Digital Public Defence: Guri Hagberg Guri Hagberg at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis "Long term effect of stroke on survival, cognition and amyloid brain pathology - a seven-year follow-up study" for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: Arnljot Tveit

The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

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Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Natalia Rost, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA 
  • Second opponent: Post doc Teresa Ullberg, Lund University, Sweden 
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Dag Jacobsen, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo 

Chair of defence

Professor John-Anker Zwart, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Hege Ihle-Hansen, Oslo University Hospital


Cognitive impairment (CI) with mixed neurodegenerative and vascular pathologies after 
stroke is common, but the changes over time and factors associated with these changes are 
not fully understood. Alzheimer`s disease (AD) and stroke share a common set of vascular 
risk factors, and guidelines recommend optimal treatment of these risks to prevent 
the development of dementia in the general population. Ischemia, amyloid deposition
 (a hallmark of AD), and neuroinflammation seem to interact, resulting in overlapping 

In the original Cognition After STroke (CAST) study, 227 patients with first-ever stroke or
transient ischemic attack (TIA), were randomized to a multifactorial risk factor 
intervention program, aiming to reduce the incidence of cognitive impairment one-year 
post-stroke. We observed no significant effect on cognition, but patients in the intervention 
arm had better vascular risk factor control. Survivors from the CAST study were invite to a 
seven-year follow-up study, and we hypothesized that a multifactorial intervention could 
lead to better survival after stroke and that patients with CI of vascular origin could 
remain cognitively stable during follow-up due to preventable pathology. We also 
hypothesized that patients diagnosed with CI after seven years would have developed 
brain amyloid deposition as a sign of AD.

We did not find a significant effect on survival at seven years of a multifactorial vascular risk
factor program given during the first-year post-stroke, and in our cohort of stroke survivors,
higher BMI was an independent predictor for long-term survival. Lower medial temporal 
lobe atrophy grade on MRI at one year and lower age were associated with a favorable 
cognitive outcome at seven years. Amyloid deposition was not common in our cohort of 
stroke survivors diagnosed with CI.

Additional information

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Published Oct. 1, 2020 10:33 AM - Last modified Oct. 16, 2020 2:26 PM