Center for Psychosocial… Department of General… About us Section Cognitive… Studies

Neurobiology of physical inactivity, frailty and late-life depression


Dr. med. Malte S. Depping 
Leonie Köhler M.Sc. 
Emanuel Lauer 
Dr. sc. hum. Mike M. Schmitgen 
Prof. Dr. med. R. Christian Wolf


Collaboration partner

AGAPLESION Bethanien Hospital / Center for Geriatric Medicine at the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg

Research Funding: Dietmar Hopp Stiftung



Frailty and late-life depression are common in elderly people, and often present together. However, specialized treatments for individuals affected by both conditions are scarce. This study investigates the neural interactions of frailty and depression by applying structural and functional MRI of the brain, in conjunction with with sensor-based motion analysis (with a focus on habitual activity).

Our project aims to relate sedentary behavior, reduced behavioral activation and increased fatigability to abnormal brain structure and resting-state brain activity. The goal is to reveal common vs. distinct neuropathology in patients with frailty and/or late-life depression. Our study goals relate to the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC)-domains of positive valence systems and sensorimotor systems.