Helmstaedter Workgroup - Clinical Neuropsychology
Head of Workgroup
Tel.: +49 228 287-16108
Neuropsychology examines the psychological and psychosocial consequences of chronic brain diseases and acute neurological events (e.g. seizures). It also supports the affected patients through training and therapy in coping with the disease. With epilepsy, the influences of the underlying brain disease, seizure occurences, medication and mood on cognitive performance must be taken into account. The examination provides indications as to the location of the underlying brain damage (side and site). Another important function is estimating the reserve capacity and assessing hemispheric dominance for language and memory prior to surgery. Today, questions of quality control and quality assurance in conservative, neurostimulatory, radiological and surgical epilepsy treatment are of increasing importance. Here too, appropriate psychometric instruments are being developed for this purpose.
The Helmstaedter Workgroup performs important clinical tasks in everyday patient care and is also internationally active in scientific research.
The clinical tasks concern the comprehensive diagnostic test recording of performance problems (e.g. memory deficits) as well as changes in the patient's well-being (e.g. depression), especially before and after epilepsy surgery and before and after medication changes. As part of the multimodal complex treatment of difficult-to-treat epilepsy, patients are offered a detailed psychological consultation or behavioral medicine, psychoeducational group training. The pedagogues and occupational therapists who are involved in this programme are also assigned to the Helmstaedter group.
Our scientific research program is currently pursuing the following goals:
- Evaluation of the neuropsychological long-term effects of epilepsy surgery in children and adults
- Evaluation of the neuropsychological side effects of medication
- Characterization of depressive moods in difficult-to-treat epilepsy
- Differential characterization of the neuropsychology of autoimmune encephalitis
- Psychological mechanisms and consequences of functional ("psychogenic"), non-epileptic seizures
- Effectiveness of biofeedback / neurofeedback training in epilepsy
- Cognitive training with computer-based training programs
- New development and validation of psychometric tests and questionnaires
Over the past 30 years, well over 20,000 neuropsychological examinations have been carried out on children and adults with epilepsy, many of them before and after their epilepsy surgery, or accompanying a change in medical epilepsy therapy or several times during the course of their disease (e.g. limbic encephalitis). Thus, the workgroup has extensive expertise in the field of the neuropsychological consequences of epilepsy and its treatment in childhood and adulthood.
The workgroup has developed numerous test procedures , some of which are widely used today, including internationally; additional tests and questionnaires are currently under development:
- Verbal Learning and Memory Test VLMT: verbal test of episodic memory
- EpiTrack and EpiTrack Junior: drug screening
- NeuroCog FX or NeuroCog Essential: computerized neuropsychological screening process
- Cognitive Problems in Childhood and Adolescence KOPKIJ: questionnaire for parents to record performance problems in childhood and adolescence
- Questionnaire on personality in CNS disorders FPZ: personality questionnaire for adult patients with neurologically illnesses
- Prof. Dr. phil. Christoph Helmstaedter, Dipl.-Psych., Head of Workgroup
P 0049 228 287 16108
- Priv.-Doz. Dr. rer.nat. Christian Hoppe, Dipl.-Theol. Dipl.-Psych.
P 0049 228 287 16172
- Priv.-Doz. Dr. phil. Juri-Alexander Witt, Dipl.-Psych.
P 0049 228 287 14436
- Julia Taube M.Sc. Psychologie
P 0049 228 287 14436
- Sophia Schach M.Sc. Psychologie
P 0049 228 287 14436
Current publications (selected):
- Witt JA, Nass RD, Baumgartner T, von Wrede R, Elger CE, Surges R, Helmstaedter C. Does the accumulated antiepileptic drug load in chronic epilepsy reflect disease severity? Epilepsia. 2020 Dec;61(12):2685-2695.
- Helmstaedter C, Hansen N, Leelaarporn P, Schwing K, Oender D, Widman G, Racz A, Surges R, Becker A, Witt JA. Specific B- and T-cell populations are associated with cognition in patients with epilepsy and antibody positive and negative suspected limbic encephalitis. J Neurol. 2020 Aug 20.
- Hoppe C, Porębska I, Beeres K, Sassen R, Kuczaty S, Gleissner U, Lendt M, Elger CE, Helmstaedter C. Parents' view of the cognitive outcome one year after pediatric epilepsy surgery. Epilepsy Behav. 2019 Dec;101(Pt A):106552.
All PubMed-listed publications of the Helmstaedter Workgroup: here