Dr. C. Bassetti Group (Neurology)

Group leader

Dr. Claudio L. Bassetti
Chairman and Head of the Department of Neurology

Institution and Address

Department of Neurology
University Hospital Inselspital Bern
3010 Bern
Phone: +41 (0)31 632 30 66
e-mail: claudio.bassetti@insel.ch

Main goals

1. What are the neuronal mechanisms that underlie sleep-wake regulation?
2. How do sleep and sleep-related disorders influence the emergence and rehabilitation of neurological diseases and traumatic brain injuries? Based on animal models we investi-gate how und under which conditions sleep and sleep depriva-tion benefit or impair neuronal plasticity.

Group members and their position

Human research fellows: Dr. med. T. Horvath, Dr. med. S. Schroth, N. Steiner, study nurse, 3 MD Masterstudents.
Animal research fellows: Dr. rer. nat. F. Baracchi, Dr. rer. nat. S. Palchykova; Dr. med. S. Jung, 2 PhD students: A. Hodor, M. Pace

Previous and current research

Human research:
1. Investigation of the pathogenesis of sleep associated breathing disorders and their influence on the prevalence and rehabilitation of stroke.
2. Pathophysiology of narcolepsia, neurogenic hypersomnia (mainly following stroke and traumatic brain injury) and other neurological sleep disorders (e.g., restless legs syndrome, sleep walking, nocturnal epilepsy).
3. Diagnosis and therapy of sleep-wake disorders (among others, insomnia, hypersomnia, parasomnia).

Animal research:
1. Investigating the influence of different sleep manipulations (deprivation, tDCS, sleeping pills) on the development and rehabilitation of focal brain lesions in mice and rats. Our main focus is on the influence of sleep and sleep manipulations on neuroplasticity.

Future projects

Techniques / methods

Functional, electrophysiological, histological, and molecular read-outs in humans and animals are used.


Human and animal sleep lab Tierschlaflabor
MRI, EEG, high density EEG, NIRS
molecularbiological methods

Selected publications

Ponz, A., Khatami, R., Poryazova, R., Werth, E., Bösiger, P., Schwarz, S., Bassetti, C.L. (2010). Reduced amygdala activity during aversive conditioning in human narcolepsy. Ann Neurol, 67, 394-8. (IF = 11.1)

Zunzunegui C, Gao B, Cam E, Hodor A, Bassetti CL. (2011) Sleep disturbance impairs stroke recovery in the rat. Sleep; 34: 1261-9 (IF = 5.1)

Pizza, F., Biallas, M., Kallweit, U., Wolf, M., Bassetti, C.L. (2012). Cerebral hemodynamic changes in stroke during sleep-disordered breathing. Stroke, 43, 1951-3. (IF = 5.7)

Hübner, A., Krafft, A., Gadient, S., Werth, E., Zimmermann, R., Bassetti, C.L. (2013). Characteristics and determinants of restless legs syndrome in pregnancy: A prospective study. Neurology, 80, 738-42. (IF = 8.3)

Cam, E., Gao, B., Imbach, L., Hodor, A., Bassetti, C.L. (2013). Sleep deprivation before stroke is neuroprotective: A pre-ischemic conditioning related to sleep rebound. Exp Neurol In press) (IF = 4.4)

Selected lectures, seminars, colloquia

BENESCO Lectures “Physiopathology of Consciousness across Wakefulness, Sleep and Epilepsy”