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The Neurodegeneration and Neuroinflammation group receives a grant from the Francisco Soria-Melguizo Foundation

13 December 2021

Thanks to this grant of 325,600.00 euros, it will be possible to finance a pioneering research on multiple sclerosis led by Dr. Lluís Ramió-Torrentà. The project aims to identify biomarkers in blood that are related to cognitive function during brain aging and neurodegeneration suffered by some people with multiple sclerosis. This would help predict who might develop a cognitive disorder during the evolution of the disease.

The Neurodegeneration and Neuroinflammation research group at the Dr. Josep Trueta Biomedical Research Institute of Girona (IDIBGI) has been awarded one of the three Biomedical Research Grants awarded this year by the Francisco Soria-Melguizo Foundation. The grant of 325,600 euros will enable a project to be launched with the aim of searching for molecular biomarkers in blood to help predict which people with multiple sclerosis are likely to develop a cognitive disorder.
The proposal has been developed by the head of the Neurodegeneration and Neuroinflammation group at IDIBGI, head of the Neurology Service of the Josep Trueta Hospital in Girona and Santa Caterina Hospital in Salt and associate professor at the UdG, Dr. Lluís Ramió-Torrentà, by the head of the group's research laboratory at IDIBGI, Dr. Anna Quiroga, and by one of the group's neuropsychologists, Claudia Coll. The grant will be awarded at a ceremony in Madrid on December 16.

Improving the prediction of cognitive deterioration
"The idea of this project is to be able to identify in blood molecular biomarkers of cognitive fragility during brain aging that are associated with neurodegeneration phenomena", explains Dr. Lluís Ramió-Torrentà, who emphasizes that the results can help to "predict early which people will be more likely to develop cognitive deterioration throughout the evolution of the disease, and thus apply preventive measures to slow it down or delay it". The study will consist of analyzing blood samples from a group of 80-year-olds with healthy cognitive aging and three different groups of people over 60 years of age: on the one hand, healthy individuals without any neurological involvement and cognitively healthy, on the other, people with multiple sclerosis without cognitive impairment and, finally, people with multiple sclerosis who do have such impairment. The samples will be compared to see if there are differences in the expression of different biomarkers in blood.

"In our research group at IDIBGI we have always been dedicated to care, teaching and research in multiple sclerosis. In recent years, one of the aspects we are focusing on is the cognitive disorder associated with this disease," says Dr. Ramió. This is a differential innovative line of research in the investigation of the disease, which aims to delve into the biological and molecular causes of the cognitive disorder that develops in multiple sclerosis. "We want to get to the root of the cognitive problem in multiple sclerosis, in order to remedy it," the researcher remarks.

Grants from the Francisco Soria-Melguizo Foundation
The objective of the Francisco Soria-Melguizo Foundation's Biomedical Research Grants is to promote and develop biomedical research. To this end, the Foundation contributes to the promotion of excellent and innovative research that can help in the fight against health problems of maximum relevance and high social impact.


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