Message from the Chair

Patient care has been the highest priority of the Department of Neurology at the University of Minnesota since its founding in 1946. The department has fostered the development of a wide range of subspecialty services provided by expert clinicians; these include Alzheimer's disease, ataxia, epilepsy, movement disorders, multiple sclerosis, neurobehavioral and neuromuscular disorders, stroke, disorders of sleep, pain management, and neurocritical care. We have interdisciplinary programs across all major subspecialties through collaborations with colleagues in the Departments of Neurosurgery, Psychiatry, Radiology/Neuroradiology, ENT, Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience, and a new program in vestibular and balance disorders is being developed. We also collaborate with colleagues in the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR), the Institute of Human Genetics, the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health (School of Public Health), and the Brain Sciences Center and Geriatric Research and Education Clinical Center (GRECC) at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center.

Research is a critical element in the fight against neurological disease; it paves the way for the development and implementation of new therapies and provides opportunities to expand our academic mission. Understanding the root cause of neurological disorders is a hallmark of the neurology research enterprise. Our physicians pioneer new surgical therapies for Parkinson's disease and dystonia and the application of deep brain stimulation for movement and psychiatric disorders, and multidisciplinary studies in diseases of muscle and nerve with a world-class Center for Magnetic Resonance Imaging illustrate the critical role played by research in the delivery of clinical care. There are numerous opportunities for faculty members, fellows and residents to develop clinical and basic research skills in virtually any area of interest.

Teaching and Education. The academic mission of the Department is to provide a basic understanding of the causes of neurological disorders and through this understanding to develop effective new therapies. We aim to recruit the best, brightest and most motivated applicants in order to train the neurologists and neuroscientists of the future. Our residents receive outstanding training in all subspecialty areas by dedicated faculty members who view residency education as a critical element in the Department's academic mission. The academic faculty are distributed among four public teaching hospitals: the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview (UMMC); Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC); the Minneapolis Veterans Administration Hospital (VAMC); and Regions Medical Center (Regions). Diverse patient populations constitute a major strength of our clinical, research and training programs. Across the public teaching hospitals the Department cares for more than 1,000 neurology inpatients per year, provides 2,000 inpatient consultations, and accounts for 10,000 outpatient visits.

Clinical fellowships are available in most of our subspecialty programs, and research training opportunities are available for graduate and post-graduate students and trainees.

Jerrold L. Vitek, MD, PhD