Parkinson, ALS and Tautopathies: New Insights

The aging of the population poses an increasing burden on society. This is associated with the increase in disability and diseases that have a high impact on health care, on patients and their families. Likewise, aging is associated with the appearance of different neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Therefore, the development of advanced biological markers, new drugs and the appropriate technology is the key to establishing a treatment for these diseases, which is currently a major social challenge. In our laboratory we study the molecular bases of neurodegeneration. The research projects that we develop have a multidisciplinary approach that combines basic and translational research, using cell culture techniques, murine models and postmortem samples from patients with AD, PD and ALS.

Currently, our research is focused on three neurodegenerative diseases:

1) Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS): Design and development of innovative drugs for the treatment of ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects motor neurons in the spinal cord and cerebral cortex. Patients have a loss of muscle strength and coordination that progressively progresses, preventing the performance of daily activities. Until now there is no treatment that cures ALS, and for this reason in our laboratory we are developing several lines of research that aim to address this challenge by designing and developing new therapies for the treatment of ALS.

2) Tauopathies: new biomarkers and targets against neurodegeneration

The TAU protein is the main component of the intracellular filamentous deposits that define a series of neurodegenerative diseases called tauopathies. Tauopathies are characterized by alterations in synaptic plasticity, cell death, proteinopathy, and neuroinflammation. Despite enormous efforts, there is still no effective treatment. That is why in my laboratory we face this challenge with two different approaches. In a first approach we focus on the study of the pharmacological modulation of the CB2 receptor. Secondly, we are interested in the analysis of miR-142 as a biomarker in tauopathies and its implication in new therapeutic strategies.

3) Implication of alterations at the mitochondrial level and mitophagy in Parkinson's Disease

In collaboration with Dr. Patricia Boya, from the "Margarita Salas" Biological Research Center, we are interested in elucidating the molecular aspects that underlie Parkinson's Disease (PD). Most cases of PD are sporadic and of unknown aetiology, but mitochondrial impairment has been described as a well-established pathological hallmark of PD. Therefore, in this research project we are determining the role of mitophagy and whether the different mechanisms of mitophagy are altered in PD.

AWARDS

  • 2021: Award for the most cited publication published 5 years ago by IdiPAZ
  • 2020: IdiPaz Award for the most relevant publication in the area of ​​Neurosciences
  • 2019: Award for the most cited publication published 5 years ago by IdiPAZ
  • 2019: Special “Arquímedes” Jury Prize, for the Master's Thesis by student Marcos Galán Ganga.
  • 2018: I International Congress of the ALS Community Award for the best poster in the RESEARCH category.
  • 2015: Award for the most relevant publication in Area 1-Neurosciences of IdiPaz
  • 2012: Award for the most relevant publication in Area 1-Neurosciences of IdiPaz
  • 2012: Prize for the best oral presentation at the 6th European Congress of Pharmacology.
  • 2010: L'Oreal-Unesco Research Grant for Women in Science.

 

 

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