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Head of Department

Prof. Dr. Lutz Frölich

Phone: +49 621 1703-3001

Fax: +49 621 1703-3005


Assistant: Ottilie Müller E-Mail
Phone: +49 621 1703-3002
Fax: +49 621 1703-3005

Main Medical Building, 1st Floor, Room 110


The major focus of the Department of Geriatric Psychiatry is on clinical dementia research. Thus, all projects are conducted on patients either from the memory clinic or on in-patients from the three gerontopsychiatric wards. This creates an intimate link with clinical gerontopsychiatric care, which is done within the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the CIMH. The 44 gerontopsychiatric beds, distributed over 3 wards, plus the 12 places in the daycare clinic have been renovated in 2004-2006, and now provide full sectorized care (“Versorgungsverpflichtung”) for all elderly Mannheim citizens.

One thematic research priority is on the evaluation of biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, i.e. by neuropsychological tests, structural and functional MRI. The second research priority is on development, coordination, and conduct of clinical trials in dementia disorders, mild cognitive disorder, and in geriatric depression.

The research projects 2008-2013 were realized mainly through multi-center studies by exploiting the Clinical and biomaterial data bank created during the funding period of the BMBF-funded Competence Network on Dementias” (DCN). This large and complex clinical database and biomaterial bank is exploited by several own projects, e.g. by a longitudinal genetic-neuroimaging interaction project (collaboration with WG SNiP), a cost-of-illness analysis (collaboration with WG mental health services) and two methodological neuropsychological projects. As a major collaborative project of the executive board of the DCN, which includes Prof. Frölich, the clinical data plus DNA material has been analyzed as part of a large international consortium on genome-wide association studies in Alzheimer’s disease (GERAD1consortium) which has resulted in several and important highly-ranking publications. The department is collaborating in several BMBF/BMG/DFG – funded multi-center trials on different aspects of treatment in Alzheimer’s disease, e.g. The SIMaMCI trial (Simvastatin in mild cognitive disorder), the KORDIAL study, which is part of the light-tower projects of the German Ministry of Health (cognitive behavioral therapy with AD patients) and the APA-AD trial (buproprione for treatment of apathy in AD).

We are also part of the Network on Aging Research (NAR) of the University of Heidelberg, which has supported a fellowship on suicidality in the elderly and in dementia and is presently funding a Ph.D. Grant for developing a performance-based assessment instrument for Istrumental activities df daily living in mild cognitive impairment (collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for experimental software engineering in Kaiserslautern).

The Department is involved in the data analysis of three multicenter European studies funded by the 5th and 6th Framework Programme of the European Union (ICTUS, DESCRIPA and EDAR Studies). Also, we have contributed as a work package leader in a study on reviewing the evidence and developing recommendations for clinical issues in dementia, which was funded as the EUROCoDe project within the 6th Framework Programme of the EU.

In addition, the department is participating in a number of multicenter clinical trials (phase IIa and phase III) of innovative antidementia drugs sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, and it is conducting additional investigator-initiated trials with support from pharmaceutical companies.

Structurally, the Department of Geriatric Psychiatry is embedded in three major research networks: Within the CIMH, we have close collaborations with the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Neuroimaging, Neuropsychology/Clinical Psychology, Biostatistics and with the WG on Psychiatric Epidemiology across the Lifespan and the WG on Mental Health Services Research. At the German level, the longstanding collaboration with the centers of the Dementia Competence Network is maintained and extended. Internationally, the close cooperation within the European Alzheimer Disease Consortium (EADC) is maintained, the head of department is among the executive board of the EADC.

The head of department is also among the steering committee of the German Society for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Nervous Diseases for development of a S3 guideline for Alzheimer’s disease as well as on the steering committee of a working group of the World Federation of the Societies of Biological Psychiatry on developing a guideline for the biological treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.

Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit (ZI) - https://www.zi-mannheim.de