Esmée Verwijk



Research activity per year

Personal profile


Clinical neuropsychology

Research interests

My research focuses on behavioural and cognitive changes induced by invasive brain stimulation treatment methods such as Deep brain stimulation (DBS) and Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).  

Since 2004 I have extensively studied and worked with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) . My  PhD project focused on cognitive changes after ECT.  I collaborate in the Dutch/Flemish ResPECT consortium (RESearch in Psychiatry and ECT) and on different research projects: ECT related anxiety, cognitive rehabilitation after ECT, ECT as an intervention for Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia, ECT as an intervention for Clozapine resistant schizophrenia and on transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation as a follow up treatment for ECT resistant patients or patients who benefit from ECT but have major cognitive side effects. 

Since 2017, I expanded my research focus to brain stimulation methods of DBS and ECT. Both brain stimulation treatment methods are highly effective interventions for severe brain disorders like Parkinson disease and melancholic depression. Little is known however about the fundamental underlying mechanisms of the symptomatic, behavioral and cognitive changes induced by these interventions. Even less is known about the predictive factors involved in the strong individual differences in these changes. Integrated fundamental and clinical research into the predictive determinants and underlying mechanisms is key to the development of a more effective and personalized application of these interventions. My intention and drive is to get more answers about the working mechanisms and predictors of cognitive changes related to DBS and ECT: who is vulnerable? How can we prevent? 


Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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