DEAR READER,

Welcome to the network stimulation laboratory – which is based across the Atlantic in Boston and Berlin.

We are a scientific group with interest in neuroimaging, methods development, movement disorders and invasive brain stimulation.

The Boston arm of our group is embedded in the Center for Brain Circuit Therapeutics at Brigham & Women’s Hospital as well as the Department of Neurosurgery at Massachusetts General Hospital within Harvard Medical School.

The Berlin arm of our group is embedded in the Movement Disorders and Neuromodulation Section at Charité – University Medicine Berlin and we are part of the CRC Retune funded by the DFG.

The goal of our research is to analyse and modulate brain networks to improve clinical treatment – predominantly in the movement disorders spectrum.

The primary tools we have used to pursue these goals are structural imaging and noninvasive connectivity measures derived from functional and diffusion weighted MRI.

Scientific focus

As a methodological “backbone” of our work, together with others, we develop an open-source software called Lead-DBS.
Lead-DBS is a toolbox facilitating Deep Brain Stimulation electrode reconstructions and computer simulations based on postoperative MRI & CT imaging.

Further scientific contributions include estimating and validating normative brain connectomes – i.e. “average wiring diagrams” of the human brain. These atlases describe which area is how strongly connected to which other areas of the brain. Over the years, we have created several – they are all freely available to the scientific community and were applied in a context where subject- or patient-specific connectograms are not available.

Publications

Members of our lab published in peer-reviewed international journals such as Nature Communications, Annals of Neurology, Brain, PNASBiological Psychiatry, NeuroImage and Human Brain Mapping.

Stimulating Brains: A DBS Podcast

Andreas Horn of our lab hosts a Podcast about DBS.
In it, he picks the brain of stimulating researchers about the past, present and future of Neuromodulation

Funding

The Netstim laboratory is currently funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the Foundation for OCD research (FFOR), the German Research Council and the EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND).

Past funding includes grants from the German Research Council, the Dystonia Research Foundation, the Berlin Institute of Health and the Thiemann Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease Research.

Prior funding includes fellowships by the Prof. Klaus Thiemann Stiftung, Berlin Institute of Health and Stiftung Charité