Main responsible: Gitte Moos Knudsen
This research includes the development and application of neuroimaging techniques, including Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT), and structural and biochemical Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Furthermore, we attempt to develop PET radioligands that enable novel and functional measures of different members of the serotonin receptor family. We also evaluate novel radioligands for other systems, such as pre- and postsynaptic markers. We also investigate drug occupancy with PET and have industrial collaborations with this purpose.
Contact person: Patrick Fisher
At NRU, we apply functional magnetic resonance imaging to extract features of brain function, connectivity, and blood flow that we in turn map onto molecular, behavioral, and clinical phenotypes as well as pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions.
Contact person: Jens D. Mikkelsen
At the Experimental Neurobiology Laboratory located on the 6th floor in the North Wing building, we carry out experimental research on brain tissues obtained from patients. We also work with tissues from animal models (experimental and transgenic), cell cultures, as well as human material. Work on experimental animal models is performed in building 93 and in collaboration with our partners. These partners mainly include clinical groups in the Neurology center, but also academic and industrial research teams around the world.
Contact person: Gerda Thomsen
The SPECT laboratory of NRU is located next to the Department of Radiology on the ground floor in the new North Wing of Rigshospitalet. The facility is used both diagnostically and for research purposes.
The laboratory consists of an office, a type B approved isotope laboratory, waiting room facilities for patients, and a scanner room equipped with a new 3-headed dedicated brain SPECT camera (AnyScan) with unique multi-pine-hole collimator. The lab is staffed by two medical technologists.
Contact person: Vibe G. Frøkjær
At NRU we use brain imaging methods to work with aspects of human brain biology that are critical for risk mechanisms and manifest psychiatric disorders. We use a multimodal imaging approach, which combines both structural and functional imaging and hold a special expertise in molecular imaging of key features of the serotonin signaling system. A system which is profoundly involved in mood disorders, schizophrenia, neurodegenerative disorders and their treatment.
Contact person: Vibeke Dam
In the cognitive neuropsychology group at NRU, we use cognitive and psychometric data to investigate the relationship between brain function and human behaviour. Our aim is to identify psychological and cognitive characteristics that can help elucidate disease mechanisms in neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, OCD, ADHD and epilepsy, and ultimately help improve patient treatment. We also investigate how cognitive performance relates to structural, functional and molecular features in the healthy brain, and how pharmacological interventions (e.g., oxytocin or SSRIs) and non-pharmacological exposures (e.g., sleep deprivation or psychotherapy) alters cognitive functioning.
Contact person: Dea S. Stenbæk
The NRU neuropsychology group aims to investigate how serotonin is involved in psychological components of human health. Especially it focuses on personality, psychopathology and cognition - and furthermore on neuropsychological effects of serotonergic pharmacology such as effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin 2A receptor psychedelic agonists. The scientific goal of the neuropsychology group is to contribute to an interdisciplinary understanding of neurobiological and psychological factors in human health. This is attained by studying both healthy individuals and patients with various somatic and psychiatric disorders to evaluate risk and resilience factors and how these change in response to treatment.
Contact person: Lars Pinborg
The integration of NRU in the Neuroscience Centre at Rigshospitalet creates a unique platform for multimodal clinical research in brain disorders (Figure 1). With the fusion of Glostrup Hospital and Rigshospitalet patients are recruited from the largest neurological department in Scandinavia and the Department of Neurosurgery performs the largest number of brain operations in Northern Europe. A large potential exists for a sophisticated use and integration of the imaging modalities, clinical data (psychology, psychiatry and neurology) and biological markers to improve the basic understanding of the pathophysiology of neurological and neurosurgical disease and to improve diagnosis, monitoring of treatment effects and failures, and for making prediction of outcome and prognosis.
Contact person: Peter Steen Jensen
At NRU we have for more than a decade systematically acquired high-resolution brain imaging data (PET, MR, rsMRI, functional MRI) from several hundreds of carefully screened and well-characterized healthy individuals and patients with various neuropsychiatric disorders. Thereby we have been able to build a large cohort database (the Cimbi Database) that contains a wide range of imaging associated data including demographic, neuropsychological, biochemical, genetic and imaging data. The Cimbi biobank is the associated collection of biological specimens from the cohort, including saliva, blood, and in some instances urine and hair samples, which allow for additional biochemical and genetic analyses.
Contact person: Cyril Pernet
In the past two decades, we have seen an exponential growth in the scale at which neuroimaging research in psychiatry and neurology takes place in terms of sample size, technology advancements and number of disorders investigated. Yet, many research findings turn out to be hard to replicate, partly because of inconsistencies in data acquisition, preprocessing and analysis. One of our major research themes within NRU is to understand these sources of discrepancies and in a recent consensus paper, we lead an initiative that aims to standardize the way PET neuroimaging data are acquired, documented, analysed, and archived. Such an initiative will also help to establish data sharing of these costly experiments, enabling replications and increasing sample sizes.