Quality of life

Research and education at UM have been thematic, multidisciplinary, and inspired by social themes. UM distinguishes itself by focusing on three main research themes (i.e. ‘Quality of life’, ‘Europe and a Globalising World’, and ‘Learning and innovation’) which are studied on the basis of different disciplines at all relevant levels.

Quality of life is an interdisciplinary research programme that focuses on the well-being of individuals in the context of a safe, healthy, sustainable and financially secure society. An important infrastructure of this research programme is situated on the Maastricht Health Campus. This Campus is home to the largest academic health science cluster in Europe, which serves the entire health continuum from top referral and top clinical care to prevention and rehabilitation. The research excels in four key areas: cardiovascular diseases,mental health and neurosciences, metabolic aspects of chronic diseases, and primary care and health sciences.

That a mother’s unhealthy lifestyle (both before and during pregnancy) has consequences for the health of the child has been studied from many angles. But how this works with respect to the father is less well known. Research by Joost Linschooten aims to fill his gap; he will defend his PhD dissertation “Paternal impact on genetic integrity in newborns” on Wednesday 20 June. 

Video: Marieke Quaak about her dissertation Assessment of genetic variation as a predictor of smoking cessation success

Promising research on glycated proteins

In Body
Friday, 11 May 2012 15:18

Overwight and obesity, caused by an unhealthy lifestyle, present us with one of the greatest health challenges of our time. As a result, we have seen an enormous increase in the prevalence of diabetes. "We are, in fact, facing a global diabetes epidemic", says Casper Schalkwijk, extraordinary professor of Experimental Internal Medicine. "People often tend to think: it’s just diabetes, you can live with it. But the resulting health problems are immense." Schalkwijk will deliver his inaugural lecture, ‘De zoete inval’ (‘The sweet invasion’) on Wednesday 16 May. Ongoing research at Maastricht University shows that glycated proteins play a role not only in diabetes, but also in the ageing process, disorders such as atherosclerosis, and damage following a heart attack.

A drug that halts the breakdown of neurons after a stroke, diagnostics that detect hypertension before blood pressure rises, and an imaging technique that localises vascular disease even before symptoms occur. This is the work for which Professor Harald Schmidt, MD, PhD, has been awarded a European research grant worth €2.3 million. Schmidt specialises in researching vascular diseases at Maastricht University (UM), and with this new grant under his belt, further breakthroughs may be just around the corner.

Learning how the world really works

In Body
Friday, 17 February 2012 08:04

Venlo lies in the centre of the largest horticultural area in Central Europe. It is also a global logistics hub. It comes as no surprise, then, that Maastricht University (UM) has launched a second campus in this northern Limburg city for, among other things, two master’s programmes that reflect the needs of the region. Fred Brouns, professor of Health Food Innovation, discusses ‘functional food’ and why 97% of food products with health claims turn out to be flops.

How healthy is exercise for the heart muscle?

In Body
Friday, 07 October 2011 09:48

Playing sports and getting enough exercise are good for our health – no-one will disagree with that. But according to findings by PhD candidates Alma Mingels and Leo Jacobs, strenuous exercise can in some cases be bad for the heart. “We want to gain insight into the risk of heart damage due to exertion, and we hope to find biomarkers that we can use to detect this in the blood. The aim, in time, is to adjust the training regimes of athletes or the intensity of exercise to the risks.”

Drugs & Driving (video)

In Body
Thursday, 22 December 2011 14:37

Psychiatrists, patients, regulators and pharmaceutical companies want to know what the influence of drugs is on driving. The Experimental Psychopharmacology Unit has been conducting driving tests on public highways for 25 years, commissioned by pharmaceutical companies and other groups. 

Eat proteins to lose weight

In Body
Tuesday, 07 June 2011 14:33

Extremely overweight? According to DiOGenes, a European study in which Maastricht University (UM) took part, protein-rich foods like lean meat and wholegrain bread may be the solution. So is the search now over for the holy grail of weight loss? “No, but when obese people lose weight it will help them to maintain their new weight”, says Marleen van Baak, endowed professor of Physiology of Obesity and DiOGenes project leader for Maastricht.

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