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Edinburgh Imaging Academy at the University of Edinburgh offers the following online programmes through a virtual learning environment:

Neuroimaging for Research MSc/Dip/Cert

Imaging MSc/Dip/Cert

PET-MR Principles & Applications Cert

Applied Medical Image Analysis Cert

Online Short Courses

Olivia Hamilton

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Position: PhD Student - Wellcome Trust 4-year PhD in Translational Neuroscience


I am interested in the vulnerability of the ageing brain, especially changes cognitive ability and behaviour that can occur as part of healthy ageing, or as a result of diseases such as stroke or dementia.

My PhD project focuses on changes in cognitive ability in cerebral small vessel disease and how this might relate to structural brain changes that occur throughout the disease course.

During my PhD I have conducted a systematic review on the associations between domain specific cognitive ability and structural brain changes (visible on MRI) in sporadic small vessel disease. I am also employing structural equation modelling techniques to investigate the relationship between visible MRI markers of sporadic small vessel disease and cognitive ability longitudinally in several large cohorts.

My research aims to better characterise the cognitive symptomatology of cerebral small vessel disease and its trajectory over the disease course; examine how this relates to underlying changes in brain structure; and to explore how we can use neuroimaging, psychological and epidemiological data to more accurately predict outcomes for people with cerebral small vessel disease.

Supervisors: Professor Joanna Wardlaw and Professor Ian Deary

Institute: University of Edinburgh

Department: Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences

Key Publications
Hamilton OKL, Backhouse EV, Janssen E, Jochems ACC, Maher C, Stevenson AJ, Ritakari TE, Xia L, Deary IJ, Wardlaw JM. Cognitive impairment in sporadic cerebral small vessel disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Alzheimer’s Dement. 2020;1–21. https://doi.org/10.1002/alz.12221 

Clancy U, Jamie Garcia D, Stringer M, Thrippleton M, Valdés Hernández M, Wiseman S, Hamilton OKL…Doubal F, Wardlaw JM. Rationale and design of a longitudinal study of cerebral small vessel diseases, clinical, and imaging outcomes in patients presenting with mild ischaemic stroke: Mild Stroke Study 3 (MSS-3). European Stroke Journal 2020, 0(0):1-8https://doi.org/10.1177/2396987320929617

Jochems ACC, Blair GW, Stringer MS, Thrippleton MJ, Clancy U, Chappell FM, Brown R, Jaime Garcia D, Hamilton OKL, Morgan AG, Marshall I, Hetherington K, Wiseman S, MacGillivray T, Valdés-Hernández MC, Doubal FN, Wardlaw JM. Relationship Between Venules and Perivascular Spaces in Sporadic Small Vessel Diseases. Stroke 2020; 51. https://doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.029163.

Davies C*, Hamilton OKL*, Hooley M*, Ritakari TE*, Stevenson AJ*, Wheater ENW*, Translational neuroscience: the state of the nation (a PhD student perspective), Brain Communications 2020: fcaa038. https://doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcaa038*All authors contributed equally to this work. 

Weaver NA, Zhao L, Biesbroek MJ, Kuijf HJ, Aben HP, Bae H-J, …Hamilton OKL… Biessels GJ. The Meta VCI Map consortium for meta-analyses on strategic lesion locations for vascular cognitive impairment using lesion-symptom mapping: Design and multicenter pilot study. Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring 2019, 11: 310-326. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dadm.2019.02.007.

Hamilton OKL, Ramirez J, Walker K, McNeely AA, Wardlaw JM, Black SE. The dynamic nature of white matter hyperintensities in Alzheimer’s disease supports vascular contributions to Alzheimer’s disease. European Stroke Journal 2019, 4(1 suppl, ESOC ABSTRACTS Supplement 2019): General Interest Sessions: 3-95. [Published abstract of oral presentation].

Hamilton OKL, Zhang Q, McRae AF, Walker RM, Morris SW, Redmond P, Campbell A, Murray AD, Porteous DJ, Evans KL, McIntosh AM, Deary IJ, Marioni RE. An epigenetic score for BMI based on DNA methylation correlates with poor physical health and major disease in the Lothian Birth Cohort. International Journal of Obesity 2019, 43: 1795-1802. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41366-018-0262-3.

Rapaport P, Livingston G, Hamilton OKL, Turner R, Stringer A, Robertson S, Cooper C. How do care home staff understand, manage and respond to agitation in people with dementia? A qualitative study. BMJ Open 2018; 8: e022260. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022260.

Robertson S, Cooper C, Hoe J, Hamilton OKL, Stringer A, Livingston G. Proxy rated quality of life of care home residents with dementia: A systematic review. International Psychogeriatrics 2017, 29(4): 569-581. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1041610216002167.