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Director of the Institute of Clinical Neuroscience and Medical Psychology

Prof. Dr. Alfons Schnitzler
Institute of Clinical Neuroscience and Medical Psychology and
Centre for Movement Disorders and Neuromodulation
Moorenstraße 5
40225 Düsseldorf

Research Interest

Our research is in the field of systems neuroscience and aims at exploring mechanisms of sensory, motor, cognitive and emotional brain functions in healthy subjects and in patients with basal ganglia disorders, such as Parkinson´s disease (PD). To this end, we apply a variety of methodological approaches including non-invasive and invasive neurophysiological recordings (MEG, EEG, local field potentials, single and multi-unit activity), brain stimulation (DBS, TMS, tDCS, tACS), as well structural and functional MRI.

A major focus of our research is directed towards unravelling the role of neural oscillations and synchronization for human behaviour and the pathophysiology of movement disorders and hepatic encephalopathy. Furthermore, we explore neurophysiological mechanisms of deep brain stimulation in PD and other movement disorders.

Selected Publications
  1. Todorov D, Schnitzler A, Hirschmann J. Parkinsonian rest tremor can be distinguished from voluntary hand movements based on subthalamic and cortical activity. Clin Neurophysiol. 2023 Nov 17:S1388-2457(23)773-3. PubMed
  2. Spooner RK, Bahners BH, Schnitzler A, Florin E. DBS-evoked cortical responses index optimal contact orientations and motor outcomes in Parkinson's disease. NPJ Parkinsons Dis. 2023 Mar 11;9(1):37. PubMed
  3. Hirschmann J, Steina A, Vesper J, Florin E, Schnitzler A. Neuronal oscillations predict deep brain stimulation outcome in Parkinson's disease. Brain Stimulation. 2022 May-Jun;15(3):792-802. PubMed
  4. Alfons Schnitzler, Pablo Mir, Matthew A Brodsky, Leonard Verhagen, Sergiu Groppa, Ramiro Alvarez, Andrew Evans, Marta Blazquez, Sean Nagel, Julie G Pilitsis, Monika Pötter-Nerger, Winona Tse, Leonardo Almeida, Nestor Tomycz, Joohi Jimenez-Shahed, Witold Libionka, Fatima Carrillo, Christian J Hartmann, Stefan Jun Groiss, Martin Glaser, Florence Defresne, Edward Karst, Binith Cheeran, Jan Vesper; PROGRESS Study Investigators. Directional Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease: Results of an International Crossover Study With Randomized, Double-Blind Primary Endpoint. Neuromodulation. 2022 Aug;25(6):817-828. doi: 10.1111/ner.13407. Epub 2022 Feb 2. PubMed
  5. Lena Storzer, Markus Butz, Jan Hirschmann, Omid Abbasi, Maciej Gratkowski, Dietmar Saupe, Jan Vesper, Sarang S Dalal, Alfons Schnitzler. Bicycling suppresses abnormal beta synchrony in the Parkinsonian basal ganglia. Ann Neurol. 2017 Oct;82(4):592-601. doi: 10.1002/ana.25047. Epub 2017 Oct 10. PubMed
  6. Thomas J Baumgarten, Alfons Schnitzler, Joachim Lange. Beta oscillations define discrete perceptual cycles in the somatosensory domain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Sep 29;112(39):12187-92. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1501438112. Epub 2015 Aug 31. PubMed
  7. Schuepbach WM, Rau J, Knudsen K, Volkmann J, Krack P, …, Schnitzler A, …, Deuschl G. Neurostimulation for Parkinson's disease with early motor complications. N Engl J Med. 2013;368(7):610-22. PubMed
  8. Hirschmann J, Hartmann CJ, Butz M, Hoogenboom N, Ozkurt TE, Elben S, Vesper J, Wojtecki L, Schnitzler A. A direct relationship between oscillatory subthalamic nucleus-cortex coupling and rest tremor in Parkinson's disease. Brain. 2013;136(Pt 12):3659-70. PubMed
  9. Schnitzler A, Gross J. Normal and pathological oscillatory communication in the brain. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2005;6(4):285-96. PubMed
  10. Timmermann L, Gross J, Dirks M, Volkmann J, Freund HJ, Schnitzler A. The cerebral oscillatory network of parkinsonian resting tremor. Brain. 2003;126(Pt 1):199-212. PubMed

Prof. Alfons Schnitzler on Google scholar
Orcid: 0000-0002-6414-7939

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