Mechanisms of cognitive impairment in chronic heart insufficiency

This study is a monocentric, retrospective and prospective study. The study is organized by the Universitätsklinikum Bonn, Clinic for Neurology in cooperation with Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen e.V. (DZNE) and is conducted in collaboration with the Gemeinschaftskrankenhaus Bonn.

Background and aims

The brain is particularly affected by the sequelae of chronically reduced pumping capacity in heart failure. Chronic heart insufficiency can lead to disturbances in memory or other mental functions. The causes of this are still poorly understood. In this study, these disorders will be precisely recorded and investigated. This could in future make it possible to provide patients and their relatives with better information about the severity, cause, prognosis and long-term consequences. It might also be possible that the results of the study will contribute to the development of new preventive concepts or studies.


In this study, the examination results from the routine treatment of the cardiology department of the Gemeinschaftskrankenhaus Bonn will be combined with the results of neuropsychological testing, which will additionally be performed at the Department of Neurology and the DZNE as part of the study. The aim is thus to gain new insights into the relationship between chronic heart insufficiency and memory disorders. In addition to the acquisition of data from the Clinic for Cardiology, further investigations will take place at the Clinic for Neurology of the University Hospital Bonn in cooperation with the DZNE. In addition to a survey on current and past physical disorders as well as current medication intake, the examinations include the following:

  • Examination of memory using neuropsychological tests.
  • Imaging scan of the head (3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI))
  • Collection of additional biomaterials (blood, urine, and optionally cerebrospinal fluid) for future research purposes.

The analysis of blood and urine as well as the neuropsychological tests will take place once a year for a maximum duration of 3 years, the optional analysis of cerebrospinal fluid will take place only once.

Course of the study

Patients who have been treated for chronic heart insufficiency in the cardiology department of the Gemeinschaftskrankenhaus Bonn or are currently being treated there and are potential candidates for the study will be contacted  by staff of the cardiology department. If interested, the subject is informed about the study. After giving informed written consent to participate in the study, neuropsychological testing, biomaterial collection (blood and urine), and, for patients without a cardiac pacemaker, MRI imaging will be performed and repeated once a year for 3 years. An optional cerebrospinal fluid examination may be performed once.

An internistic-cardiological examination (including ECG and, if medically indicated, invasive diagnostics and cardio-MRI) and a blood sampling to determine relevant laboratory parameters already took place as part of routine clinical practice at the Gemeinschaftskrankenhaus. Subjects will be asked for their consent that these data will be provided to the Department of Neurology for the study.

Principle Investigator: Prof. Dr. Gabor Petzold
DZNE Bonn & Universitätsklinikum Bonn - Klinik für Neurologie
Start of the study: 2022
Status: recruiting active

Study coordination / Project management

Sara Schmidt, Sandra Becker
Universitätsklinikum Bonn - NPP (Neurologie / Psychiatrie / Psychosomatik)
Venusberg-Campus 1, Gebäude 80, 53127 Bonn
+49 228 287-14439

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