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Friday, May 6, 2016

The power of a brain

Friday, December 29, 2000

Professor with local ties delves deep into the secrets of the brain at the VA Center in Minneapolis, with hopes of finding key to cure schizophrenia.

Dr. Patty Pardo is playing a part in helping those at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center have a better understanding of the functions of the brain.

Pardo, an assistant professor of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota, is the daughter of Byron and Marie Crippin, Storm Lake. Pardo researches Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) or research imaging of the human brain.

VA researchers provide improved medical care for veterans, as well as the general population. Through its unique affiliation with medical schools, VA plays a crucial role in educating future physicians in research and clinically oriented areas.

Pardo said she became interested in the study of the brain when doing her graduate work at Washington University.

"My thesis professor interested me with the positive things occurring in the brain and the information that the technology was offering as well," Pardo said. "I became interested in finding out when things were occurring in the brain and where they were occurring."

Today Pardo studies what the brain puts out by doing tests that shield the brain from other noises. The main goal is to understand psychiatric neurological brain diseases, she said.

"Right now we're installing a new part to the lab that is going to have facilities that include aluminum metal in order to get the electromagnetic environmental noise out," Pardo said. "The magnetic flex of the brain is smaller than that of the earth or a computer field so in order to see what the brain is putting out, we have to shield the other noises."

Read the rest of this article in the 12/30 Pilot Tribune.

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