Adjunct professor Jukka Huttunen works as a specialist in neurosurgery and head physician of the department at Kuopio University Hospital (KUH) Neurosurgery. He leads the Pain Neuromodulation Research Group, which includes about 20 people working at KUH and the University of Eastern Finland. A close collaboration is being launched with the research team currently building at Oulu University Hospital (OYS). “The close cooperation with Oulu University Hospital is expanding into a multicenter study “, describes Jukka.
In Finland, the incidence of chronic pain is 19-48%. Chronic pain, typically for example back pain, is often associated with physical and psychological co-morbidity. Registry study of severe pain and neuromodulation, big data and optimization of care are the key focuses of the research group. “The study of pain neuromodulation is a large follow-up study that combines both neurosurgical clinical research and biomarker research. New information on the effectiveness of treatment is sought through machine learning”, explains Jukka. The National Back Registry, maintained by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), is an example of a national register enabling surgical intervention validation research.
“The international strength of the research field is comprehensive national registers. Close national cooperation is also a critical key to success”, summarizes Jukka Finnish pain research success factors. “The Kuopio Brain & Mind and the Oulu Brain & Mind networks of Neurocenter Finland provide a much-needed platform for cooperation. In the future, surgical research will become increasingly focused on big data research, which requires multidisciplinary cooperation”, he sums up.
Pain Neuromodulation Research Group: https://uefconnect.uef.fi/en/group/pain-neuromodulation-group/