Michael Wagner
Neuropsychology
Prof. Dr. Michael Wagner
Cooperation Unit Leader Neuropsychology
Head Neuropsychology Unit
Department of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Geriatric Psychiatry
University of Bonn
c/o Universitätsklinik Bonn, Klinik für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen und Gerontopsychiatrie,
Venusberg-Campus 1, Gebäude 82
53127 Bonn

michael.wagner@dzne.de
 +49 228 287-16377

Areas of investigation/research focus

Alzheimer’s Disease has a preclinical duration of many years before progressive neuronal changes give rise to clear-cut cognitive impairments, which can reliably be detected with neuropsychological tests. Before the stage of mild neurocognitive disorder (MCI) is reached, cognitive impairments are rather subtle, fluctuating and compensable, although they can be experienced and reported by affected subjects (a condition now termed Subjective Cognitive Decline, SCD). Discriminating „normal aging“ from early disease-related changes is a challenging task, but neuroscience-driven psychometric tools and qualitative research on the phenomenology of experienced cognitive changes offer new opportunities for early diagnosis in AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. The development and validation of novel methods for the assessment of objective and subjective cognitive impairment is a key aim of our group. Examples are procedures to assess associative encoding in short-term and long-term memory (Koppara et al. 2015, Polcher et al. 2017), and the conceptualization and measurement of SCD (Jessen et al. 2014, Buckley et al. 2015,Miebach et al). With Emrah Düzels DZNE group in Magdeburg, we study computerized and mobile cognitive assessments with smartphone apps. The refinement of an interview scheme and rating scale for SCD, and automated text analysis for the detection of subtle speech and language impairments are recent themes of our research.

 more Infos

We are also interested in the analysis of cognitive data, including the use of confirmatory factor analysis in order to reduce cognitive test variables into more reliable and better comprehendible domain scores, or the use of cognitive composite scores.

The goal of our analytical work is to contribute to the identification of risk and protective factors for cognitive impairment. We e.g. take advantage of the detailed assessment of “reserve” and “lifestyle” (occupational history and dietary habits. Supported by the BMBF-funded Diet-Body-Brain Research Cluster, we will examine the association of of nutrient levels and dietary patterns on structural and functional measures of brain health.

Finally, our group provides advice for the design of observational and interventional trials within the DZNE, as well as training and quality control for cognitive assessments.

Key Publications

Wolfsgruber S., Molinuevo JL, Wagner M, van der Flier WM, Jessen F, Euro-SCD working group. Prevalence of abnormal Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers in patients with subjective cognitive decline: cross-sectional comparison of three European memory clinic samples. Alzheimers Res Ther. 2019 Jan 17; 11:8. doi: 10.1186/s13195-018-0463-y
Miebach L, Wolfsgruber S, Polcher A, Peters O, Jessen F, Wagner M. Which features of subjective cognitive decline are related to amyloid pathology? Findings from the DELCODE study. Alzheimers Res Ther. 2019 Jul 31; 11:66. doi: 10.1186/s13195-019-0515-y
Kleineidam L., Thoma MV, Maercker A, Maier W, Riedel-Heller SG, Wagner M. What Is Successful Aging? A Psychometric Validation Study of Different Construct Definitions. Gerontologist. 2019 Jul 17; 59:738–748. doi: 10.1093/geront/gny083
Wolfsgruber S, Polcher, A, Koppara A, Kleineidam L, Frölich L, …, Wagner, M. CSF biomarkers and clinical progression in patients with Subjective Cognitive Decline and MCI. J Alzheimers Dis. 2017 Jan 01; 58:939-95. doi: 10.3233/JAD-161252
Alexandra Polcher, Ingo Frommann, Alexander Koppara, Steffen Wolfsgruber, Frank Jessen, Michael Wagner. Face-Name Associative Recognition Deficits in Subjective Cognitive Decline and Mild Cognitive Impairment. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. 2016 Dec 31; 56:1185-1196. doi: 10.3233/JAD-160637

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