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Specific tasks

  • Epidemiological studies and provision of advice and information to physicians, hospitals, and public health institutions on epidemiological aspects and characteristics
  • Maintaining a reference database for human spongiform encephalopathies, including registration of potential risk factors
  • Epidemiological evaluation and interpretation of the collected data in coordination with the Robert-Koch Institut; initiation of and participation in surveillance projects
  • Provision of training and continuing education on human spongiform encephalopathies

General tasks

  • Development of diagnostic tests
  • Coordination of the standardization and distribution of universal tests
  • Initiation and execution on national and international laboratory ring tests
  • Typing of the agent by performing, for example, molecular biological analyses for identification of epidemiological characteristics
  • Maintaining a collection of specimens and distribution of reference samples or reference preparations for diagnostic and scientific
  • Provision of advice to diagnostic laboratories
  • Epidemiological studies and evaluation of the evolution of resistance and virulence
  • Notification of suspected cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) to the competent public health authorities

Additional services

  • CSF analysis in suspected cases of CJD and other dementia
  • Examination of patients with suspected CJD by a study physician in the hospitals reporting the cases, including assistance with the evaluation of medical examination results and follow-up findings
  • Provision of advice on diagnosis, therapy, and hygienic aspects of human spongiform encephalopathies in Germany
  • Provision of consultation on the evaluation of EEGs and MRI scans
  • Differential diagnosis of atypical dementias
  • Up-to-date information on the most recent developments for coorperating hospitals