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Factsheet by Morten Blaabjerg

Group name: Blaabjerg
Group leader: Morten Blaabjerg
Group members: 5 in total: Morten Blaabjerg, Assoc. prof, Maren Synnøve Ørvig, Student, Mette Scheller Nissen, MD, Julie Richter Hansen, MD, PhD Student, Sara lyngby Skovbølling, MD.
Department & University/Hospital/Other: Department of Neurology, Odense University Hospital & Neurology Research Unit,
Department of Clinical Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark.

Funding sources: Lundbeck A/S, Lundbeck foundation, Danish Neurological Society.

Description of research:
The group focusses on research in two areas:
1) Autoimmune encephalitis and other rare immunemediated diseases and 2) movement disorders.

Current projects:
Autoimmune encephalitis and other immunemediated diseases:

The aim of this research is to investigate i) mechanism, ii) treatment and iii) outcome in autoimmune encephalitis and related disorders.

1. CLIPPERS: Aims at investigating the mechanisms behind this rare brain stem encephalitis. Studies have included 7T MRI, pathological examination, proteomics and cytokine profiling in serum/CSF (in collaboration with the neuroimmunology group headed by Zsolt Illes).
2. NMDA receptor modulation in vitro: Investigates the potential of small molecules modulate conformational changes in the NMDA receptors to inhibit antibody binding. This will potentially provide a symptomatic treatment for NMDA receptor encephalitis.
3. NMDA receptor encephalitis in vivo: Aims at establishing an in vivo model of NMDA receptor encephalitis by administering antibodies into the brain ventricles of rats. The model will be used to test small candidate molecules from project 2.
4. Immunemediated epilepsy: This PhD project will explore patients with drug-resistant epilepsy for antibodies related to autoimmune encephalitis in a retrospective and prospective manner.
5. CSF pleocytosis in clinical practice: Investigates patients with CSF pleocytosis of unknown significance for potential autoimmune encephalitis.
6. Autoimmune encephalitis outcome: Studies outcome after autoimmune encephalits and includes clinical follow-up and MRI (in collaboration with the neuroimmuniology group headed by Zsolt Illes)

Movement disorders:
The aim is to establish a research group in translational and clinical research at the movement disorder clinic.

1. Validation of UPDRS and UDysRS: Validation of clinical scales in Parkinsons disease (collaboration with all danish movement disorder clinics).
2. Polyneuropathy in Parkinsons disease: Investigates through a multi-modal approch, the occurrence of small and large fiber polyneuropathy in early Parkinsons disease (Collaboration with Sindrup group)
3. Urine biomarkers for dyskinesia: Analysis of potential urine biomarkers for levo-dopa induced dyskinesia using a metabolomics approch (Collaboration with Gramsbergen group)
4. Dopamine receptor antibodies: Investigates clinical features of patients with antibodies directed against dopamine receptors (basal ganglia encephalitis).

Key publications (last 10 years):
1. Oervig MS, Sejbaek T, Penner IK, Roar M, Blaabjerg M. Validation of the fatigue scale for motor and cognitive functions in a danish multiple sclerosis cohort. Multiple Sclerosis and related disorders. 2017(17):130-134

2. Andersen AD, Blaabjerg M, Binzer M, Kamal A, Thagesen H, Kjaer TW, Stenager E, Gramsbergen JBP. Cerebrospinal fluid levels of catecholamines and its metabolitesin Parkinson's disease: effect of l-DOPA treatment and changes in levodopa-induced dyskinesia. J Neurochem. 2017 May;141(4):614-625.

3. Szots M, Blaabjerg M, Orsi G, Iversen P, Kondziella D, Madsen CG, Garde E, Magnusson PO, Barsi P, Nagy F, Siebner HR, Illes Z. Global brain atrophy and metabolic dysfunction in LGI1 encephalitis: A prospective multimodal MRI study. J Neurol Sci. 2017 May 15;376:159-165.

4. Celicanin M, Blaabjerg M, Maersk-Moller C, Beniczky S, Marner L, Thomsen C, Bach FW, Kondziella D, Andersen H, Somnier F, Illes Z, Pinborg LH. Autoimmune encephalitis associated with voltage-gated potassium channels-complex and leucine-rich glioma-inactivated 1 antibodies - a national cohort study. Eur J Neurol. 2017 Aug;24(8):999-1005.

5. Havelund JF, Andersen AD, Binzer M, Blaabjerg M, Heegaard NHH, Stenager E, Faergeman NJ, Gramsbergen JB. Changes in kynurenine pathway metabolism in Parkinson patients with L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia. J Neurochem. 2017 Jun 19.

6. Szots, M., Blaabjerg, M., Kondziella, D., Herceg, M., Dioszeghy, P., Bajzik, G., Berki, T., Kalman, E., Nagy, F., Illes, Z. Four cases of gabab receptor encephalitis, Ideggyogyaszati Sz..2016;69, p. 281-87.

7. Gaist D, Garde E, Blaabjerg M, Nielsen HH, Krøigård T, Østergaard K, Møller HS, Hjelmborg J, Madsen CG, Iversen P, Kyvik KO, Siebner HR, Ashina M. Migraine with aura and risk of silent brain infarcts and white matter hyperintensities: an MRI study. Brain. 2016 Jul;139(Pt 7):2015-23. doi: 10.1093/brain/aww099.

8. Blaabjerg M, Ruprecht K, Sinnecker T, Kondziella D, Niendorf T, Kerrn-Jespersen BM, Lindelof M, Lassmann H, Kristensen BW, Paul F, Illes Z., Widespread inflammation in CLIPPERS syndrome indicated by autopsy and ultra-high-field 7T MRI. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2016 Apr 20;3(3):e226.

9. Blaabjerg M, Mærsk-Møller CC, Kondziella D, Somnier F, Celicanin M, Andersen H, Bach FW, Pinborg LH., [Workup and treatment of autoimmune encephalitis]. Ugeskr Laeger. 2015 Nov 2;177(45):V05150448. Danish.

10. Nilsson AC, Blaabjerg M., More evidence of a neurocardiac prodrome in anti-LGI1 encephalitis. J Neurol Sci. 2015 Oct 15;357(1-2):310-1.

11. Erichsen JL, Blaabjerg M, Bogetofte H, Serrano AM, Meyer M. Group I metabotropic glutamate receptors: a potential target for regulation of proliferation and differentiation of an immortalized human neural stem cell line. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2015 Apr;116(4):329-36.

12. Kerrn-Jespersen BM, Lindelof M, Illes Z, Blaabjerg M, Lund EL, Klausen C, Christiansen I, Sellebjerg F, Kondziella D., CLIPPERS among patients diagnosed with non-specific CNS neuroinflammatory diseases. J Neurol Sci. 2014 Aug 15;343(1-2):224-7

Book chapters:
13. Illes Z, Blaabjerg M., Alterations of the cerebrospinal fluid in chronic inflammatory diseases of the periipheral nervous system. Springer Verlag 2015. (Book chapter in “Cerebrospinal Fluid in Clinical Neurology. ISBN 978-3-319-01225-4).

14. Illes Z, Blaabjerg M., CSF findings in Guillain-Barré syndrome: Demyelinating and axonal acute inflammatory polyneuropaties. Springer Verlag 2015 (Book chapter in “Cerebrospinal Fluid in Clinical Neurology. ISBN 978-3-319-01225-4).

15. Illes Z, Blaabjerg M., CSF findings in Guillain-Barré syndrome and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, (Book chapter in “Handbook of Clinical Neurology, 3rd series”, ELSEVIER, (In press)

Key collaborations:
Søren Sindrup and Zsolt Illes (Neurology, OUH)
Christine Nilsson and Søren Thue Lillevang (Clinical Immunology, OUH)
Morten Frost Nielsen (Endocrinology, OUH)
Niels Heegaard and Magnus Lydolph (Statens Serum Institut)
Morten Meyer and Jan Bert Gramsbergen (Neurobiology Research, SDU)
Daniel Kondziella and Lars Pinborg (Neurology, Copenhagen)
Troels Kjær and Nina Friis-Møller (Roskilde)

Torsten M. Madsen og Roger Kroes (Aptinyx Inc)
Sarosh Irani (Oxford)

Cell cultures and organotypic brain slice culture models, immunohistochemistry, cytokine- and chemokine assays.

Department of Clinical Research - Faculty of Health Sciences - University of Southern Denmark

  • Campusvej 55
  • Odense M - DK-5230
  • Phone: +45 6550 9254

Last Updated 29.03.2022