Today we have a new blog from Emma Elliott, a PhD student from the University of Glasgow.  It follows on from the August Early Career Researcher series on the SDRC website: read all our most recent blogs here.

Find out more about Emma’s research below:

I’m in the final year of my PhD at the University of Glasgow, supervised by Dr Terry Quinn and Prof Jesse Dawson, and my research focuses on cognitive assessment following a stroke.

Cognitive problems following a stroke occur frequently, but vary widely depending on which area of the brain has been affected. Symptoms include problems with memory, attention, perception, planning and problem solving. Having cognitive problems does not equal dementia; problems can improve for many stroke patients over time. It is only in those patients whose symptoms worsen over the months and years following a stroke, and affect their day to day living, that a dementia diagnosis may be given.

 I am one of three students funded under Dr Quinn’s clinical research study called APPLE – Assessing Post-stroke Psychology Longitudinal Evaluation which is funded by the Stroke Association. In the study we assess cognition and mood whilst patients are on our stroke unit and then follow them up with more detailed assessments at timepoints over a period of 18 months. The study aims to answer a range of questions including feasibility and accuracy of different cognitive screening tests and how cognition changes over time.

Some highlights of my PhD have included taking part in the University of Glasgow’s 3-minute thesis competition. My talk “Draw me a clock…” provides a lay summary of my research which went on to win the £1000 prize. In July I was lucky enough to travel to Brazil, being one of seven UK-based early career researchers selected to attend a dementia workshop held in Belo Horizonte. Earlier this year I was also fortunate to receive a Graham Wilson travelling scholarship which I used to visit two teams at the University of Oxford: Cochrane Dementia & Cognitive Improvement group and the translational neuropsychology group led by Dr Nele Demeyere.

Prior to moving to Glasgow, I completed my BSc (Hons) in Psychology at the University of Manchester and subsequently worked in clinical trials in neuroendocrine tumours (the Christie NHS Foundation Trust) and stroke (University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust). After completing my PhD, I plan to continue to work within the fascinating field of cognitive disorders.

Find out more:

My 3MT talk:

Stroke Association resources:


Follow Emma on twitter: @emmaelliott_1