Neuropsychiatric Epidemiology

Institute of Neurogenetics 
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy

Group Members

Meike Kasten (Group leader)
Eva-Juliane Vollstedt (Postdoc)
Elena Löwin (Study nurse)
Barbara Staemmler (Study nurse)

Research Interests

The group’ research focus is the frequency, course, and impact of psychiatric and psychological factors associated with neurological movement disorders, in particular Parkinson Disease (PD). The section of Neuropsychiatric Epidemiology started in 2010 and is part of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, but located at and closely intertwined with the Institute of Neurogenetics. In 2013 a more permanent framework for this working group was established via a W2 Professorship.

Since 2010, we maintain a cohort study funded (2010-2013) by the German Research Foundation (DFG) named EPIPARK, which covers the epidemiology of non-motor symptoms in PD. Within the EPIPARK study, 10,000 inhabitants of Lübeck aged 50-79 years received a mailed screening questionnaire including a screening for symptoms of PD and 623 persons participated in further in-person examinations. Currently, follow-up examinations are ongoing with the 4th follow-up in progress. Other research interests include the analysis of non-motor symptoms in other movement disorders. For this, we performed psychiatric interviews in families with myoclonus-dystonia and analyzed non-motor symptoms in dopa-responsive dystonia. In addition, we examined secondary movement disorders due to antipsychotic medications within the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy. Our most recently started, large collaborative project is to establish a cohort to examine hedonic eating behavior in the context of the SFB-TR 134. This interdisciplinary project benefits from all experiences with our Epipark cohort although the research focus differs. For the SFB cohort 14.000 citizens of Lübeck have been screened and 700 participants will be examined for the core cohort. 


  • Brit Mollenhauer, Elena Klinik, Kassel
  • Daniela Berg, Hertie Institut für klinische Hirnforschung, Tübingen
  • Connie Marras, Toronto Western Hospital, Canada
  • Caroline Tanner, University of California, San Francisco, USA
  • Yoav Ben-Shlomo, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, UK

Latest Publications

  1. Qualitative Characteristics of Depression in Parkinson's Patients and Controls. Kritzinger C, Vollstedt EJ, Hückelheim K, Lorwin A, Graf J, Tunc S, Klein C, Kasten M. Behav Neurol. 2015;2015:961372. doi: 10.1155/2015/961372. Epub 2015 Aug 16.
  2. Primary familial brain calcification with known gene mutations: a systematic review and challenges of phenotypic characterization. Tadic V, Westenberger A, Domingo A, Alvarez-Fischer D, Klein C, Kasten M. JAMA Neurol. 2015 Apr 1;72(4):460-7 64. 
  3. Tunc S, Graf J, Tadic V, Brüggemann N, Schmidt A, Al-Khaled M, Wolff S, Vollstedt EJ, Lorwin A, Hampf J, Piskol L, Klein C, Hagenah J, Kasten M. A population-based study on combined markers for early Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord. 2015 Apr;30(4):531-7
  4. Kasten M, Klein C. The many faces of alpha-synuclein mutations. Mov Disord. 2013 Jun;28(6):697-701.
  5. Kasten M, Hagenah J, Graf J, Lorwin A, Vollstedt E-J, Peters E, Katalinic A, Raspe H, Klein C. (2013) Cohort Profile: A population-based cohort to study non-motor symptoms in parkinsonism (EPIPARK). Int J Epidemiology