News

Here you will find all the latest news about DRCMR and the researchers and students working at the centre.

Recently a serious MRI-related accident happened at the DRCMR. Some large equipment should be moved from the room that holds the department's experimental MR 4.7T scanner. The task required the use of a pallet lift and that the adequate safety distance from the magnet was respected. This distance was known and the procedure was tried in the past. The MRI screening form mentioning contraindications and examples of problematic items (including a pallet lift) was reviewed immediately prior to the incident together with the people hired to do the moving. It was signed by each of them. However, during the continued instruction, one of them left the group unseen and started on his own. He chose to turn a pallet lift in front of the magnet - BANG! 65 kg iron left the floor, and was now fixed to the magnet with a pull of approximately 400 kg. Fortunately no one…
A grant of excellence of 25 million Danish kroner has been awarded to professor Hartwig R. Siebner of the DRCMR for a project entitled "control of actions" (ContAct). The Lundbeck Foundation is providing this generous donation that will allow researchers in Denmark and abroad to explore the mental steps involved in performing actions, e.g. decision making, planning, and acting. Research has shown that this process can be quite different from the way that the brain consciously perceives it. Using methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), the new project will shed light on the complicated processes behind our conscious and non-conscious actions, in healthy conditions and during disease.  Press release in Danish and contact information:  25 mio. kr. til hjerneforskning på Hvidovre Hospital "Grant of Excellence" på 25 mio. kr. til professor Hartwig Siebner på Hvidovre Hospitals MR- afdeling vil styrke hjerneforskningen. Professor Hartwig…
The Danish Council for Independent Research has granted 2.3 million Danish kroner for a project on ludomania. The project is headed by professor Hartwig R. Siebner from the DRCMR and is entitled "Neural mechanisms underlying pathological gambling: A whole brain functional MRI study in patients with Parkinson's disease treated with dopamine agonists" . The project will be performed in cooperation with the Neurological Department at Bispebjerg Hospital and DTU Informatics.Ludomania is characterized by pathological gambling, mostly in the form of gambling for money, and have a negative impact on work and personal relationships. 7-8% of all patients with Parkinson's disease develops ludomania, when treated with dopamine agonists (DA). Game passion provoked by DA treatment provides a unique opportunity to study the increased dopaminergic stimulation by problem gambling. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) will be used to investigate Parkinson's patients with and without gambling addiction and a corresponding healthy control group. 
In a new research study, it is demonstrated that the primary brain area involved in hand movement (M1hand) decreases in size after a 4-weak period of hand immobilization, and that the size recovers after subsequent traning. Thus, even short periods of changed muscle and brain activity can cause brain shape changes in either direction. The findings suggest, for example, that if writing is stopped during school holidays, it may lead to temporary changes in brain structure.The group behind the study includes Hartwig R. Siebner from the DRCMR as last author. The research was conducted in connection with a treatment study for writer's cramp, which is a medical condition affecting the ability to control the finger muscles during writing. As part of the treatment, the affected hand was immobilized for 4 weeks and subsequently trained for an 8 week period. MRI scanning before the study and at week 4 and 8…
A new version of the award-winning graphical Bloch Simulator is released.It provides 3D visualization of spin dynamics during MRI and NMR sequences.  In contrast to earlier versions requiring tedious installation, the new version runs directly in a browser. It is consequently much easier to get started and is better suited for classroom use. The software is also available for download as a single file running on virtually all PCs. A link to a step-by-step introduction to the software is provided together with the software.
At the MedTech project day, October 2010, a number of DRCMR student projects were announced and presented (large file - be patient when you download). The projects are expected to start in 2011. Contact information and project descriptions are on the MedTech homepage. Let us know if you are interested in these or similar projects. On the DRCMR homepage you can also search earlier student projects, that may serve as inspiration for questions about new projects. 
As of August 1, 2010, Professor DMSc Hartwig R. Siebner took over the DRCMR departmental leadership after Professor DMSc Olaf B. Paulson , who recently celebrated his 70 years birthday. Hartwig was appointed head of DRCMR research earlier as first step of a smooth transition. Olaf continues at the DRCMR and is coordinating the 7T project. Congratulations to both!
Thomas Z. Ramsøy who is affiliated with the Copenhagen Business School and with the DRCMR has written a popular article in Danish on recent results on the role of emotions in economical decision making. The work was conducted by him and his group, and it will be presented at the upcoming Society for NeuroScience conference. Thomas is regularly commenting on neuroscience in his blog on Videnskab.dk.Over the summer, Thomas can also be heard on the Danish National Radio, P1,  in  a series of programs focusing on memory (in Danish).   
Can the performance of a person solving a task be improved by specific brain lesions? In certain cases that is indeed the case, e.g. when the lesion suppress an impulse that would normally make it difficult to solve the task. This was the focus of a study that has just been published in Journal of Neuroscience with contributions from the DRCMR research leader Hartwig R. Siebner. Real brain lesions caused by blood clots, for example, differ a lot, and they are not optimal for studying this aspect of brain function. The neuro scientists at Hvidovre Hospital and elsewhere, however, have an amazing tool called rTMS available for inducing temporary virtual lesions in healthy persons: By applying strong magnetic pulses to a particular part of the brain, the neurons there can be triggered repeatedly and be gradually exhausted, so they no longer respond to normal inputs. The effect only lasts for…
Daniela Balslev won the Young Investigator Award of the Magstim Summer School June 2010 in Oxford for her research combining transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) to understand the interplay between visual attention and eye position. Well done! Daniela recently moved for a position in Tuebingen, Germany, and she has announced a PhD-position in Cognitive Neuroscience.  
The annual course in MRI basic acquisition and analysis starts September 21st 2010 and runs weekly thereafter. Click for details and registration. The acquisition part of the course focuses on MRI basics using locally developed and internationally acclaimed material. The hands-on analysis part of the course is mainly based on the software SPM used widely in neuroscience communities.Please also note that a dedicated SPM course covering advanced topics is given mid september 2010.
We are hapy to learn that the MRI educational material on the DRCMR web pages is gaining popularity internationally:Introductory MR lecture notes aimed at a broad audience has recently been positively referenced in two Italian blogs (blog1, blog2, thanks!)A critical article adressing the basic understanding of Magnetic Resonance is getting considerable positive attention. It has also appeared as the first reference on the German Wikipedia entry on MRI for a year now. The subjects adressed in the article are topics of an invited tutorial at the MMCE Symposium in March 2011. This unsual meeting offers lectures that should be more didactic, even of philosophical nature, rather than being very technical. The aim of these lectures is to offer a kind of distilled wisdom that can potentially be far more attractive and beneficial to the audience than "regular" ones (quote from the Magnetic Moments in Central Europe website).A related classical introduction…
On August 13 2010, the 70th birthday of Professor Olaf B. Paulson will be celebrated at an anniversary symposium held at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen. We are proud to present several international as well as Danish speakers at the anniversary symposium. The symposium takes place at auditorium 2 at Rigshospitalet and it starts at 8:30. To see the symposium programme, click here.
A PhD course on Statistical parametric mapping of functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data of the human brain is offered at Hvidovre Hospital in Copenhagen, September 2010. The course is organized in collaboration with the Functional Imaging Unit at Glostrup Hospital, and DTU Informatics at the Technical University of Denmark. Registration: http://phdkursus.sund.ku.dk/frontPlanner/DetailKursus.aspx?id=95500 This PhD course will provide a theoretical and practical introduction to the pre-processing and statistical analysis of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data sets of the human brain. Participants will learn to use one of the most widely used neuroimaging analysis software packages (SPM - Statistical Parametric Mapping, http://www.fil.ion.ucl.ac.uk/spm/) which provides powerful means to analyse functional and structural MRI data. Specific aims: The course participants’ should at the end of the course have learnt - the basic pre-processing steps of MRI data analysis, - to set-up an appropriate first-level (subject level) statistical model that optimally captures the…
In spring 2010, 85 MR scientists and clinicians gathered in Copenhagen for a 1½ day symposium on scientific and clinical applications of MR in humans at magnetic fields of 7 tesla and above.We were proud to feature presentations from outstanding experts in the field of ultra-high field imaging applications: Marta Bianciardi, NIH, USA: Spontaneous signal fluctuations in human fMRI at high magnetic fields. Fernando E. Boada, University of Pittsburg, USA: Monitoring Ion Homeostasis with Sodium MRI (sMRI). Jeff Duyn, NIH, USA: Anatomical MRI based on magnetic susceptibility contrast. Rolf Gruetter, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. In vivo metabolism studies at ultra-high field. Mark Ladd, University Duisburg-Essen, Germany. Advances in Ultra-High Field Body Imaging Sarah J. Nelson, University of California, San Francisco, USA: Clinical applications at ultra-high field. Oliver Speck, Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg, Germany: Towards fMRI of subcortical structures at high field. Siegfried Trattnig, Medical University of Vienna, Austria: High resolution morphological, compositional…
April 20th 2010,  "Basse" delivered two new scanners for the DRCMR at Hvidovre Hospital.
Mette Hauge Lauritzen received a poster award at the ISMRM.At the Joint Annual Meeting of the ISMRM and ESMRMB in Stockholm last week Mette Lauritzen received a poster award for her poster entitled "Visualizing Regional Changes in Metabolism in a Rat Model of Acute Myocardial Infarction Using Hyperpolarized 13C MR". The work was presented as an e-poster and got a third prize in the category "Spec, Hype and the Like: The 1000 Club".
Does a conflict between inborn preferences and educational standards during childhood impact the structure of the adult brain? In a new study published in Journal of Neuroscience, Hartwig R. Siebner from the DRCMR , and co-workers demonstrated that left-handed people being forced to use their right hand acquire structural brain changes. The results are in accordance with a more general recent finding: The brain changes shape depending on its use. Full reference:J Neurosci. 2010 Mar 3;30(9):3271-5.Nurture versus nature: Long-term impact of forced right-handedness on structure of pericentral cortex and basal ganglia. Klöppel S, Mangin JF, Vongerichten A, Frackowiak RS, Siebner HR. 
An international multi-center study with DRCMR involvement was just published in the renowned journal PNAS. Anne-Marie Dogonowski and Kristoffer H. Madsen are co-authors of this resting state fMRI study on functional connectivity together with other experts in the field of brain connectivity measurements.Full reference:Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Mar 9;107(10):4734-9.Toward discovery science of human brain function.Biswal BB, Mennes M, Zuo XN, Gohel S, Kelly C, Smith SM, Beckmann CF, Adelstein JS, Buckner RL, Colcombe S, Dogonowski AM, Ernst M, Fair D, Hampson M, Hoptman MJ, Hyde JS, Kiviniemi VJ, Kötter R, Li SJ, Lin CP, Lowe MJ, Mackay C, Madden DJ, Madsen KH, Margulies DS, Mayberg HS, McMahon K, Monk CS, Mostofsky SH, Nagel BJ, Pekar JJ, Peltier SJ, Petersen SE, Riedl V, Rombouts SA, Rypma B, Schlaggar BL, Schmidt S, Seidler RD, Siegle GJ, Sorg C, Teng GJ, Veijola J, Villringer A, Walter M, Wang L,…
Page 7 of 10