Forschungsschwerpunkt Translationale Neurowissenschaften Mainz


Research group „Neurology“


1. Multiple Sclerosis

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an important method to capture pathological processes in the central nervous system in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis. However, those parameters which can be detected most easily, i.e. multiple sclerosis plaques in the white matter and contrast enhanced lesions, do not sufficiently correlate with the impairment of the patients. Thus, prognostic markers are lacking. In the past years we have employed MR imaging in longitudinal and therapeutic studies. Additionally, we have enhanced MR sequences and analysis methods in collaboration with physicists to gain new insights into the pathology of multiple sclerosis. We were able to show that local perfusion increase precedes new contrast enhanced lesions. Thus, new centers of inflammation can be detected earlier by employing perfusion-weighted imaging. We further found an association of disease related imaging activity with increased size of the Virchow-Robin spaces. This corroborates our experimental findings regarding the relevance of the perivascular space, in which obviously is determined whether a lymphocyte has auto-aggressive effects on the central nervous system. Our main focus is the investigation of inflammatory neural damage. Therefore, we use imaging techniques in humans and animals.


Head of group:

Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Frauke Zipp


Team Members:

Amgad Droby

Felix Lüssi

Bernhard Baier

Janine Wilting

Vinzenz Fleischer


Selected publications:

Bellmann-Strobl J, Stiepani H, Wuerfel J, Bohner G, Paul F, Warmuth C, Aktas O, Wandinger KP, Zipp F, Klingebiel R. MR spectroscopy (MRS) and magnetisation transfer imaging (MTI), lesion load and clinical scores in early relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis: a combined cross-sectional and longitudinal study. European Journal of Radiology 2009a, 19: 2066-74

Bellmann-Strobl J, Wuerfel J, Aktas O, Dörr J, Wernecke KD, Zipp F§, Paul F§. Poor PASAT performance correlates with MRI contrast enhancement in multiple sclerosis. Neurology 2009b, 73: 1624-1627§equally contributing

Paul F, Pfueller CF, Wuerfel JT, Egerer K, Tanczos B, Baumgart DC, Zipp F. Celiac antibodies in the diagnostic workup of white matter lesions. Neurology 2008a, 71: 223-225

Paul F, Waiczies S, Wuerfel J, Bellmann-Strobl J, Dorr J, Waiczies H, Haertle M, Wernecke KD, Volk HD, Aktas O, Zipp F. Oral high-dose atorvastatin treatment in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. PLoS ONE 2008b, 3: e1928

 Siffrin V, Radbruch H, Glumm R, Niesner R, Paterka M, Herz J, Leuenberger T, Lehmann MS, Luenstedt S, Rinnenthal JL, Laube G, Luche H, Lehnardt S, Fehling H, Griesbeck O, Zipp F. In vivo imaging of partially reversible th17 cell-induced neuronal dysfunction in the course of encephalomyelitis. Immunity 2010a, 33: 424-436.

Siffrin V, Vogt J, Radbruch H, Nitsch R, Zipp F. Multiple sclerosis – candidate mechanisms underlying CNS atrophy. Trends in Neurosciences 2010b, 33: 202-210

zu Eulenburg P, Stoeter P, Dieterich M. Voxel-based morphometry depicts central compensation after vestibular neuritis. Ann Neurol 2010, 68: 241-9

Wuerfel J, Haertle M, Waiczies H, Tysiak E, Bechmann I, Wernecke KD, Zipp F§, Paul F§ Perivascular spaces – MRI marker of inflammatory activity in the brain? Brain 2008, 131: 2332-2340 §equally contributing

Zipp F A new window in multiple sclerosis pathology: non-conventional quantitative magnetic resonance imaging outcomes. Journal of Neurological Sciences 2009, 287(S1): S24-9

Zipp F, Hartung HP, Hillert J, Schimrigk S, Trebst C, Stangel M, Infante-Duarte C, Jakobs P, Wolf C, Sandbrink R, Pohl C, Filippi M CCR1 Antagonist Study Group. Blockade of chemokine signaling in patients with multiple sclerosis. Neurology 2006, 67: 1880-1883




2. Vestibular System

Our research group focuses on the central representations of the vestibular system and its multisensory interconnections within the cortex. Animal experiments (sprague dawley rat) are performed using galvanic vestibular stimulation in FDG-PET. Examinations of healthy volunteers as well as patients with vestibular disorders in magnetic resonance imaging make up for the majority of our studies. Here, the potential methods include structural imaging (VBM) as well as functional neuroimaging (fMRI, DCM, resting state analysis and functional connectivity). Our repertoire of vestibular stimuli includes galvanic stimulation of the whole vestibular nerve, short tone bursts for otolith stimulation and caloric irrigation of the horizontal semi-circular canal.


Team Members:

Dr. med. Christoph Best

Dr. med. Peter zu Eulenburg (Schlindwein)



Pia Runge

Olaf Nell

Sarah Hansen

Claudia Wegner

Carolin Hinkel

Maxine Ruehl

Martina Seidler


Recent publications:

Best C, Stefan H, Hopfengaertner R, Dieterich M (2010) Effects of electrical stimulation in vestibular cortex areas in humans. J Neurol Sci 290(1-2):157-162

Dieterich M, Bauermann T, Best C, Stoeter P, Schlindwein P (2007) Evidence for cortical visual substitution of chronic bilateral vestibular failure (an fMRI study). Brain 130(Pt 8):2108-2116

Schlindwein P, Mueller M, Bauermann T, Brandt T, Stoeter P, Dieterich M (2008) Cortical representation of saccular vestibular stimulation: VEMPs in fMRI. NeuroImage 39(1):19-31

zu Eulenburg P, Müller-Forell W, Dieterich W (2012) On the recall of vestibular sensations. Brain Struct Funct 2012 (Epub ahead of print)

zu Eulenburg P, Caspers S, Roski C, Eickhoff SB (2011) Meta-analytical definition and functional connectivity of the human vestibular cortex. NeuroImage (in press)

zu Eulenburg P, Stoeter P, Dieterich M (2010) Voxel-based morphometry depicts central compensation after vestibular neuritis. Ann Neurol 68(2):241-249







14. September 2017
NIC meeting
Christian Paret (Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim) will give a talk on “Real-time fMRI neurofeedback from the amygdala: Feasibility, clinical application and brain mechanisms” in the NIC meeting on Thursday, September 14th....more
24. August 2017
NIC meeting
Dr. Til Ole Bergmann (University of Tübingen) will be guest speaker in the NIC meeting on Thursday, August 24th. His talk: “On the function of neuronal oscillations – insights from transcranial brain stimulation and multimodal imaging” will be at noon in the seminar room in building 701....more
13. July 2017
NIC meeting
Philipp Horstmann (Psychiatry, Mainz) will present the current status of the MRI study investigating the influence of prg-1 (plasticity related gene) genotype on brain morphology and function in the NIC meeting on July 13th. The NIC meetings starts at 12:00 in the seminar room in building 701!...more