Sofie Salden

I graduated as a veterinarian from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Ghent University in 2022. There, I completed my master’s thesis on canine Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (c-PTSD), a subject with extensive public interest but with little scientific foundation. I will continue this research in my PhD, started November 1, 2022, and funded by the FWO (FWO aspirant strategic basic research, project number 1S13823N).  During my PhD, which is performed both in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine as in GHEP lab, I aim to unravel PTSD in dogs and investigate the effects of treatment on these dogs.

I also conduct research on the use of non-invasive brain stimulation as a treatment for behaviorally disturbed and anxious dogs. We combine functional neuroimaging techniques with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) protocols with the aim to improve the behavior of these dogs. This new knowledge could contribute to the development of innovative treatments resulting in less mental suffering for behaviorally disturbed dogs which will increase the quality of life of both the dog and the owner. By conducting more research into the canine brain, the long-term aim of this project is also to further develop this as a translational animal model which will ultimately benefit the field of human medicine as well.

Keywords: Canine Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Functional Neuroimaging, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation