This recently established research group focuses on diseases of the peripheral nervous system. Peripheral nerve disorders encompass a spectrum of heterogeneous disorders of inflammatory, toxic, degenerative or metabolic origin. Polyneuropathies are highly prevalent and represent the most common neurological sequelae in many systemic disorders such as diabetes, alcoholism, HIV or hepatitis infection, leukemia and other oncological diseases. Currently, we have three main fields of interests:
Immune-mediated neuropathies: Immune-mediated neuropathies are acute or chronic inflammatory neuropathies that can be distinguished by clinical symptoms, electrophysiology, cerebrospinal fluid, and autoantibody profiles. In close collaboration with the Department of Neuroradiology (www.klinikum.uni-heidelberg.de/MR-Neurographie.116270.0.html), we aim at defining more sensitive diagnostic parameters to detect lesions to the peripheral nervous system at possibly early stages of the disease and to predict response to different therapeutic options as well as to the clinical outcome more reliably. The main area of interest lies on axonal and demyelinating Guillain-Barré syndromes and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) including its diverse variants such as multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN) or multifocal acquired demyelinating sensory and motor (MADSAM) neuropathy.
Chemotherapy-induced polyneuropathy: About thirty percent of all cancer patients receiving chemotherapy suffer from chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), which makes CIPN one of the most significant side effects of many widely used antineoplastic drugs. CIPN is often dose-limiting and severely affects the quality of life in cancer survivors. Several classes of chemotherapeutic drugs are associated with CIPN, including platinum compounds, vinca alkaloids, taxanes, bortezomib, suramin, thalidomide, and lenalidomide. We collaborate with the Department of Medical Oncology at the National Center of Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg (www.nct-heidelberg.de/das-nct/kernbereiche/medizinische-onkologie.html) on a randomized controlled sports intervention trial on the prevention of chemotherapy-induced polyneuropathy through physical training (PIC trial; www.nct-heidelberg.de/das-nct/kernbereiche/medizinische-onkologie/aktivitaeten/onkologische-sport-und-bewegungstherapie/pic-studie.html).
Complex regional pain syndrome: Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition most often affecting one of the limbs (arms, legs, hands, or feet), usually after an injury or trauma to that limb. Our research investigates the validity of the two known different forms, CRPS-I and CRPS-II, applying clinical, neurophysiological and imaging techniques as well as quantitative sensory testing (QST).
Bäumer P, Pham M, Ruetters M, Heiland S, Heckel A, Radbruch A, Bendszus M, Weiler M. Peripheral neuropathy: detection with diffusion-tensor imaging. Radiology 2014;273:185-93
Posterior interosseous neuropathy: Supinator syndrome vs fascicular radial neuropathy. Bäumer P, Kele H, Xia A, Weiler M, Schwarz D, Bendszus M, Pham M. Neurology 2016 Sep 28
Magnetic resonance neurography detects diabetic neuropathy early and with Proximal Predominance. Pham M, Oikonomou D, Hornung B, Weiler M, Heiland S, Bäumer P, Kollmer J, Nawroth PP, Bendszus M. Ann Neurol. 2015 Dec;78(6):939-48
Peripheral Nerve Diffusion Tensor Imaging: Assessment of Axon and Myelin Sheath Integrity. Heckel A, Weiler M, Xia A, Ruetters M, Pham M, Bendszus M, Heiland S, Baeumer P. PLoS One 2015 Jun 26;10(6):e0130833
Somatotopic fascicular organization of the human sciatic nerve demonstrated by MR neurography. Bäumer P, Weiler M, Bendszus M, Pham M. Neurology 2015 Apr 28;84(17):1782-7.