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Awards for Agathe Schwarzinger and Gisela Pusswald

(Vienna, 25th March 2013) On the 4th day of the conference of the Vienna General Hospital’s and Medical University of Vienna's Clinical Psychology Committee (“Clinical Psychology in Science and Care”), Agathe Schwarzinger has been awarded the Elisabeth Knoll-Biedl Prize for “Psychological Clinician of the Year 2011/2012" in recognition of her project “I’ll manage the MRI scan without anaesthetic - a psycho-educational training programme for 4 to 7-year-old neuro-oncology patients”.


Gisela Pusswald also received the Rudolf Quatember Prize for “Psychological Researcher of the Year 2011/2012” in recognition of her scientific publication entitled “Prevalence of mild cognitive impairment subtypes in patients attending a memory outpatient clinic – comparison of two modes of mild cognitive impairment classification. Results of the Vienna Conversion to Dementia Study”.


About the individuals
Agathe Schwarzinger has worked since 2005 initially as an art therapist and since 2009 as a clinical and health psychologist at the University Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine in the field of neuro-oncology. She is moreover in charge of various follow-up projects for the Austrian Children's Cancer Organisation and also teaches both at the Medical University and the Faculty of Psychology. In her project, she has developed a method of preparing 4 to 7-year-old patients for an MRI scan so that the child is no longer overwhelmed by the scanner. As part of this, the children and their parents complete a multi-stage programme that also includes a simulated MRI scan.
Gisela Pusswald has been a University Assistant at the MedUni Vienna’s Department of Neurology since 1997. Her areas of expertise include neurological rehabilitation, neuropsychology diagnostics and treatment and psychological support for patients and their relatives.

She is involved with teaching both at the MedUni Vienna and at the Faculty of Psychology. As part of the Vienna Mild Cognitive Impairment Study (Alzheimer’s disease conversion study), Pusswald focused on various early stages of dementia. These early stages are known as mild cognitive impairments and can be categorised into various subtypes. Mild cognitive impairment subtypes can help to estimate the risk of developing Alzheimer's dementia later in life. In her work, Dr. Pusswald has characterised the neuropsychological features of mild cognitive impairment subtypes in more detail. These results are important for improving the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease.