Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM)
The Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM) focuses on the structure and function of the healthy and diseased human brain. It aims to understand the structural and functional changes caused by neurological and psychiatric disorders and thus to improve their early diagnosis and treatment. Scientists from various disciplines have therefore joined forces, employing state-of-the-art imaging techniques such as structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), microanatomy, cell biology, genetics, and the methods used in physics and information science.
The researchers, for example, are working on a virtual human brain that comprises structural aspects ranging from the molecule up to the complex system of functions in a spatial context (multimodal brain atlas). The scientists at INM are improving diagnostic and treatment methods and are developing new techniques. Example 9komma4: the 9.4 tesla magnetic resonance tomograph with a field strength of 9.4 tesla combined with a positron emission tomograph provides images of the structures and metabolic processes of the brain in more detail than ever before. The development of methods is complemented by the radionuclide field. Three cyclotrons are available for the synthesis of various radioactive tracers for research and application purposes. In the area of treatment, scientists at INM have developed the method known as coordinated reset. This technique is already being used to treat tinnitus and is currently being tested as a method for treating Parkinson's disease. Further research areas at INM are the diagnosis and treatment of the results of a stroke, the early diagnosis and slowing down of different forms of dementia, as well as attention deficit disorders.
In addition to medical aspects, INM is also concerned with the ethical aspects and the positive and negative effects of scientific and technical developments.
INM is involved in the cooperation between Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University, participating in the JARA-BRAIN section of the Jülich Aachen Research Alliance (JARA).
It also plays a role in the Helmholtz Alliance on Systems Biology, which is an initiative centrally funded by the Helmholtz Association aiming to improve our understanding of the structure and mechanisms of the complex systems in the human brain.
Another alliance that INM is involved in is the Helmholtz Alliance for Mental Health in an Ageing Society, where research concentrates on neurodegenerative diseases, in particular on Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.