Scientific research is an important part of our work at the department of Movement Disorders Groningen. We have ongoing studies focusing on both hyperkinetic and hypokinetic movement disorders. Many of our scientific questions arise from our daily clinical practice. This way, we are continually working on improving our patient care through clinical research.
Examples of our paediatric clinical research are detailed phenotyping of children with ataxia and dystonia, studies into the quality of life of children with dystonia and studies into the value of deep brain nucleus stimulation (DBS) for children with dystonia. In adults, we focus on improving the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, creating innovative diagnostics of dystonia and myoclonus, and researching how to improve the effects of DBS in treating movement disorders.
Our translational research aims to discover new genes that underlie movement disorders and unravel the pathophysiology of and mechanisms behind several diseases. We have close collaborations with the genetics and cell biology laboratories and with the imaging departments, for example for our fMRI and PET (positron emission tomography) studies. The cell biology department is doing a lot of research into iron storage diseases such as neuro-degeneration with brain iron accumulation (NBIA). At the UMCG, everything we need for our research is right at hand.
Several postdocs and a large number of PhD students are working on a variety of movement disorders. Most of our research projects also include students who are doing a short internship or a graduation project.
Within Movement Disorders Groningen, there is room for personal contribution, creativity and a critical attitude. We are interested in new solutions and stimulate our people to acquire knowledge elsewhere.