Academic Health Center
Stay Connected
research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: A new approach to programming deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s

About 100,000 people worldwide undergo deep brain stimulation to treat Parkinson’s disease, dystonia and tremor  when traditional medications or treatments fail to provide symptom improvement or relief. It is also being explored as a treatment for other neurological and psychiatric disorders for which medical therapy has not been effective in alleviating symptoms.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) involves stimulating portions of the brain through a small implanted device. After the device is implanted, a clinician programs the device to target each patient’s individual symptoms. They establish settings that determine how much stimulation is needed to improve symptoms, a process called programming.

Read more
research-and-clinical-trials

Research snapshot: New neuroimaging method to research the aging brain

Testing for age-related metabolic decline and loss of cognitive function could soon be seeing improvements.

By developing new ultrahigh field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) technologies, researchers at the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) at the University of Minnesota, recently investigated whether new developments could aid in better understanding aging and metabolic disorder in human brains.

Following the establishment of an in vivo assay of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) – a test that works well for human brain application – U of M researchers have developed a new testing technique.

Read more
research-and-clinical-trials

Research Snapshot: Unmatched insights into deep brain stimulation through MRI

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a procedure that is used to treat movement disorders including Parkinson’s disease, tremor and dystonia. To improve symptoms, a DBS lead (insulated wire) is surgically inserted deep within the brain in sites known to control movement.

Electrical impulses are sent from the neurostimulator, also known as a brain pacemaker, to the lead implanted in the brain. The stimulation changes the pattern of electrical activity in the brain into a more normal pattern, thereby improving symptoms and returning more normal movement to patients.

Choosing the target location for the lead is of critical importance. Standard protocol among physicians around the world is to use a brain atlas developed from two French women who donated their brains to science many years ago. From there physicians superimpose the patient’s own brain MRI images and calculate a plan to implant the electrodes in the brain.

Read more
research-and-clinical-trials

Sen. Jeremy Miller impressed with U and MnDRIVE Neuromodulation research

In late June, the U of M hosted Minnesota Senator Jeremy Miller for an educational visit to learn more about the exciting neuromodulation research and technology taking place as part of the MnDRIVE brain conditions initiative.

During his visit Sen. Miller had the opportunity to tour the campus, meet and welcome new Minnesota men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino and hear from students and faculty about their research.

“I believe it’s extremely important for legislators, especially those on the higher education committee, to see and understand what our higher education institutions are doing,” Miller said.

Read more
research-and-clinical-trials

U of M study reveals rats show regret, a cognitive behavior once thought to be uniquely human

New research from the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota reveals that rats show regret, a cognitive behavior once thought to be uniquely and fundamentally human.

Research findings were recently published in Nature Neuroscience.

Read more
research-and-clinical-trials

U of M study: Reduction in neurosurgical resident hours appears to have no significant positive effect on patient outcomes

A reduction in neurosurgeon resident duty hours appears to result in no significant changes in patient outcomes, according to new research from the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Minnesota. The reduction in resident duty hours was mandated in 2003 by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) when it imposed a mandatory maximum 80-hour work-week restriction on medical residents. Prior to this mandate, residents often worked in excess of 100 hours per week.

Findings were published today in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

Read more