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Anna Tröscher and Karin Trimmel win Ernst Niedermeyer Prize

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(Vienna, 16 December 2019) Anna Tröscher, researcher at the Division of Neuroimmunology of MedUni Vienna's Center for Brain Research, and Karin Trimmel, neurologist at MedUni Vienna's Department of Neurology have been awarded the Ernst Niedermeyer Prize by the Austrian Society for Epileptology (ögtf).

Anna Tröscher’s prize-winning work is entitled "Microglial nodules provide the environment for pathogenic T cells in human encephalitis" and it has been published in Acta Neuropathologica (Impact Factor 18.2). In the study, Anna Tröscher and her colleagues investigated the mechanisms of interaction between the innate and acquired immune system in a rare paediatric disease known as Rasmussen encephalitis. They found that the initial pathological changes are characterised by activation of the microglial cells, which produce a localised inflammatory environment in small microglial nodules. In turn, this actively recruits T cells in the brain, where they destroy neurons. Severe neurodegeneration and inflammation ultimately lead to severe pharmacoresistant epilepsy.

About Anna Tröscher
Anna Tröscher studied medicine and pharmaceutical biotechnology at the IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems (Bachelors degree), did her Masters in biomedicine and biotechnology at VetmedUni Vienna and her PhD at MedUni Vienna's Center for Brain Research, where she is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher in Jan Bauer's working group at the Division of Neuroimmunology. The focus of the group's research is inflammation and innate immunity in epilepsy.

Service: Acta Neuropathologica
Tröscher A, Wimmer I, Quemada-Garrido L, Köck U, Gessl D, Verberk S, Martin B, Lassmann H, Bien C, Bauer J (2019) Microglial nodules provide the environment for pathogenic T cells in human encephalitis Acta Neuropathol, 137(4): 137(4):619-635 

Karin Trimmel wins prize for fMRI study
Epilepsy surgery is an effective method for treating patients with drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy, although many patients experience problems in naming and finding words following surgery. In the study entitled "Naming fMRI predicts the effect of temporal lobe resection on language decline", which appeared in the leading journal "Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology", temporal lobe epilepsy patients underwent functional MRI (fMRI) imaging to predict post-operative naming problems following epilepsy surgery. Through the medium of auditory and visual fMRI naming tasks, it was shown that post-operative fMRI activations in the temporal lobe are suitable for accurately predicting post-operative anomia following temporal lobe resection. These results form a possible basis for the future development of individualised surgical concepts to avoid post-operative speech decline following epilepsy surgery.

About Karin Trimmel
Karin Trimmel studied human medicine in Vienna and is currently working as a consultant at MedUni Vienna's Department of Neurology, with primary research interests in the areas of clinical epileptology and sleep medicine. She completed her PhD on the use of high-resolution surface electroencephalography (EEG) in the assessment of speech networks in focal epilepsy in Vienna in 2017. The prize-winning paper, "Naming fMRI predicts the effect of temporal lobe resection on language decline" was produced during a two-year research placement at University College London and Chalfont Centre for Epilepsy.

Service: Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology
Trimmel K, van Graan L, Gonzálvez G, Haag A, Caciagli L, Vos S, Bonelli S, Sidhu M, Thompson P, Koepp M, Duncan J. Naming fMRI predicts the effect of temporal lobe resection on language decline. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology 6 (2019) 2186-2196. doi: 10.1002/acn3.50911. Epub 2019 Oct 2

About the Ernst Niedermeyer Price for Epileptology
The Ernst Niedermeyer Prize for Epileptology is awarded every two years for outstanding works in the field of epileptology. Submissions of papers are taken from all areas of epileptology, not only from the field of clinical epileptology but also from the area of basic sciences, if these are clinically relevant. Only works from Austrian institutions or works produced by Austrians during a study placement abroad are considered. The authors must have been no older than 40 at the time of publication.