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News Research project on back pain as part of the ETH funding programme

Back pain is very common. That is why it is a central topic in the work of Schulthess Klinik, both in the treatment of its patients and in its research. A joint research project in this field in collaboration with ETH Zurich is now being supported by ETH’s renowned «Personalized Health and Related Technology» (PHRT) funding programme.

Back pain is one of the most common conditions of all and often leads to significant limitations in a patient's mobility and ability to work. People, and efforts to maintain their mobility and quality of life, are at the heart of Schulthess Klinik’s work. That is why back pain is such an important topic for the clinic. The Neurology department sees many sufferers and uses a range of techniques to treat pain, including infiltrations in the spinal column, a therapy in which it has leading expertise.

«Personalized Health and Related Technology» (PHRT) funding programme

Schulthess Klinik conducts research in collaboration with ETH Zurich, one of the world’s leading institutes of technology, with the aim of using innovative techniques to further develop clinical care for back pain. A new research project in the field of back pain is now being funded by ETH’s renowned “Personalized Health and Related Technology” (PHRT) funding programme, receiving almost CHF 250,000. The aim of this funding programme is to combine ETH know-how with clinical expertise in order to drive forward the personalised medicine of the future. 

The heads of the interdisciplinary study team, led by Prof. Dr. Catherine Jutzler (ETH), Dr. med. Zina-Mary Manjaly (Schulthess Klinik and ETH) and Prof. Dr. Ender Konukoglu (ETH), bring together expertise from the fields of neurology, data science and artificial intelligence. The aim of the three-year project is to develop new diagnostic methods to predict which patients will benefit most from an infiltration, and which outcome parameters are most useful in these predictions. 

The aim: even more effective treatment of back pain 

The «Predicting individual treatment response for injection therapy in low back pain» project combines digitalisation, artificial intelligence and predictive models in the context of back pain. It draws on the clinical expertise of the Neurology department (under the direction of Dr. med. univ. Christian Lanz) in the field of infiltration therapies for back pain, as well as Schulthess Klinik’s unique research infrastructure for investigating movement patterns (Human Performance Lab). The aim of the project is to enable Schulthess Klinik to treat back pain in its patients even more effectively and to develop new methods for personalised treatment predictions for back pain in general.

The direct link between science and day-to-day clinical care has a long tradition at Schulthess Klinik. Our patients benefit from the resulting exchange of scientific information, which is incorporated into everyday clinical practice at our facility. ETH Zurich is an important cooperation partner in many projects, all with the aim of continuously improving patient care.

Read more about Dr. med. Zina-Mary Manjaly
Dr. med. Zina-Mary Manjaly Spezialistin Neurologie

Dr. med. Zina-Mary Manjaly

Consultant Neurology

Dr Manjaly is a neurology specialist who completed her clinical training in England and Switzerland. She is a clinical scientist at ETH Zurich, specialising in fatigue, multiple sclerosis and brain imaging techniques (neuroimaging). Building on her Master’s degree in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) from the University of Oxford, she is also investigating the role of cognitive factors in neurological symptoms and therapeutic efficacy. She is clinical head of the Human Performance Lab (HPL) at Schulthess Klinic and member of the scientific advisory board.

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