Brain Sciences

University of Minnesota researchers from across disciplines are working to understand the diseases and disorders of the brain that affect millions of people every day.

Brain Plasticity LabNeurologic conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are devastating for both the patient and their support systems. Across the Academic Health Center, our faculty have the knowledge needed to make major advancements through brain science research.

We use the latest imaging techniques in the world, along with deep brain stimulation to treat movement disorders such as dystonia and Parkinson’s disease. We also draw on the latest genetics research to determine how to stop neurologic conditions in their tracks.

Recently, the state provided the university with new resources to support neuromodulation research through the Minnesota Discovery Research Innovation Economy (MnDRIVE) funding program. This funding supports new faculty hires, drives research to better understand the effects of neuromodulation in brain disorders, improves current technology, and helps launch new clinical programs.

University research into stem cell therapies may someday help patients suffering from a stroke or Parkinson’s disease. These core areas of research are bringing us one step closer to unlocking the mysteries of the brain.

Research spotlight

The University of Minnesota's Colum MacKinnon, Ph.D., is embarking on a study that is looking at the link between abnormal muscle activity during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in people with Parkinson’s disease and how the disease progresses.