Systems Neuroscience / Movement Disorders & Neuropsychiatry

Institute of Neurogenetics  

Group Members

Alexander Münchau, Tobias Bäumer (Group leaders)
Valerie Brandt (Postdoc)
Vera Tadic (Medical Doctor)
Simone Zittel (Medical Doctor)
Jennifer Tübing (Medical Doctor)
Sinem Tunc (Medical Doctor)
Magdalena Baaske (Medical Doctor)
Corinna Hartmann (Medical Doctor)
Johanna Junker (Medical Doctor)
Anne Weissbach (Medical Doctor)
Henrike Hanßen (Staff)
Christian Himstedt (Staff)
Jenny Schmalfeld (Study nurse)
Sandra Blöß (Study nurse)
Maike Dümcke-Zilian (Secretary)
Michaela Zander-Deuerling (Secretary)

Research Interests

A better understanding of neural characteristics and determinants of physiological movements, motor development and motor control in healthy humans, and delineation of the pathophysiology of movement disorders are the main themes of our group. We study healthy children and adults, and both paediatric and adult patients with movement disorders and neuropsychiatric diseases of all ages using different methods including psychophysical paradigms, classical experimental neurophysiology, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), electroencephalography (EEG), and structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In our Gilles da la Tourette syndrome research team we focus on inhibitory control, neural correlates of premonitory sensations, echophenomena, and attentional as well as perceptual processes related to tic generation.

In multi-modal genotype-(endo)phenotype neurophysiology-imaging studies we explore network characteristics in basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical and intracortical circuits in patients with genetically determined parkinsonism and dystonia including PARKIN-, PINK1-parkinsonism, X-linked dystonia parkinsonism (DYT-TAF1), and dopa-responsive dystonia (DYT-GCH 1). We study motor network abnormalities in different monogenic isolated and combined dystonias. Also, we have a special interest in understanding motor network abnormalities in other rare movement disorders including ataxias, myoclonus and paroxysmal disorders. We are involved in clinical studies in patients with Tourette syndrome, Huntington disease, multi-system atrophy, spasticity and cerebral palsy.

Our team comprises neurologists, neurophysiologists, psychiatrists, psychologists and study nurses. We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary research bridging different clinical disciplines including neurology, psychiatry, paediatrics and human genetics, and neuroscience. We offer different research perspectives both for neuroscientists and clinicians to embrace personal preferences and scientific perspectives.  


Collaborations

  • Veit Rößner, Christian Beste (University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden, Germany)
  • Patrick Haggard (Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, UK)
  • Hartwig R. Siebner (Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre, Denmark)


Latest Publications

  1. Brandt VC, Beck C, Sajin V, Baaske MK, Bäumer T, Beste C, Anders S, Münchau A. Temporal relationship between premonitory urges and tics in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. Cortex (in press).
  2. Schunke O, Schöttle D, Vettorazzi E, Brandt V, Kahl U, Bäumer T, Ganos C, David N, Peiker I, Engel AK, Brass M, Münchau A. Mirror me: Imitative responses in adults with autism.  Autism 2015 Mar 13. pii: 1362361315571757. [Epub ahead of print].
  3. Weissbach A, Bäumer T, Rosales R, Lee LV, Brüggemann N, Domingo A, Westenberger A, Jamora RD, Diesta CC, Brandt V, Tadic V, Zittel S, Klein C, Münchau A. Neurophysiological fingerprints of X-linked dystonia-parkinsonism – a model basal ganglia disease. Mov Disord 2015;30:873-75.
  4. Weissbach A, Bäumer T, Brüggemann N, Tadic V, Zittel S, Cheng B, Thomalla G, Klein C,  Münchau A. Premotor-motor excitability is altered in dopa-responsive dystonia. Mov Disord 2015. doi: 10.1002/mds.26365.
  5. Thomalla G, Jonas M, Bäumer T, Siebner HR, Biermann-Ruben K, Ganos C, Orth M, Hummel FC, Gerloff C, Müller-Vahl K, Schnitzler A, Münchau A. Cost of control – decreased motor cortex engagement during a Go/NoGo task in Tourette syndrome. Brain 2014;137:122-136.