Healthy Aging and Neurodegeneration
Head of group
Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Andreas Fellgiebel
Translational research on Alzheimer's Disease
Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Andreas Fellgiebel
Main research interests
One of the main research areas our group focuses on is to investigate the neuronal basis for healthy aging. One of the main research questions in this area is, what kind of neurobiological features are common to people who remain cognitively active as well as plastic and performant in spite of their advanced age. Considering the fact that the risk to develop pathological brain alterations (vascular pathology or amyloid pathology) in aging is high, it can be assumed that these people possess specific compensatory capabilites and/or are especially resilient against neuronal pathology and cognitive decline.
These compensatory mechanisms and their active modulation will be investigated in a multicentric study of cognitive and physical training effects in healthy elderly subjects that is funded by the federal ministry of education and research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, 2015-2018).
Another main research is clinical research related to dementia. We are developing early diagnostic methods (esp. for Alzheimer's Disease) using cerebral imaging (MRI and PET) as well as cerebrospinal fluid markers.
Furthermore, we participate in the translational development of new disease-modifying drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease.
Part of our group working in this area is dedicated to research on healthcare in dementia. We strive to evaluate health care models that can be implemented in the general health care of patients of dementia and lead to measurable improvement of the well-being and quality of life of dementia patients and their caregivers. The recommendations of the forum of experts on dementia for necessary structural development aiming for effective and comprehensive health care in dementia in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, published in 2014, constitute an important framework for this type of research. Current research topics are "dementia in hospitals", "primary care physician based health care in dementia" and "day care clinic based treatment of dementia".
Methodologically we are working on the further development of brain structural connectivity metrics and the reconstruction of neuronal networks as surrogate markers for specific pathogies oder resilience in healthy and pathological aging, Diffusion weighted imaging constitutes the technical basis for this research area, which is a specialized type of structural MRI.
In the context of clinical and health care research areas, we are mainly working with neuropsychological tests and structured interviews.
Main research areas
The brain's structural basis for resilience and pathology
- Structural and functional connectivity of the brain as a modulator of cognitively healthy aging
- Transfer of cognitive training gains in cognitively healthy aging: mechanisms and modulators
- Dementia MRI-PET Imaging Platform (DeMPI)
Translational research in Alzheimer's Disease
Health care research
- Service point dementia
- Lighthouse project dementia "start-modem"
- Clinic of nuclear medicine (Prof. Dr. M. Schreckenberger)
- Institute of sports medicine (Prof. Dr. Dr. P. Simon)
- Clinic of psychiatry and psychotherapy, biochemical laboratory (Dr. K. Endres)
- Iserm-EPHE, University of Caen (PhD HDR Gaël Chételat)
- Institute of Movement and Neurosciences, German Sport University Cologne (Prof. Dr. H. Strüder, Dr. A. Mierau)
- Institute of Medical Biometry and Statistics, University of Freiburg (Prof. Dr. H. Binder)
- Clinic of Neurology and Clinic of Psychiatry, University of Rostock (Prof. Dr. S. Teipel)
- Clinic and Policlinic of Nuclear Medicine, University Medical Center Cologne (Prof. Dr. A. Drzezga)
- Clinic and Policlinic of Nuclear Medicine, University Medical CenterLeipzig (Prof. Dr. Osama Sabri)
Third party funding
FKZ 01GQ1425D (in cooperation with O. Tüscher, University Medical Center Mainz; H. Binder, University Medical Center Mainz; S. Teipel, University Medical Center Rostock; H. Strüder und A. Mierau, German Sport University Köln, A. Drzezga, University Medical Center Köln): Transfer of cognitive training gains in cognitively healthy aging: Mechanisms and Modulators.
Göhring foundation for research in dementia