The working group Cerebrovascular Diseases, headed by Professor Andreas Meisel, focuses on the mechanisms and consequences of stroke-induced immunodepression. The clinical picture of stroke is not only characterized by neurological deficits, but also by the high incidence of infectious complications, in particular, pneumonia. The occurrence of pneumonia in stroke patients is associated with higher mortality and larger neurological deficits. Recent experimental and clinical evidence indicates that stroke-induced immunodepression is an independent risk factor which increases susceptibility to infections. Based on basic research projects by our group at the Center for Stroke Research Berlin (CSB), new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to stroke treatment have been developed in clinical studies. Growing insight into the mechanisms of immunodepression may enable new immunomodulatory treatment approaches in stroke patients in the future. The improvement of stroke patient care through new care provision structures and care provision research is the main aim of the Berlin Stroke Alliance, a network of Berlin stroke care providers.
Stroke: We translate our basis research findings into clinical studies on infections after stroke, immune modulation, and endogenous protective mechanisms in the nervous system. We develop predictive biomarkers (stress, immune, and inflammatory markers) and scores for predicting stroke-associated infections and long-term outcome after stroke. We develop biomarker-based, anti-infective and immunomodulatory therapies for stroke-associated pneumonia to improve outcome after stroke.
Myasthenia gravis (MG) and Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP): We develop biomarkers for predicting the course and treatment response of both disorders. For example, antigen-specific immune responses of T-lymphocytes isolated from blood predict whether CIDP patients will benefit from intravenous immunoglobulin treatment or not. In parallel to our experimental work, we investigate the role of plasma cells in myasthenia gravis. Moreover, in innovative clinical trials we are investigating novel immunomodulatory treatment strategies for both autoimmune diseases.
Prof. Dr. med. Andreas Meisel
Andreas Meisel is Professor of Neurology at the NeuroCure Clinical Research Center (NCRC) and the Center for Stroke Research Berlin (CBS) at the Charité. He studied medicine in Berlin and was an EMBO Fellow at the Biocenter in Basel (Switzerland). Andreas Meisel has been employed at the Charité since 1995 and has been a specialist in neurology since 2003. He is a senior physician of the neurological intensive care unit and head of the Myasthenia Outpatient Clinic of the Department of Neurology. His research focuses on systemic changes in immunity after stroke and endogenous protective mechanisms of the nervous system. He has headed the Cerebrovascular Diseases group at the NeuroCure Clinical Research Center since 2008.