News - Parc de Salut Mar News Houdini 2 ( Researchers discover a protein’s function that can open the door to the generation of blood stem cells in the laboratory to treat leukaemia and other diseases A scientific team led by Dr Anna Bigas, from the Hospital del Mar Research Institute and the Josep Carreras Institute, has described the role of the IκBα protein in the differentiation process of haematopoietic cells.

In the absence of this protein, the stem cells enter quiescence, acquire a dormant state and maintain their potential, which may allow them to be transplanted for therapeutic uses in leukaemia or blood diseases of genetic origin.

This is an important step towards being able to generate these types of cells in the lab, preventing them from differentiating and turning into other cells too early.

Mon, 03 Jun 2024 15:35:23 +0000 0
New Avenues to Developing Personalized Treatments for Schizophrenia An international study led by the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute has demonstrated, for the first time, the role of two proteins in the activation and deactivation of the system through which drugs act against schizophrenia symptoms.

These two proteins are potential targets for developing new drugs aimed at specific symptoms of the disease, avoiding the side effects of current treatments.

The study analyzed how certain molecules act on a serotonin cell receptor, which could allow for differentiated effects on schizophrenia symptoms without affecting other brain processes.

Tue, 28 May 2024 07:42:53 +0000 0
Discovered how a type of lymphocyte "recruits" the immune system to fight against one of the most aggressive type of breast cancers Natural Killer (NK) cells, when exposed to antibody treatment used against HER2-positive breast cancer, secrete specific types of cytokines that activate the immune response against tumor cells.

Researchers have confirmed that patients with NK lymphocytes present in the tumor environment show a better response to treatment, thanks to this mechanism.

This confirms the feasibility of using cytokines secreted by NK cells as markers of response to anti-HER2 antibodies with a simple blood test. It also reaffirms various clinical trials using these lymphocytes to bolster treatment in patients with metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer.

Thu, 02 May 2024 09:11:58 +0000 0
Finded Notch self-inhibition keeps haematopoietic stem cells from differentiate A collaborative effort led by Dr. Anna Bigas, from the Hospital del Mar Research Institute and Josep Carreras Leukaemia Research Institute, found that the population of haematopoietic stem cells (HSC) responsible for the generation and self-renewal of the blood and immune system keeps a long-term undifferentiated state thanks to its ability to physically block its own NOTCH1 receptor through the expression of JAGGED1, a specific NOTCH activator. Authors hypothesise that the lack of this previously unknown mechanism might be the cause for the poor performance of current approaches to generate haematopoietic stem cells from induced pluripotent stem cells for regenerative medicine.

Thu, 22 Feb 2024 17:07:16 +0000 0
Artificial intelligence tool developed to predict multiple sclerosis patients' evolution This is an international collaborative work coordinated by the Hospital del Mar Research Institut and the Hospital Clínic-IDIBAPS, published in the Journal of Neurology.

This new tool may make it possible to adapt the monitoring and treatment of patients to their future evolution, opting for the most effective, but with more possible side effects in those with worse prognosis.

The exact factors behind the progression of disability in multiple sclerosis, a disease with great heterogeneity, are unknown, which is why it is so important to have tools of this type.

Wed, 21 Feb 2024 09:23:14 +0000 0
A new antibody manages to block all variants of SARS-CoV-2 in preclinical models It is a monoclonal antibody with both prophylactic and therapeutic action, isolated from blood samples of a patient infected with SARS-CoV-2 during the first wave of the pandemic.

The antibody has been designed and developed by researchers from the Hospital del Mar Research Institute, the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute, the National Center for Biotechnology, and the Center for Genomic Regulation.

This new treatment has been patented pending commercial development. The results of the work have been published in Nature Communications journal.

Fri, 09 Feb 2024 12:01:34 +0000 0
The analysis of biological networks allows understanding the complexity of multiple sclerosis An international study has used a computational biology tool that, by analysing a multitude of biological data from multiple sclerosis patients ranging from genetic information to the whole organism, reveals the relationship between elements of different biological scales and improves our knowledge and the diagnosis of the disease.

Thu, 08 Feb 2024 13:15:17 +0000 0
High blood omega-3 levels are associated with lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease This is revealed by the largest observational study in this field carried out to date in the world. It is published in the journal Nutrients.

The work is based on data from the UK Biobank database and has made it possible to analyze information from more than 260,000 people. Its conclusions may allow a more detailed definition of future studies on omega-3 supplementation for the prevention of dementia.

The potential benefits of these fatty acids are maximal in men over 60 and in dementias other than Alzheimer's disease.

Tue, 30 Jan 2024 08:23:54 +0000 0
Dr. Helena Tizón is the new director of the Comprehensive Plan for Cardiovascular Diseases in Catalonia, focusing on cardiovascular diseases The Minister of Health officially announced the cardiologist's appointment from Hospital del Mar and researcher at the Hospital del Mar Research Institute last December. Dr. Tizón replaces Dr. Josepa Mauri from Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol, who held this position for the past 8 years.

Thu, 18 Jan 2024 13:27:07 +0000 0
Discovering a Defective Class of Neurons in the Brains of Individuals with Schizophrenia Functional alterations in the brains of individuals with this condition coincide with the distribution of these neurons in the same brain.

These neurons are responsible for filtering external information reaching the brain. Their functioning is altered in individuals with schizophrenia, which explains the majority of their symptoms.

This discovery is the first time that this alteration can be identified as a possible origin of schizophrenic symptoms, and it opens the door to seeking new targeted treatments with fewer patient side effects.

Tue, 09 Jan 2024 12:54:25 +0000 0