Research

Host: Aarhus University

Third party: Regionshospitalet Hammel Neurocenter

Aarhus

Aarhus University (AU) was founded in 1928 and is divided into nine faculties. It has 9,000 employees and 34,000 students (bachelor, master programmes, and PhDs). In the latest THE-QS ranking, Aarhus University is number 63 among the worlds 9,000 universities. The study environment at the University is concentrated around an attractive campus in the city centre with excellent opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations. Internationalisation is part of the University’s mission and it continuously works to strengthen the international profile of the University through a series of initiatives which will increase international research partnerships and the number of international students.

The project will be carried out at the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University, and all project employees will be hired in AU positions. The project will be strongly supported by the infrastructure at Center for Functionally Integrative Neuroscience (CFIN, also at AU) which holds some of the world’s leading experts in various fields of neuroscience. CFIN is located in the DNC building which also hosts the MindRehab project.

Hammel

The patient group relevant to the project is found at Regionshospitalet Hammel Neurocenter (HNNR) and as above mentioned, CNRU and Morten Overgaard are involved with the research unit at the hospital. HNNR is a highly specialised neurorehabilitation hospital charged with multidisciplinary rehabilitation of neurological patients focusing on acquired severe brain damage from Western Denmark (regional function) and patients with moderate brain damage from the County of Aarhus (county function). RHN has a turn-over of 700 injured patients each year, approximately 100 beds and more than 500 employees including more than 100 therapists. The research unit is headed by a professor (MD) in neurorehabilitation as part of Aarhus University. The main research areas are motor control/rehabilitation and cognitive science/rehabilitation. The laboratory facilities include a gait robot (Locomate), a 3D movement analysis system (Vicon), an isometric/isokinetic muscle testing system (Biodex), TMS, tDCS, and EEG. Examples of studies in motor control/rehabilitation include: effect of gait robot training in walking performance in stroke patients; influence of cortical excitability changes on motor recovery in stroke patients; effect of aerobe fitnesstraining in stroke patient; effect of antispastic medication on the stretch reflex in spastic patients; biomechanical and kinematic changes in the hemiparetic gait in stroke patient; increased arousal in vegetative patients by gait robot training evaluated with EEG and event related potentials; correlations between cortical excitability (TMS) and fMRI in vegetative patients; dysphagia (swallowing problems) in patients with severe brain injury evaluated with quantitative and qualitative methods. At the moment there are 6 PhD students and 3 senior researchers.

HNNR and Aarhus University collaborates through Aarhus University Hospital, which is a co-operation between The Faculty of Health Sciences at AU and six regional hospitals in the Northern and Middle regions of Jutland. The University is responsible for the research and pre-graduate clinical teaching, and the regions and the hospitals are responsible for the clinical functions at the institutions that are part of Aarhus University Hospital.