Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Oertel
His main scientific interest are α-synucleinopathies (Parkinson’s disease - PD, dementia with Lewy bodies – DLB, multiple system atrophy – MSA) and other neurodegenerative disorders (progressive supranuclear palsy, Alzheimer dementia). Since 2014 his translational research is focussed on REM-Sleep Behavior disorder (RBD), the most specific prodromal stage of PD (or DLB or MSA). In the laboratory his group establishes new animal models in mice for the different prodromal stages of aSYN by locally and unilaterally injecting an rAAV-vector with the genome for wildtype or mutant (A53T) alpha synuclein into the locus coeruleus or the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagal nerve to study the underlying molecular mechanisms of α-synuclein-related progressive neurodegeneration. In the clinic his group performs in-depth multimodal phenotyping in RBD patients including Fluoro-Deoxy-Glucose (FDG-) PET (Meles et al, 2017/2018), dopamine transporter SPECT, skin biopsy (Doppler et al, Acta Neuropathol. 2017), olfactory function and gastrointestinal testing. These RBD patients are followed-up long term (over at least 5 years) until they convert into a manifest PD, DLB or MSA.
His >750 peer reviewed scientific publications (h-factor >90) cover patch clamp recording, rodent models of prodromal PD, research on the diagnosis of prodromal and manifest Parkinson syndromes up to the testing of disease modifying substances to prevent the manifestation of PD motor symptoms.
Finally one of his major interests is teaching young people in order to attract them to the field of neuroscience.