Goethe University Frankfurt am Main (GU)
Goethe University Frankfurt (GU) is one of the leading Universities in Germany. The Medical Faculty is continuously positioned among the 51-75 best Universities worldwide in the Shanghai Ranking. Within this faculty, the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy (CAPPP), headed by Professor Dr C.M. Freitag, serves the Frankfurt area (>1 Mio inhabitants), encompassing 4 inpatient and 3 day clinic wards, and a large outpatient clinic (> 2000 patients/year). At CAPPP, the Autism Research and Intervention Center of Excellence and a special outpatient clinic for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) integrate clinical care with advanced research, serving around 150 ASD and around 300 ADHD individuals per year. Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and ADHD are diagnosed and treated according to the current standard of evidence based medicine, and studies on genetics, molecular biology, brain imaging, neurophysiology, neuropsychology, diagnostic procedures as well as clinical trials are performed. Facilities include a brain-imaging lab under the leadership of Prof. Dr. C. Ecker, W2 Heisenberg Professor since December 2015, and a neurophysiology lab. Our research teams include technicians for EEG, tDCS and MRI studies as well as many clinical psychologist and child psychiatrist, who will support the studies within the STIPED project.
Research at CAPPP is organized into three areas:
- Clinical research including diagnostic and clinical trials, neurocognitive and eye-tracking studies,
- Brain imaging: EEG, MEG, and MRI,
- Molecular biological research including studies on genetics & proteomics.
Role of GU in STIPED
GU is WP lead of two work packages within STIPED: work package 5 StimAT randomized controlled trial on tDCS treatment in ASD; work package 6: Analysis of structural brain imaging data generated at all clinical sites. Within work package 7, GU is task lead for EEG based evoked potential studies. Additionally, GU is a clinical partner within the consortium of the other clinical trials on tDCS treatment in ADHD patients.
The StimAT study seeks to establish effect sizes of the new tDCS intervention in ASD. The treatment includes a combination of tDCS stimulation and cognitive training. The study will investigate the effects of this treatment on ASD symptoms, social cognitive abilities and neuronal functioning. As partner, GU will apply a similar approach in patients diagnosed with ADHD, performing combined tDCS and cognitive training and collecting behavioural and functional data. These clinical studies will be conducted at the highest standard of research using a randomised, double-blind design within phase-IIa clinical studies. Imaging data collected by GU and the STIPED consortium partners using MRI will be analysed by Prof. Dr. Ecker and her team. EEG based evoked potentials will be planned and analysed by C. Luckhardt, H. Mössinger and two other PhD students within the team.
STIPED team at GU
Prof. Dr. med. Dipl. - Theol. Christine M. Freitag
Leader of WP5
Director of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, WP5 Leader, Coordinator of RCT StimAT
Phone: +49 69 6301 5408
Prof. Dr. Christine Ecker
Leader of WP6
Head Structural Brain Imaging Lab
Phone: +49 69 6301 84705
Christina Luckhardt, M.Sc. Psych
PhD, WP7 ERP Task-Leader
Phone: +49 69 6301 84057
Hannah Mössinger, M. Sc. Neuroscience
Phone: +49 69 6301 83861
Jennifer Zimmermann, MTA-F
Phone: +49 69 6301 6068