Mona Skjelland's project group:

Nor-AIS - Norwegian carotid Atherosclerosis, Inflammation and acute Stroke studies

Mona Skjelland

This group has several ongoing studies on atherosclerosis, inflammation and acute ischemic stroke. We have several active working national and international collaborators.

Research projects

Advanced ultrasound methods in the assessment of carotid plaque instability
This study investigates ultrasound features of carotid plaque instability, correlating findings to histological analysis, MRI and PET imaging.The primary aim is to assess if advanced ultrasound methods such as SMI (Superb microvascular Imaging) and SWE (Shear Wave Elastography) can identify intraplaque neovascularization and plaque tissue stiffness in carotid artery plaques and relate these resultsto ipsilateral cerebrovascular symptoms.
“The acute thromboembolic stroke study”. Cerebral thrombi originating from the carotid artery have a specific immunological profile which is distinctly different to that of thrombi from a cardiac source. This project aims to use a translational approach to demonstrate distinctly different immunological profiles in carotid versus cardiac thrombi formation that can be used as biomarkers in clinical practice. The research group has collected cerebral thrombi (removed by thrombectomy) in our biobank from 2015.  
The gut and oral bacteria, atherosclerosis and ischemic stroke study
This study investigates the role of microbacteria in the Gut-Brain-axis with respect to risk of stroke. The main aim of this project is to demonstrate an association between microbiota metabolites in blood, and microbiota in the gut and the oral cavity, to carotid atherosclerosis and risk of ischemic stroke.  Secondly, we aim to show that these metabolites levels are diet-dependent and associated with specific types of microbiota.  Thirdly, we aim to assess serum microbiota metabolite-levels as a predictor of stroke for patients with carotid atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis and connective tissue disease
Assessment of endothelial dysfunction and inflammation in patients with connective tissue disease. This study investigate cardiovascular risk factors including pre-clinical atherosclerosis in patients with juvenile onset mixed connective tissue disease (JMCTD) - a chronic inflammatory disease with a varied phenotype. In this study we are cooperating with department of rheumatology at Rikshospitalet.
The effect of ketogenic diet on endothelial dysfunction and evidence of pre-clinical atherosclerosis
This study investigates the effect of ketogenic diet on arterial endothelial dysfunction with carotid ultrasound and blood markers as well as the effect on traditional cardiovascular risk factors. This is a cooperation project with SSE (Statens Senter for epilepsi).
ILAS: Interleukin-1 antagonist for the treatment of Acute Stroke
A randomized controlled study assessing the effect of treatment with interleukin-1 antagonist (Il-Ra) for the treatment of acute stroke. The primary hypothesis and overall concept is to assess whether IL-1 Ra is an effective treatment for acute ischemic stroke (reducing plasma levels of inflammatory markers as well as infarct core size progression  on MRI), and secondary if this treatment can reduce the recurrence of stroke.