ResearchAs the state's only health and research university, OHSU brings together education, research, patient care and community service. While each component has its own individual goals and mission, all of them are bound together by a common vision - to improve the well-being of Oregonians.

New discoveries and treatments at OHSU are creating hope for millions of people who cope with neurological problems that affect how they interact with the world. Detailed in this research section of the web site you will find how unique basic and clinical research at OHSU is contributing to enhance, improve and advance neurosurgical outcomes for patients.

Research in the Department of Neurological Surgery is headed by Mary M. Heinricher, Ph.D., whose work on how the brain controls pain is internationally recognized. Investigators in the Department study brain disorders in the laboratory and at the bedside.

Summary of Research Studies

Investigators in the Department of Neurological Surgery are working on:
  • Pain: transduction and signaling by pain-sensing neurons, how pain is regulated by the brain, and how changes in the nervous system contribute to chronic pain states. Clinical studies include surgical treatments for trigeminal neuralgia.
  • Alzheimer's disease: application of advanced imaging techniques to study the vascular microenvironment in Alzheimer's disease.
  • Epilepsy: surgical treatments for epilepsy.
  • Movement disorders: clinical and laboratory studies of deep brain stimulation for tremor associated with Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders, in adults and children.
  • Brain tumors: improved surgical treatments for adult and pediatric brain tumors.
  • Clinical studies of therapies for Cushing's disease; growth hormone and testosterone therapy for panhypopituitary tumors.
  • Traumatic brain injury in children: development of pediatric guidelines.
  • Interventional neuroradiology as a minimally invasive approach in the treatment of diseases of the brain and spine.