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Science and research in the Centre of Excellence in Neuromodulation Therapies

Method development at the Centre of Excellence in Neuromodulation Therapies is supported by active scientific research collaboration between all the participating units of Turku University Hospital and the University of Turku.

Animated picture of how the neuro-HIFU works.

The focused ultrasound brain therapy (Neuro-HIFU) provided by the Neurocenter and Radiology (Picture: Insightec Ltd).

Collaboration in scientific research is also supported by numerous research groups and co-operation projects with, e.g., the western Finland node of Neurocenter Finland, Turku Brain and Mind Center (TBMC), the University of Helsinki, Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, Tampere University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet. These research projects utilise modern brain imaging (MRI, PET, and SPECT) and brain stimulation methods (deep brain stimulation (DBS), repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS)) as well as neurophysiological and genetic research.

The research strategy is based on a multidisciplinary study of genetic, neurophysiological, neuroanatomical and psychiatric pathophysiological mechanisms and factors predicting co-morbidities, risk factors and the efficacy of neuromodulation therapy. Research topics include the mechanisms of action of, and predictors of response to, neuromodulation therapies, as well as clinical RCT studies on the efficacy of neuromodulation therapies in the treatment of neuropathic pain, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), severe depression, epilepsy, tinnitus, and movement disorders (rTMS, tDCS, DBS and ECT). Scientific research also aims to find new treatment areas and rTMS protocols by utilising functional brain imaging (PET, fMRI, DTI tractography).

A plan for the future is to extend the scope of scientific research to include clinical study of the Neuro-HIFU method in, for example, the treatment of movement disorders and severe neuropathic pain (the Neuro-HIFU equipment was commissioned in the spring of 2022).

Research projects and partners