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Funder/CentreCentral Institute of Mental Health
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Central Institute of Mental Health

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Central Institute of Mental HealthResearch Funder/Centre

Type of institution

Research centre



The Central Institute of Mental Health was established on April 8th, 1975 as a public foundation with the support of the FRG, the Land Baden-Württemberg and the Volkswagen Foundation. The Central Institute has a broad spectrum of activities: -Research in psychiatry, addiction medicine, psychosomatic medicine and psychotherapy, clinical psychology and medical sociology, focussing on psychiatric epidemiology, social psychiatry and evaluation of treatment methods and facilities -Prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of mental diseases -University teaching for medical students of the Mannheim Faculty for Clinical Medicine belonging to Heidelberg University in the disciplines mentioned under point 1 a and 2 according to an agreement with the University of Heidelber -Training and advancement of younger scientific staff; postgraduate education of physicians and psychologists; education and training in non-clinical medical and social vocations in the disciplines mentioned under point 1 and 2 -Counselling with regard to planning and developing of facilities and services in the field of mental health. The Division of Geriatric Psychiatry was founded in 2003. It consists of a memory clinic, a day clinic for elderly patients and an in-patient clinic.


The aims of the Division of geriatric psychiatry are improvement in the treatment of elderly patients. Usually all patients older 60 years of age and patients with suspected dementia are treated in this division. Aims in research are -To improve non-medical and medical treatments in dementia -Early diagnosis of dementias -Psychotherapeutic and pharmacological treatment of other psychiatric illnesses in the elderly (e.g. depression)

Main research areas

Current research projects are: -A functional MRI study to evaluate the usability of fMRI in the early diagnosis of Alzheimer´s disease and the prediction of a response to pharmacological treatment with an cholinesterase inhibitor -A study to the efficacy of SSRIs in the prevention of post-stroke depression -An evaluation and validation of the reliability of several depression scales in patients suffering from dementias -Development and validation of a cognitive behavioral therapy of depression in elderly -Clinical characterization of a new mutation in very early onset Alzheimer's disease In addition the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry participates in several multiple center studies: -The impact of treatment with cholinergic drugs on Europeans with Alzheimer's disease (The ICTUS Study) -Development of screening guidelines and diagnostic criteria for predementia Alzheimer's disease (DESCRIPA) -Competence Network Dementia The central institute is part of the German Competence Network Dementias. The studies conducted here focus on the early and differential diagnosis of dementias using neuropsychological test, MRI, MR- spectroscopy, neurochemical dementia markers and genetic markers. In addition studies to optimize the treatment of Alzheimer's disease with a combination therapy of antidementia drugs are conducted.


Prof. Dr. Lutz Frölich


Zentralinstitut für Seelische GesundheitAbt


+49 (0) 621 1703 - 3

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