Wolf-Rüdiger Schäbitz

Universitätsklinikum Münster, Muenster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

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Publications (86)468.57 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background Differential diagnosis of severe progressive dementia includes a wide spectrum of inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. Particularly challenging is the differentiation of potentially treatable autoimmune encephalitis and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Such a coincidence may indeed complicate the correct diagnosis and influence subsequent treatment.Case presentationA 75-year-old woman was admitted due to rapid progressive cognitive impairment. Her husband observed a temporal disorientation and confusion. The initial neurological examination and an extensive neuropsychological evaluation showed significant impairments in almost all tested cognitive domains. All other neurological functions including motor, sensory and coordinative function were intact. Initial diagnostics included EEG, MRI and lumbar puncture with unspecific results. Complementary blood testing revealed a positive result for antineural antibodies to Contactin-associated protein 2 (CASPR2) and the patient received treatment for CASPR2 autoimmune encephalitis. Further symptoms and results, including 14-3-3 proteins, led to suspected Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The postmortem examination supported the diagnosis of a definitive Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.Conclusion One could argue that global screening for antineural antibodies may lead to a false diagnosis triggering intense and potentially dangerous procedures. We believe, however, that potentially treatable causes of dementia should aggressively sought out and subsequently treated in an attempt to curtail the course of disease and ultimately reduce the rate of mortality.
    BMC Neurology 11/2014; 14(1):227. · 2.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Eligibility criteria are a key factor for the feasibility and validity of clinical trials. We aimed to develop an online tool to assess the potential effect of inclusion and exclusion criteria on the proportion of patients eligible for an acute stroke trial.
  • Neurology 11/2014; · 8.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We aimed to determine a possible synergistic effect of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells (BM MNC) after stroke in spontaneously hypertensive rats.
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    ABSTRACT: Background and purpose: Both the immobilization of the unaffected arm combined with physical therapy (forced arm use, FAU) and voluntary exercise (VE) as model for enriched environment are promising approaches to enhance recovery after stroke. The genomic mechanisms involved in long-term plasticity changes after different means of rehabilitative training post-stroke are largely unexplored. The present investigation explored the effects of these physical therapies on behavioral recovery and molecular markers of regeneration after experimental ischemia. 42 Wistar rats were randomly treated with either forced arm use (FAU, 1-sleeve plaster cast onto unaffected limb at 8/10 days), voluntary exercise (VE, connection of a freely accessible running wheel to cage), or controls with no access to a running wheel for 10 days starting at 48 hours after photothrombotic stroke of the sensorimotor cortex. Functional outcome was measured using sensorimotor test before ischemia, after ischemia, after the training period of 10 days, at 3 and 4 weeks after ischemia. Global gene expression changes were assessed from the ipsi- and contralateral cortex and the hippocampus. FAU-treated animals demonstrated significantly improved functional recovery compared to the VE-treated group. Both were superior to cage control. A large number of genes are altered by both training paradigms in the ipsi- and contralateral cortex and the hippocampus. Overall, the extent of changes observed correlated well with the functional recovery obtained. One category of genes overrepresented in the gene set is linked to neuronal plasticity processes, containing marker genes such as the NMDA 2a receptor, PKC zeta, NTRK2, or MAP 1b. We show that physical training after photothrombotic stroke significantly and permanently improves functional recovery after stroke, and that forced arm training is clearly superior to voluntary running training. The behavioral outcomes seen correlate with patterns and extent of gene expression changes in all brain areas examined. We propose that physical training induces a fundamental change in plasticity-relevant gene expression in several brain regions that enables recovery processes. These results contribute to the debate on optimal rehabilitation strategies, and provide a valuable source of molecular entry points for future pharmacological enhancement of recovery.
    Experimental and Translational Stroke Medicine 02/2014; 6(1):3.
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    ABSTRACT: Bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells (BM-MNCs) were shown to improve the outcome in animal stroke models and clinical pilot studies on BM-MNCs for stroke patients were already conducted. However, relevant aspects of pre-clinical evaluation, such as the use of animals with comorbidities and dose-response studies, were not thoroughly addressed so far. We therefore investigated different BM-MNC doses in the clinical meaningful stroke model of spontaneously hypertensive (SH) rats. Three hours after the onset of transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) animals received either one of three syngeneic BM-MNC doses or placebo intravenously. The primary endpoint was the infarct size. Secondary endpoints included functional outcome, mortality, inflammatory processes, and the dose-response relationship. In contrast to previous studies which used healthy animals no beneficial effect of BM-MNCs was found. Infarct volumes, mortality, behavioral outcomes, and the extent of the inflammatory response to cerebral ischemia were comparable in all groups. In conclusion, we could not demonstrate that early BM-MNC treatment improves the outcome after stroke in SH rats. Whether BM-MNCs improve neurological recovery after delayed treatment initiation was not investigated in the present study, but our data indicates that this should be determined in co-morbid animal stroke models before moving to large-scale clinical studies. Future preclinical stroke studies on co-morbid animals should also include groups of healthy animals in order to determine whether negative results can be attributed to the comorbid condition.
    Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 01/2014; 7:288. · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite a high incidence of poststroke dementia, there is no specific treatment for this condition. Because the evaluation of poststroke cognitive deficits in animal models of stroke is exceedingly challenging, the preclinical evaluation of candidate drugs is limited. We aimed to explore the impact of small cortical photothrombotic strokes on poststroke cognition, thereby assessing the suitability of this experimental stroke model for the investigation of cognitive impairment after stroke. Photothrombotic cortical infarcts were induced in 19 adult male Wistar rats. Nineteen sham-operated animals served as controls. Using the Morris water maze, we analyzed the impact of photothrombotic stroke on both the acquisition of new memories and the recall of previously acquired memories. The cylinder test, the adhesive tape removal test, and the rotarod test were performed to investigate sensorimotor deficits. Photothrombotic stroke significantly impaired the recall of previously acquired memories (P<0.05), whereas the acquisition of new memories remained largely intact. The analysis of the animals' swimming speed in the water maze and the rotarod test showed no confounding motor impairments after photothrombotic stroke. The adhesive tape removal test and the cylinder test revealed mild sensorimotor deficits in lesioned animals (P<0.05). Photothrombotic cortical infarcts impair the recall of memories acquired before stroke, whereas the formation of new memories remains unimpaired. The observed deficits in the water maze are not confounded by disturbed motor functions. Overall, experimental photothrombotic strokes are well suited for the investigation of specific cognitive impairments after stroke.
    Stroke 12/2013; · 6.16 Impact Factor
  • Armin Schneider, Wolf-Rüdiger Schäbitz, E Bernd Ringelstein
    Stroke 12/2013; · 6.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although several studies have shown beneficial effects of training in animal stroke models, the most effective training strategy and the optimal time to initiate training have not been identified. The present meta-analysis was performed to compare the efficacy of different training strategies and to determine the optimal time window for training in animal stroke models. We searched the literature for studies analyzing the efficacy of training in animal models of ischemic stroke. Training was categorized into forced physical training, voluntary physical training, constraint-induced movement therapy, and skilled reaching training. Two reviewers independently extracted data on study quality, infarct size, and neurological outcome. Data were pooled by means of a meta-analysis. Thirty-five studies with >880 animals were included. A meta-analysis of all treatments showed that training reduced the infarct volume by 14% (95% confidence interval, 2%-25%) and improved the cognitive function by 33% (95% confidence interval, 8%-50%), the neuroscore by 13.4% (95% confidence interval, 1.5%-25.3%), and the running function by 6.6% (95% confidence interval, 1.4%-11.9%). Forced physical training reduced the infarct volume and enhanced the running function most effectively, whereas skilled reaching training improved the limb function most effectively. A meta-regression illustrated that training was particularly efficacious when initiated between 1 and 5 days after stroke onset. Our meta-analysis confirms that training reduces the infarct volume and improves the functional recovery in animal stroke models. Forced physical training and skilled reaching training were identified as particularly effective training strategies. The efficacy of training is time dependent.
    Stroke 10/2013; · 6.16 Impact Factor
  • Holger Reinecke, Christiane Engelbertz, Wolf-Rüdiger Schäbitz
    Stroke 09/2013; · 6.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Stroke-induced blood-brain barrier (BBB)-disruption can contribute to further progression of cerebral damage. There is rising evidence for a strong involvement of chemokines in postischemic BBB-breakdown. In a previous study, we showed that monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1)-deficiency results in a markedly reduced inflammatory reaction with decreased levels of interleukin-6, interleukin-1β, and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor after experimental stroke. With MCP-1 as one of the key players in stroke-induced inflammation, in this study, we investigated the influence of MCP-1 on poststroke BBB-disruption as well as transcription/translation of BBB-related genes/proteins after cerebral ischemia. Sixteen wild-type and 16 MCP-1(-/-) mice were subjected to 30 minutes of middle cerebral artery occlusion. By injecting high molecular-tracer, we compared the degree of BBB-disruption after middle cerebral artery occlusion. Real-time polymerase chain reactions and Western blot technique were used to compare tight-junction gene expression, protein secretion, and BBB-leakage. Here, we report that MCP-1-deficiency results in a reduced BBB-leakage and a diminished expression of BBB-related genes occludin, zonula occludens-1, and zonula occludens-2. Real-time polymerase chain reactions and Western blot analysis revealed elevated claudin-5-levels in MCP-1(-/-) animals. MCP-1-deficiency resulted in reduced infarct sizes and an increased vascular accumulation of fluorescein-isothiocyanate-albumin. The results of the study provide further insights into the molecular mechanisms of BBB-opening and may help to better understand the mechanisms of infarct development after cerebral ischemia.
    Stroke 07/2013; · 6.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dissections of the cervical arteries cause about 20% of total juvenile strokes. Approximately 4% of the carotid artery dissections are due to a (poly)trauma such as car accidents. Despite improved diagnostic facilities, traumatic dissections are often underdiagnosed or diagnosed too late due to a lack of awareness of potential initial signs and symptoms. We report here a case of a delayed embolic stroke after a car accident caused by a dissection of the carotid artery and subsequent pseudoaneurysm. To reduce the long-term morbidity or mortality of multiple trauma patients, an early detection of cervical carotid and vertebral dissections is strictly necessary.
    Case Reports in Neurology 01/2013; 5(1):21-5.
  • Sean I Savitz, Wolf-Rüdiger Schäbitz
    Stroke 10/2012; · 6.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Photothrombosis was introduced as a model of ischemic stroke by Watson et al. in 1985. In the present paper, we describe a protocol to induce photothrombotic infarcts in rats. The photosensitive dye Bengal Rose is intravenously administered and a laser beam is stereotactically positioned onto the skull. Illumination through the intact skull leads to local activation of Bengal Rose, which results in free radical formation, disturbance of endothelial function and thrombus formation in illuminated small cortical vessels. Photochemically induced infarcts cause long-term sensorimotor deficits, allow long-term survival and are particularly suitable to assess the effectiveness of neuroregenerative therapies in chronic stroke studies.
    Experimental and Translational Stroke Medicine 08/2012; 4(1):13.
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    ABSTRACT: The neuroprotective potential of citicoline in acute ischemic stroke has been shown in many experimental studies and, although the exact mechanisms are still unknown, a clinical Phase III trial is currently underway. Our present study was designed to check whether citicoline also enhances neuroregeneration after experimental stroke. Forty Wistar rats were subjected to photothrombotic stroke and treated either with daily injections of citicoline (100 mg/kg) or vehicle for 10 consecutive days starting 24 hours after ischemia induction. Sensorimotor tests were performed after an adequate training period at Days 1, 10, 21, and 28 after stroke. Then brains were removed and analyzed for infarct size, glial scar formation, neurogenesis, and ligand binding densities of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors. Animals treated with citicoline showed a significantly better neurological outcome at Days 10, 21, and 28 after ischemia, which could not be attributed to differences in infarct volumes or glial scar formation. However, neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus, subventricular zone, and peri-infarct area was significantly increased by citicoline. Furthermore, enhanced neurological outcome after citicoline treatment was associated with a shift toward excitation in the perilesional cortex. Our present data demonstrate that, apart from the well-known neuroprotective effects in acute ischemic stroke, citicoline also possesses a substantial neuroregenerative potential. Thanks to its multimodal effects, easy applicability, and history as a well-tolerated drug, promising possibilities of neurological treatment including chronic stroke open up.
    Stroke 05/2012; 43(7):1931-40. · 6.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Both application of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) and constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) have been shown to improve outcome after experimental stroke. The aim of the present study was to determine whether concurrent or sequential combination of both therapies will further enhance therapeutic benefit and whether specific modifications in the abundance of various neurotransmitter receptors do occur. Adult male Wistar rats were subjected to photothrombotic ischemia and assigned to the following treatment groups (n=20 each): (1) ischemic control (saline); (2) CIMT (CIMT between poststroke Days 2 and 11; (3) G-CSF (10 μg/kg G-CSF daily between poststroke Days 2 and 11; (4) combined concurrent group (CIMT plus 10 μg/kg G-CSF daily between poststroke Days 2 and 11; and (5) combined sequential group (CIMT between poststroke Days 2 and 11 and 10 μg/kg G-CSF daily between poststroke Days 12 and 21, respectively). Rats were functionally tested before and up to 4 weeks after ischemia. Quantitative receptor autography was performed for N-methyl-d-aspartate, AMPA, and GABA(A) receptors. Significant improvement of functional outcome was seen in all groups treated with G-CSF alone and in either combination with CIMT, whereas CIMT alone failed to enhance recovery. Infarct sizes and remaining cortical tissue did not differ in the various treatment groups. Failure of significant benefit in the CIMT group was associated with a shift toward inhibition in perilesional and remote cortical regions. Our findings disclose G-CSF as the major player for enhanced recovery after experimental stroke, preventing a shift toward inhibition as seen in the CIMT group.
    Stroke 01/2012; 43(1):185-92. · 6.16 Impact Factor
  • Jens Minnerup, Wolf-Rüdiger Schäbitz
    Stroke 12/2011; 43(2):295-6. · 6.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Experimental treatment strategies using human umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells (hUCB MNCs) represent a promising option for alternative stroke therapies. An important point for clinical translation of such treatment approaches is knowledge on the therapeutic time window. Although expected to be wider than for thrombolysis, the exact time window for hUCB MNC therapy is not known. Our study aimed to determine the time window of intravenous hUCB MNC administration after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). Male spontaneously hypertensive rats underwent MCAO and were randomly assigned to hUCB MNC administration at 4h, 24h, 72h, 120h or 14d. Influence of cell treatment was observed by magnetic resonance imaging on days 1, 8 and 29 following MCAO and by assessment of functional neurological recovery. On day 30, brains were screened for glial scar development and presence of hUCB MNCs. Further, influence of hUCB MNCs on necrosis and apoptosis in post-ischemic neural tissue was investigated in hippocampal slices cultures. Transplantation within a 72h time window resulted in an early improvement of functional recovery, paralleled by a reduction of brain atrophy and diminished glial scarring. Cell transplantation 120h post MCAO only induced minor functional recovery without changes in the brain atrophy rate and glial reactivity. Later transplantation (14d) did not show any benefit. No evidence for intracerebrally localized hUCB MNCs was found in any treatment group. In vitro hUCB MNCs were able to significantly reduce post-ischemic neural necrosis and apoptosis. Our results for the first time indicate a time window of therapeutic hUCB MNC application of at least 72 hours. The time window is limited, but wider than compared to conventional pharmacological approaches. The data furthermore confirms that differentiation and integration of administered cells is not a prerequisite for poststroke functional improvement and lesion size reduction.
    Cell Transplantation 12/2011; · 4.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Early decompressive surgery in patients with malignant middle cerebral artery (MCA) infarction improves outcome. Elevation of intracranial pressure depends on both the space occupying brain edema and the intracranial volume reserve (cerebrospinal fluid [CSF]). However, CSF volume was not investigated as a predictor of malignant infarction so far. We hypothesize that assessment of CSF volume in addition to admission infarct size improves early prediction of malignant MCA infarction. Stroke patients with carotid-T or MCA main stem occlusion and ischemic lesion (reduced cerebral blood volume [CBV]) on perfusion CT were considered for the analysis. The end point malignant MCA infarction was defined by clinical signs of herniation. Volumes of CSF and CBV lesion were determined on admission. Receiver-operator characteristics analysis was used to calculate predictive values for radiological and clinical measurements. Of 52 patients included, 26 (50%) developed malignant MCA infarction. Age, a decreased level of consciousness on admission, CBV lesion volume, CSF volume, and the ratio of CBV lesion volume to CSF volume were significantly different between malignant and nonmalignant groups. The best predictor of a malignant course was the ratio of CBV lesion volume to CSF volume with a cut-off value of 0.92 (96.2% sensitivity, 96.2% specificity, 96.2% positive predictive value, and 96.2% negative predictive value). Based on admission native CT and perfusion CT measurements, the ratio of ischemic lesion volume to CSF volume predicts the development of malignant MCA infarction with higher accuracy than other known predictors, including ischemic lesion volume or clinical characteristics.
    Stroke 09/2011; 42(12):3403-9. · 6.16 Impact Factor
  • Wolf-Rüdiger Schäbitz, Holger Reinecke
    Stroke 08/2011; 42(9):2385-6. · 6.16 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
468.57 Total Impact Points


  • 2007–2013
    • Universitätsklinikum Münster
      • Klinik und Poliklinik für Neurologie
      Muenster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2006–2013
    • University of Münster
      • Department of Neurology
      Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2012
    • University of Texas Medical School
      • Department of Neurology
      Houston, Texas, United States
  • 2011
    • Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin
      • Department of Nephrology
      Berlin, Land Berlin, Germany
  • 2010–2011
    • Evangelic Hospital Bielefeld
      Bielefeld, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
    • University of Greifswald
      • Department of Neurology
      Greifswald, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
  • 2006–2009
    • Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
      • Department of Neuropathology
      Mainz, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
  • 2008
    • Houston Methodist Hospital
      Houston, Texas, United States
  • 2002–2006
    • Universität Heidelberg
      • • Department of Neurology
      • • Neurological Clinic
      Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany