Cognitive Neurology

The Cognitive Neurology group under the direction of Prof. Dr. Agnes Flöel focuses on the topics of healthy aging, cognitive impairments in aging, neurorehabilitation following stroke, and vascular and Alzheimer’s dementia. To this end, learning processes in healthy aging or stroke-damaged brain are being investigated (for example, through behavior measurements or MR-based imaging). Building on this, interventional techniques for learning improvement are being developed, especially in the area of language and motor skill recovery following stroke, and in neurodegenerative diseases. This includes learning support through medication, electrical brain stimulation and lifestyle interventions such as physical activity or dietary approaches. In this context, the interaction between response to interventional techniques and genetic disposition is also being investigated.

Research focus

Dementia generally refers to the loss of mental (cognitive) abilities. Various higher cognitive functions such as memory, thinking, orientation and language are affected, accompanied or followed by changes in emotional and social behavior of patients. Here, deficits can be so pronounced that they impair the activities of daily living. In advanced stages, difficulties coping with everyday problems lead to a loss of independence and the need for care.

Dementia-type illnesses are among the most frequent diseases in advanced age. According to the German Alzheimer’s Society, currently almost one million people (65 years and older) suffer from dementia in Germany. There are several forms of dementia. The most frequent and best known is Alzheimer’s dementia. The causes of dementia diseases are complex and not yet fully understood. Depending on the type of dementia, neurodegenerative (here meaning progressive nerve cell loss) changes in the brain are the main problem, but the importance of environmental influences is also attracting increasing attention. At present there are not yet any recognized “disease-preventing” therapies. So far, treatment is oriented toward delaying cognitive decline and maintaining an independent lifestyle for as long as possible.

Group leader
Prof. Dr. Agnes Flöel
Agnes Flöel has been director of the Clinic of Neurology in Greifswald since 2017.
She studied medicine at the University of Hannover. Following clinical work at the university hospital of Münster, she spent two years doing research at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland (USA), after which she returned to Münster. In 2009, Agnes Flöel accepted a professorship in Pathophysiology of Cerebrovascular Diseases at the Charité, where she also works as a senior physician in the Department of Neurology on the Charité Campus Mitte. In addition, between 2009 an 20017 she has been a member of the Cluster of Excellence NeuroCure and Center for Stroke Research Berlin.  Her research focuses on diseases associated with aging, such as dementia and stroke, as well as the functional and structural imaging of higher cognitive functions such as language and memory in healthy volunteers and patients.
Since 2009 she has headed the Cognitive Neurology group at the Department of Neurology. As of 2013 her group was also part of the NeuroCure Clinical Research Center.
 
Cooperation
  • Department of Neurology (Director Prof. Dr. M. Endres)
  • Center for Stroke Research Berlin CSB
  • Berlin School of Mind & Brain
  • Dr. med. Friedhelm Hummel, Professor at EPFL SV SSV-GE, Genève, Schweiz
  • Prof. Dr. med. Michael Nitsche, IFADO-Leibniz-Institute for Arbeitsforschung at the TU Dortmund (Psychology and Neuroscience)
  • Prof. Shu-Chen Li, Ph.D., Lifespan Developmental Neuroscience, TU Dresden
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Falkenstein, Institute for Psychology, TU Dortmund
  • Dr. Florian Schubert, In vivo MRI, Research Group 8.12, Physikalisch Technische Bundesanstalt Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Torsten Schubert, Institute for Psychology, HU Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Andreas Meisel, Cerebrovascular Diseases, NeuroCure Clinical Research Center, Berlin