Vascular Neurology

Prof. Dr. Gabor Petzold

Areas of investigation/research focus

Our aim is to investigate mechanisms that contribute to neurodegeneration and cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, and acute stroke. We are particularly interested in the role of astrocytes and the neurovascular unit in these conditions. We use techniques such as multiphoton imaging of cellular network activity in awake behaving animals, complex behavioral tasks, cell-type specific transcriptomics, ultrahigh field MRI, electrophysiology, whole-brain clearing and imaging tools, and computational analyses.

We focus on these topics:

  • Role and functional impact of reactive astrocytes in Alzheimer's disease
  • Role of astrocytes and glial scar formation in the pathophysiology of acute stroke
  • Contribution of neuroinflammation to white matter damage in models of vascular dementia
  • Pathophysiology of cerebral microinfarcts and microhemorrhages in vascular cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease
  • Cellular mechanisms contributing to blood-brain barrier dysfunction and neurodegeneration in cerebral amyloid angiopathy
  • Interplay of genetic and acquired risk factors in Alzheimer's disease
  • Ultrahigh field MRI as a preclinical biomarker in normal aging, vascular cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease

Informed by the mechanistical insight gleaned from these studies, we also conduct translational and clinical trials focused on the pathophysiology and treatment of acute stroke, small vessel disease, post-stroke dementia and cerebral amyloid angiopathy.

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