Universitätsklinikum des Saarlandes und Medizinische Fakultät der Universität des Saarlandes
Klinik für Neurologie
Leitung: Prof. Dr. med. Klaus Faßbender
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Arbeitsgruppe Prof. Dr. Klaus Christoph Faßbender

Our aim
is to link basic research to clinical practice, focusing on the following major neurological disorders:

1. Neurodegenerative diseases:
Aggregation of pathologically folded proteins, such as amyloid peptide in Alzheimer?s disease, may represent a key pathway shared by most neurodegenerative diseases. Other examples include alpha-synuclein in Parkinson?s disease, huntingtin in Huntington?s disease, SOD in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ataxin in cerebellar degeneration, and even prion protein in Creutzfeld-Jacob disease. We are attempting to dissect this disease pathway using three approaches

  • Examining the physicochemical conditions that promote the aggregation of such peptides.
  • Determining the mechanism by which these aggregates activate microglia and innate immune responses.
  • Elucidating the pathophysiological role of lipids in dementia as a potential therapeutic targets.

2. Cerebrovascular diseases: We study the pathophysiology of cerebrovascular diseases in an effort to apply our findings to improve the lives of patients. For example, we are working on neuroprotective strategies for stroke patients and on novel options to restore impaired cerebral blood flow. We also have a strong focus on management of acute stroke, i.e., we study novel solutions, such as a ?mobile stroke unit? (a rescue car with all diagnostic and therapeutic possibilites necessary for prehospital thrombolysis).

Research techniques used

In vitro techniques
  • Real-time PCR
  • Western blotting
  • Flow cyometry (FACSCanto II)
  • Immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy
  • Fluorescence live time imaging (FLIM), fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)
  • Electron and atomic force microscopy
  • Electrophysiology of neurons and glial cells
  • Electromobility shift assay
  • in situ hybridisation
In vivo approaches
  • In vivo microdialysis, stereotaxic injections
  • Experimental animal models of ischemic stroke and multiple sclerosis
  • Transgenic animal models of Alzheimer disease (AD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson`s disease  (PD)
  • Knock-out mice deficient in proteins of our interest
  • Bone marrow transplantation
Clinical approaches
As practicing neurologists, we are in daily contact with patients and their families. This gives us the opportunity to perform clinical studies e.g., investigation on new laboratory indicators that could help to diagnose the disease or clinical trials that are necessary to find more effective treatments.