The aim of my research is to employ brain-computer interfaces (BCI) to monitor brain function giving patients and researchers better understanding of sudden unexpected episodes of impaired consciousness and empower patients and relatives to take control of these situations. It is essential that the patients experience control and health care professionals get the best possibilities to guide the patients, suggest changes of treatment and to understand their underlying brain dysfunction.
Electrical brain signals (EEG) reflects the function of the underlying brain. New types of EEG-devices and new analytical tools make it possible for us to work with brain signals as they are generated. Such online analysis is central for monitoring events like epileptic seizures or hypoglycemia as it happens and may be even predict it. Small implantable devices or devices hidden in the ear canal can register brain activity and transmits to smart phones or other warning devices without the stigmatization associated with full EEG, e.g. from a 21-electrode cap.
EEG is useful for detecting a large number of conditions like abuse, dementia, epilepsy or impairment of consciousness. Long time monitoring of electrical brains signals thus make it possible to monitor and diagnose a large number of diseases involving brain impairment. Some of these conditions are have well described signatures in the EEG.
Being a board certified clinical neurophysiologist I work as a medical doctor seeing patients and patient examinations as well doing medical research. Medical research joining hand with the technical and natural sciences has always been of particular importance to me, exemplified by my PhD-studies which started at the Niels Bohr Institute of Physics, DK in collaboration with laboratory of Neuropsychology, NIH, USA. I believe that important scientific advances for the patients will be found in this cross field of brain science and technology.
Our understanding of normal brain function is still very limited and the diseased brain is only scarcely understood. The general approach to patients is to ask them to report of their history and examine them in the doctor's office. However, patients with brain diseases or impairment of consciousness do not give reliable descriptions of their history due to the nature of their disease. Another great challenge of understanding the sick brain is that doctors only see a short time window of the patient's condition and based on that tries to treat the patient 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year round. A typical situation in an epilepsy clinic is a patient with history of seizures but recollection of them and a healthcare professional that sits in front of an apparently normal person trying to figure out how to treat her/him.
I have a large professional network of collaborators in Denmark and abroad working together to understand and utilize the signals of the working brain. I am a key player in patient-centered building of bridges between developers of medico-technical products and the medical community.
As a professor of Neurology at Zealand University Hospital and University of Copenhagen I teach a large number of students. This includes medical student, biomedical engineering students, public health students, student of human biology and IT-health.
I am very much involved in putting the brain on everybodies mind. Read my latest book: Knivskarp, fra normal til genial på 6 uger.
Come and hear my next public lecture - tomorrow.
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