The research projects of the "Mathematical Neuroscience" group are primarily focused on the elaboration of a sound theoretical support for the therapeutic neuromodulation techniques developed for the treatment of neurological disorders characterized by abnormal neuronal synchronization. We employ methods of nonlinear dynamics and numerical simulations to understand how the collective dynamics of neuronal populations can be controlled.
The neurotechnology group has the goal to technically optimize and realize the novel therapeutic stimulation strategies developed at the INM-7. We investigate novel stimulation approaches in detail and support the transfer of these technologies to clinical application.
The research within the group system medicine includes the concept building, theoretical and numerical studies, prototype development, clinical electrophysiology, and early clinical proof of concepts of new stimulation methods for treating diseases with impaired neuronal dynamics and connectivity.
Parkinson's disease is one of the most common diseases of the nervous system. In Germany there are approximately 250.000 to 400.000 sufferers. In PD, due to a loss of neurons in the substantia nigra (mesencephalon), the deficiency of dopamine leads to pathological synchronisation of neuronal activity in the thalamus and basal ganglia. Affected neurons cannot process information unimpededly, leading to bradykinesia, or even akinesia of the patient along with muscular rigor, tremor and/ or postural instability.
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Millions of people suffer from subjective tinnitus, i.e. the perception of noise without an objective sound source in or out of the body. Tinnitus is a widespread disease; one percent of the population has a significantly lowered quality of life by tinnitus and is in need of therapy. Typically tinnitus has a clear electrophysiological basis: Pathological neuronal synchronization in the brain leads to the tinnitus percept.
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