Luuk Wieske, MD, PhD

Serum nerve damage biomarkers for disease activity in IVIg treated patients with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)

Project summary

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is a treatable auto-immune disorder affecting the peripheral nerves and causing weakness, numbness and tingling. Treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) is effective in most patients. Due to the chronic nature of the disease, IVIg treatment needs to be continued for some time but it is unclear for how long. There are currently no methods to predict if treatment can be safely stopped. In this project, our aim is to discover biomarkers in blood that can detect disease activity and help in the decision to start or stop treatment. To do so, we will measure blood concentrations of proteins that are normally part of the peripheral nerve. We hypothesize that, upon damage to a nerve in the case of active CIDP, blood concentrations of these proteins are altered. With this project we hope to identify potential markers of disease activity. These markers will need to further investigated in other studies. In the future, these markers may help clinicians and patients in making treatment decisions.

Biographical Sketch

Luuk Wieske completed his medical degree (with honor) at the Academic Medical Center (AMC) of the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Netherlands. During his study and residency, he became interested in field of neuromuscular disorders and inflammation. This led to his PhD project on the effects of severe systemic inflammation on the neuromuscular system during critical illness in the ICU which was supported by a grant from the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development. He successfully defended his thesis in 2014 and started his training in Neurology at the AMC. Currently, his focus is on biomarker research in chronic inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy (CIDP) and he is working as a coordinating researcher for INCbase, an international CIDP registry. In 2020 he will register as a neurologist. His ambition is to become a neurologist with a focus on neuromuscular disorders and combining patient care with education and (pre–) clinical research.