Main areas

Clinical trials

The main focus is to examine the effect of treatment interventions, both established and experimental, for patients with musculoskeletal pain. The group, headed by Kjersti Storheim, has extensive experience in running large longitudinal multicenter clinical trials.

The AIM study (Antibiotics In Modic changes), Back-to-Basic, The Norwegian disc prosthesis study and the NORDSTEN study are examples of studies that are rooted in the group.

Group leader: Kjersti Storheim

Population genetics

The group focuses on uncovering genetic causes for chronic pain and for neurological and psychiatric disease through large-scale genetic analysis of data from population studies including the HUNT Study , the Tromsø Study and UK Biobank .

Understanding the genetic causes can give new insights into biological mechanisms involved in these disorders, and in turn lead to improved treatment. The group is closely linked to the K.G. Jebsen Center for Genetic Epidemiology.

UK Biobank
K.G. Jebsen-senter for genetisk epidemiologi

Group leader: Bendik Winsvold


The aim of the group is to identify and characterize genetic and epigenetic causes of neurological disease, with a focus on epilepsy, movement disorders and musculoskeletal disease and pain. Our studies comprise both small patient groups, such as particular epileptic encephalopathies, to large cohorts from public health studies.

High throughput sequencing techniques are applied to produce data, and the sequencing is performed by our collaborator Norwegian Sequencing Centre (UiO/OUH). In these data, we search for germline and somatic genetic causes of disease, as well as epigenetic causes of disease.

Norwegian Sequencing Centre 

Group leader: Kaja Selmer

Pain mechanisms

The group applies genetic and neurophysiological methods to understand the development of chronic pain. Pain trials are carried out on healthy volunteers, as well as on patients with injuries or diseases on peripheral nerves.

Group leader: Kristian Bernhard Nilsen

Neurophysiological mechanisms  of neuropathic pain

The main aim of this Group is to study neurophysiological mechanisms in  various conditions of neuropathic pain, such as small fiber neuropathy, CRPS, peripheral nerve damage as well as pain insensitivity.

We apply standard  investigations such as quantitative sensory tests and QSART (Quantitative Sudomotor Axon Reflex Test), in addition to pure research methods, such as micro neurography, which allows registration from single C- pain fibers in awake patients

Group leader: Ellen Jørum 


The group studies the distribution and identifies risk factors of diagnoses within NEMU. The group has published several population-based studies on data from the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT). Another example is the project "Back pain and sciatica - prognostic factors for clinical outcome", based on data from patients admitted to Department of Neurology OUS with the diagnoses of acute back pain. The latter project started as a quality register in 2012.

Group leaders: Ingrid Heuch and Synne Øien Stensland

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