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July 27, 2016
Clinical neurophysiology research perspectives

Professor Walter Paulus of the European Chapter of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology outlines the field of neurophysiology

Professor Walter Paulus of the European Chapter of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology outlines the field of neurophysiology, discusses various methods used within the discipline, and identifies several areas with potential as topics for further European research.

Clinical neurophysiology (as defined by the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology) is ‘a medical specialty, or sub-specialty, concerned with function and dysfunction of the nervous system, caused by disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve and muscle, using physiological and imaging techniques to measure nervous system activity. When interpreted in relation to the clinical presentation of patients, data from these techniques can either diagnose or assist in the diagnosis of neurological or psychiatric conditions and quantify, monitor, and follow progression of such conditions. Clinical neurophysiology also encompasses physiological methods for therapy of neurological and psychiatric disorders.’

Research in clinical neurophysiology

Clinical neurophysiology encompasses a broad array of methods to study the peripheral and central nervous system, and targets virtually all diseases in neurology and psychiatry. Clinical neurophysiology bridges basic neuroscience closely with clinical neuroscience. It is a typical translational part of brain research. Investigation of human brain function is possible from single cell recordings during epilepsy surgery or deep brain stimulation to recording activity of large-scale brain networks during electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalo­­graphy (MEG), positron emission tomography (PET) or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). These investigations are often combined with psychophysical and neuropsychological investigations.

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