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The University of Southampton
Haemoglobin After inTraCranial Haemorrhage (HATCH) Consortium


Self-funded PhD opportunity: Hearing and Cognition after Subarachnoid Haemorrhage

Subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH), a subtype of stroke, is a bleed on the surface of the brain. For those who survive it is often a life altering event. There is increasing recognition that, although people with a history of SAH look outwardly healthy, they have substantial “hidden” disability which impairs their daily functioning. Significant neuropsychological issues such as cognitive dysfunction, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder are often reported by SAH survivors. Unlike other forms of stroke, SAH survivors are young and there is significant loss of economic productivity as a result.  

We have discovered that one fourth of patients after SAH have central auditory processing difficulty, published in 2019. SAH survivors experiencing this problem find it difficult to hear, especially in the presence of background noise. We have subsequently confirmed this finding in a cohort of SAH survivors from the UK Biobank, published in 2022.

This project consists of a prospective cross-sectional study of approximately 30-40 SAH patients and control individuals.  Peripheral hearing and auditory processing abilities will be assessed by pure tone audiometry, acoustic immittance testing and speech-in-noise tests. Cognition will be assessed using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment and Addenbrookes Cognitive Examination. To assess health-related quality of life, the EQ-5D and Short Form-36 (SF-36) questionnaires will be used. As part of the project, we plan to conduct a trial of the use of assistive listening devices in the management of central auditory processing disorder in SAH survivors, with sponsorship from industry.

The project builds on a well-established partnership between Professor Nicci Campbell (Audiology), Professor Ian Galea (Experimental Neurology/Medicine) and Mr Diederik Bulters (Neurosurgery, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust), including joint research, publications and conference presentations. You will be based at the Highfield Campus, University of Southampton but will also work at the Wessex Neurological Centre, Southampton General Hospital.  

For more information or to further discuss this opportunity, please contact: Professor N Campbell ( or Professor Ian Galea ( The post is suitable for trainees in neurology, neurosurgery or audiology disciplines.

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