The Astellas European Foundation has awarded a grant of $150,000 to a project led by Dr MS Rahnama'i from Maastricht University Medical Centre, The Netherlands.
The project is titled as 'An Imaging Biomarker for Bladder Activity Disorders: Functional Magnetic Resonance 7 Tesla Imaging (fMRI) in combination with urodynamics to study the effect of bladder sensory stimulation on brain activity in patients with a Bladder activity disorder, including the effect of antimuscarinic and beta mimetic agents'.
The functional urology/uro-gynaecology grant will be used to fund the project, which will focus at brain activation patterns of bladder activity disorder patients.
The grant supports basic medical and related scientific programmes which contribute to advancements in functional urology or uro-gynaecology.
The study, which will be conducted by seven Tesla fMRI brain scans during simultaneous urodynamic studies, is designed to find out the effect of currently applied medication for bladder dysfunction disorders on relevant brain areas involved in bladder sensation.
Dr Rahnama'i said: "For me personally, after finishing my residency next year, this grant is very important in enhancing my chances for getting a position as an academic urologist (consultant) at Maastricht University Medical Center, which will allow me to continue my research alongside my clinical career."
Astellas European Foundation trustee and Astellas Pharma EMEA senior vice-president of Medical Affairs and Health Economics Dr Ayad Abdulahad said: "This is a worthy winner in our tenth year of urology-focussed grant giving. We would like to thank everyone who has applied this year and over the past decade.
"We would like to congratulate Dr Rahnama'i on the proposal to use imaging technology to study the brain activity of patients living with bladder activity disorders.
"This could contribute to identifying an imaging biomarker and enable a future with personalised treatment regimens for patients with both overactive and underactive bladder."
Last week, the foundation shortlisted six finalists from The Netherlands, Spain, and two separate submissions from both Germany and Sweden.
The Astellas European Foundation is a registered charity and it offers annual grants of $150,000 for Functional Urology and Uro-Gynaecology, Uro-Oncology and Transplantation.
Image: The $150k grant awarded to study on brain activity of bladder activity disorder patients. Photo: courtesy of Astellas European Foundation.