by Irina Filchenko, St. Petersburg, Russia
I had the opportunity to spend a 12-month internship under the EAN Research Fellowship programme in the Sleep-Wake-Epilepsy Center of the Department of Neurology of the Inselspital in Bern, under the supervision of Prof. Claudio Bassetti. The Sleep-Wake-Epilepsy Center combines both clinical and research activities, with a focus on central disorders or hypersomnolence and sleep after stroke.
My internship project was dedicated to the investigation of the role of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) in the evolution of cognitive functioning after stroke. For this, I worked with the data of the ongoing study of Early Sleep Apnea Treatment in Stroke (eSATIS study; Duss et al., 2021). After checking the database validity and completeness, I conducted the interim statistical analysis of the association of SDB with cognitive outcome after stroke. The results of this analysis will be presented as posters at the World Sleep Congress 2022 and EAN Congress 2022.
Considering that the detected improvement of cognitive functioning after stroke might be partially attributable to the retest effect, we aimed to quantify the retest effect in a separate cohort of non-stroke controls. I actively participated in the design of this study, writing the study documents and preparing the submission to the ethics committee and institutional review board. After the improvement of the study, I have been recruiting study participants and performing study visits to collect the data.
I am very happy to continue this exciting project in my PhD studies in the same department, under the supervision of Prof. Bassetti, Dr. Markus Schmidt, and Dr. Simone Duss.
During my internship, I actively participated in different clinical research meetings in the department, such as weekly clinical sleep research meeting and the meeting of sleep and stroke research group. Additionally, the interfaculty Journal Clubs dedicated to various aspects of translational neuroscience provided the platform for challenging open discussions.
I genuinely enjoyed exploring Switzerland in my free time. I have been going hiking and practicing photography: Swiss landscapes are breathtaking! Swiss cheese and chocolate were another discovery for me.
I would like to thank the European Academy of Neurology as well as Prof. Bassetti and his team for their support in making this exceptional educational experience possible.