Main responsible: Gitte Moos Knudsen

This research includes the development and application of neuroimaging techniques, including Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT), and structural, functional and biochemical Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

Thematically, it overlaps with Functional MRI, Clinical Neurology, Clinical Psychiatry, Data Analysis and Radioligand Development. Our research focuses on neurobiological aspects of brain function in the healthy brain, such as relationships between brain structure and function in personality, cognition, and in response to pharmacological or non-pharmacological interventions. We have special expertise within neuroimaging of the serotonergic neurotransmitter system, resulting in a publicly available Serotonin atlas as well as another human brain atlas of the benzodiazepine site of the GABAA receptors. We also study the dopaminergic and nicotinic transmitter systems, SV2A, beta-amyloid, epigenetics, second messengers and neuroinflammation.

NRU runs a high-resolution SPECT-CT AnyScan Mediso scanner in the North Wing of Rigshospitalet. The facility is used both diagnostically and for research purposes.

We also collaborate closely with Professor Liselotte Højgaard and her dedicated staff at the PET and Cyclotron Unit at Rigshospitalet and have access to the HRRT PET scanner. The collaboration covers both research and developmental activities and provides NRU with access to state-of-the-art PET- and MR-PET scanner facilities.

NRU runs its own 3T Siemens Prisma MR-scanner in the North Wing of Rigshospitalet; it is dedicated for brain research. We have made the MR scanner facilities partly available for our close collaborators at the Department of Diagnostic Radiology for clinical investigations with a clear research potential. You can get an interactive tour around the new scanner facilities here.

The research theme is central in the following centers/projects based at NRU:

Examples of previous publications:

  • Hansen HD, Lindberg U, Ozenne B, Fisher PM, Johansen A, Svarer C, Keller SH, Hansen AE, Knudsen GM. Visual stimuli induce serotonin release in occipital cortex: A simultaneous positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging study. Hum Brain Mapp. 2020 Aug 19;41(16):4753-4763
  • Nørgaard M, Ganz M, Svarer C, Frokjaer VG, Greve DN, Strother SC, Knudsen GM. Different preprocessing strategies lead to different conclusions: A [11C]DASB-PET reproducibility study. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2020 Sep;40(9):1902-1911
  • Donovan LL, Magnussen JH, Dyssegaard A, Lehel S, Hooker JM, Knudsen GM, Hansen HD. Imaging HDACs In Vivo: Cross-Validation of the [11C]Martinostat Radioligand in the Pig Brain. Mol Imaging Biol. 2020 Jun;22(3):569-577
  • Deen M, Hougaard A, Hansen HD, Schain M, Dyssegaard A, Knudsen GM, Ashina M. Association Between Sumatriptan Treatment During a Migraine Attack and Central 5-HT1B Receptor Binding. JAMA Neurol. 2019 Jul 1;76(7):834-840
  • Madsen MK, Fisher PM, Burmester D, Dyssegaard A, Stenbæk DS, Kristiansen S, Johansen SS, Lehel S, Linnet K, Svarer C, Erritzoe D, Ozenne B, Knudsen GM. Psychedelic effects of psilocybin correlate with serotonin 2A receptor occupancy and plasma psilocin levels. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2019 Jun;44(7):1328-1334
  • Ebert SE, Jensen P, Ozenne B, Armand S, Svarer C, Stenbaek DS, Moeller K, Dyssegaard A, Thomsen G, Steinmetz J, Forchhammer BH, Knudsen GM, Pinborg LH. Molecular imaging of neuroinflammation in patients after mild traumatic brain injury: a longitudinal 123 I-CLINDE SPECT study. Eur J Neurol. 2019 Dec;26(12):1426-1432
  • da Cunha-Bang S, Fisher PM, Hjordt LV, Holst K, Knudsen GM. Amygdala reactivity to fearful faces correlates positively with impulsive aggression. Soc Neurosci. 2019 Apr;14(2):162-172