. Daphne van den Boogaard explains what these needs are and how you can train to manage your own happiness.

How microscopy unravels the secrets of drugs and their targets

Of the 100 potential drugs that companies develop, only a small fraction make it to your medicine cabinet. The majority are rejected after disappointing cell and animal tests. Stijn Dilissen (Uhasselt) is working on a method to find out more quickly and cheaply whether a drug will work or not.

Using stem cells to cure a heart attack

In a heart attack, certain heart cells are damaged and they will never recover. So a patient is forever left with a scar on his heart, which will reduce the heart's pumping power. Could stem cells be the solution? Lize Evens (Hasselt University) explains it to you in this video.

Oxytocin against dementia

What if you could help someone with dementia by giving them a big, old hug? Might sound crazy, but neuroscientist Philippos Koulousakis (UHasselt) explains why he looks at oxytocin, aka 'the hugging hormone', to boost the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease.

Cancer today, heart damage tomorrow?

Cancer patients often become heart patients. This is because chemotherapy affects not only cancer cells but also healthy cells, such as the heart muscle cells. In order to prevent heart damage after chemotherapy, we first need to know what factors increase the risk of heart damage. And that is what Sibren Haesen (Uhasselt) has made his mission. With his Ph.D., he wants to help ensure that today's cancer patients do not become tomorrow's heart patients.

How harmful is air pollution to your unborn child?

An unborn child is exposed to air pollution even before he or she breathes for the first time. This is shown by the research of Eva Bongaerts (UHasselt). She found soot particles in the placenta of women who were only 12 weeks into their pregnancy. Watch the video.

How we teach your body to unmask cancer

Did you know that cancer cells are not so different from our healthy cells? This makes it difficult for T-cells, important immune cells in our body, to recognise and fight cancer cells. Cancer researcher Heleen Hanssens (VUB-FWO) wants to give T-cells a helping hand by equipping them with more sensitive receptors, or antennae, that are pre-programmed to unmask cancer cells. In the lab, she is looking for the perfect form for these CAR antennae, so that they become more stable and better at detecting cancer cells. 

Brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease

Getting out of bed in the morning is quite a feat, and not just on Monday mornings. It requires a series of complex motor actions, which we perform without thinking, on automatic pilot. In patients with Parkinson's disease, these automatic actions are disturbed. Something goes wrong in the brain so that they suddenly have to think about every action. Mahyar Firouzi (VUB) is investigating whether brain stimulation can help to improve automatic action in Parkinson's patients.
KU Leuven

Can DNA paperclips explain invisible diseases?

Millions of people worldwide suffer from 'invisible' diseases such as chronic widespread pain and chronic fatigue syndrome, which makes patients feel ill for days or even weeks after a small effort, such as washing their hair. Jolien Hendrix (VUB - KU Leuven) tries to understand these diseases by looking at epigenetics. Epi what?! Well, you can see this as DNA paperclips as Jolien explains vividly in this video!
De Keersmaecker

Learning to walk again with virtual reality

Someone who suffers a stroke often has to learn to walk again. Unfortunately, such rehabilitation - walking for hours on a treadmill - is often very boring and therefore difficult to maintain. "Let's make this more challenging", says Emma De Keersmaecker (VUB - FWO). She has patients complete their rehabilitation in a virtual environment using VR glasses, for example on Mars among aliens. "Walking on a treadmill will never have to be boring again!"

Studying a patient in a Petri dish

Imagine not being able to feel a hug anymore. This is what happens to some patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT1A). They get weaker muscles, their muscles die and sometimes they even lose the sense of touch. In order to research the disease more quickly and efficiently, Karen Libberecht (UHasselt - VIB - FWO) studies her patients ... in a petri dish. She explains how that works exactly in this video.