Our Research

The University of Minnesota (UMN) Udall Center’s overall goal is to improve the lives of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). To do so we must have a better understanding of the changes in brain circuitry that occur in the parkinsonian state. This understanding is critical if we are to advance deep brain stimulation (DBS) and other therapies for the treatment of PD. Currently, DBS is used for the treatment of the movement problems (slow movements (bradykinesia), stiffness of the limbs (rigidity) and shaking in the arms and legs (tremor)) associated with PD. While many patients receive significant benefit from DBS, the results are dependent on the ability to locate the DBS lead into the appropriate region within the targeted deep brain structure. Determining the precise region of the brain to put the DBS electrode, understanding the relative effect of stimulation in different parts of the brain, and how stimulation acts to change brain activity are all important for improving this therapy and ensuring each patient receives the most benefit possible.

The UMN Udall Center has three projects and four cores.