Research

Area 4

Neurodegenerative diseases: Clinical and experimental research

Team leader

Strategic objectives

  1. Development of research projects which yield results that hopefully have short term application, with a view to improving the diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Many of the research lines are linked to clinical research protocols of the Neurology
  2. Service at the Hospital clinic Universitari.
  3. Investigations on clinical, molecular and imaging biomarkers that characterize the preclinical phase of Parkinson and Alzheimer disease
  4. Investigation of biological pathways involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease and detection of new cognitive, biochemical and neuroimaging markers in preclinical and prodromal patients

Main lines of research

  1. LRRK2 associated Parkinson disease. Clinical, imaging and genetic characterizarion of the prodromic phase.
  2. Neurochemichal, genetic and imaging biomarkers of cognitive deterioration in Parkinson disease.
  3. Generation of IPSC-derived dopaminergic neurons by reprogramming of idiopathic and genetic Parkinson's disease patient skin fibroblasts. Molecular characterization and elucidation of underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms.
  4. Genetic and diagnostic and predictive marker studies in Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Experimental functional neuroimaging studies in healthy and in pathological aging.
  5. Study of the biological and molecular bases of Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease in preclinical stages: mild cognitive impairment and pre-motor Parkinson's disease.
  6. Study of genetically determined Alzheimer's disease and fronto temporal lobar degeneration: clinical, biochemical and neuroimaging characterization.

Research Group

Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders

Eduardo Tolosa

(HCB)

  1. We have characterized the non motor symptoms of LRRK2- Parkinson disease and created a repository of biological material of subjects with LRRK2 associated Parkinson disease and their asymptomatic relatives. In a large post-mortem study we have documented multiorgan involvement with alpha synucolein aggregates in Parkinson disease and have describe for the first time alpha-synuclein aggregates in epicardial fat tissue in living subjects without parkinsonism. a probable preclinical marker of Parkinson disease We have characterized the non motor symptoms of Parkinson disease in a cohort of 100 cases and defined premotor symptoms predictors of parkinsonism.
  2. We have consolidated a line of research on cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers in Parkinson dementia and established a correlation between neurochemical Alzheimer and imaging markers in Parkinson disease. Work has been initiated in Parkinson and atypical parkinsonism patients to characterize in vivo brain amyloid and tau pathology with PET technology.