IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques

News

  • 19/12/2016 - Press release

    Pregnancy Leads to Changes in the Mother’s Brain

    A study directed by researchers from the UAB and IMIM are the first to reveal how pregnancy causes long-lasting alterations in brain structure, probably related to improving the mother’s ability to protect and interact with the child. The research was published in Nature Neuroscience. Pregnancy involves radical hormone surges and biological adaptations, but the effects on the brain are still unknown. In this study a team of researchers compared the structure of the brain of women before and after their first pregnancy. This is the first research to show that pregnancy involves long-lasting changes – at least for two years post-partum – in the morphology of a woman's brain. Using magnetic resonance imaging, the scientists have been able to show that the brains of women who have undergone a first pregnancy present significant reductions in grey matter in regions associated with social cognition.

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  • 07/06/2016 - Press release

    Clinical trial opens new avenues for pharmacological therapy in Down’s syndrome

    A team of scientists led by doctors Rafael de la Torre at Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and Mara Dierssen at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) have shown that epigallocatechin gallate together with a cognitive stimulation protocol, might improve some cognitive domains in individuals with Down’s syndrome.   The results of the phase 2 study will be published on 6th June in the prestigious journal The Lancet Neurology. The findings suggest that participants who had received the treatment had better scores in the visual memory recognition and inhibition tasks, and improvement in adaptive behaviour than those in the control group (placebo and cognitive training). Though not a cure, this is the first time that a treatment has shown some effectiveness in this syndrome, and it opens the door to new research geared towards treating what was believed to be orphan of treatment.

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  • 26/05/2016 - Events

    Biomarker discovered that measures the risk of cancer in non-smokers

    Researchers from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) have, for the first time, demonstrated that measurements of a tobacco-specific nitrosamine in the hair, NNK, correlate with the real risk of exposure to the carcinogens in tobacco smoke in passive smokers. This substance is a much better biomarker than any of the markers measured up to now for assessing this risk and it has been found in higher concentrations in the hair than any other tobacco-specific carcinogen. The study was conducted in collaboration with researchers at the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) and has been published in the journal Scientific Reports. The smoke passive smokers are exposed to differs from the smoke of smokers. Passive smokers are exposed to a lot of chemicals resulting from the combustion of the cigarette, but in addition, certain substances have gone through various activation reactions, making them carcinogenic.

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  • 18/01/2016 - Press release

    A novel brain mechanism for nicotine addiction

    Researchers from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) in collaboration with scientists from Pompeu Fabra University, the Pasteur Institute andPierre and Marie Curie University, have discovered a crucial neural mechanism that explains the process of nicotine reward and addiction. Nicotine, the principal psychoactive component of tobacco, is quickly absorbed through the nasal, oral and respiratory membranes and takes 7 seconds to reach the brain where the receptors are located. It is there where it acts on the central nervous system as well as the autonomic nervous system. This almost immediate relationship between the inhalation of the smoke and its effect at a cerebral level is one of the factors contributing to the highly addictive nature of nicotine. This is explained by the fact that the nicotine exerts its psychopharmacological effects by activating receptors that are very abundant in several specific regions of the brain, the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR).

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  • 01/12/2015 - General information

    New EMCDDA report explores combined mental health and substance use disorders

    The co-existence of mental illness and psychoactive drug or other substance use problems — otherwise known as ‘comorbidity’ or ‘dual diagnosis’ — is an issue which has been on the radar of the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) for over a decade. This agency aims to provide objective and reliable information concernint drugs and their consequences.

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  • 09/10/2015 - Institutional news

    IMIM receives funding from the IOC to conduct innovative anti-doping research

    In its mission to protect and promote clean athletes, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is financing and backing seven innovative research projects in the fight against doping, which include a project by Dr Jordi Segura, coordinator of the research group on bioanalysis and analytic services at IMIM. The project is entitled ‘Developments for improving compliance with blood testing, a fundamental but minimally implemented tool in doping control (EASY BLOOD)’ and its purpose is to explore and validate the applicability of the use of new matrices (dried blood spot and capillary sampling) to replace the blood sample collection methods that are currently used to control doping (which are whole blood, plasma and serum). The seven projects funded are from Australia, Spain and the United Kingdom and were selected from among the applications received from throughout the world in the two calls opened by the IOC.

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  • 20/12/2012 - Institutional news

    A delegation from the China Anti-Doping Agency visits IMIM

    On Friday the 14th of December, the Bioanalysis and Analytical Services Research Group from IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) was visited by a delegation from the China Anti-Doping Agency (CHINADA). This visit is framed within the longstanding collaboration between the Anti-Doping Control Laboratory and IMIM and the Beijing Anti-Doping Laboratory and the China Anti-Doping Agency for research projects on doping control in sports.

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  • 11/12/2012 - Press release

    New anticoagulant discovered based on the same used by malaria vectors to feed on

    An international project with the participation of researchers from IMIM has, for the first time ever, deciphered the mechanism by which a substance called anophelin binds to an enzyme (thrombin) involved in the process of blood coagulation. This discovery opens the door to, on the one hand, designing a new generation of anticoagulant drugs with a totally different functioning to current ones and, on the other hand, fighting against the spreading of malaria by designing inhibitors for this substance.

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  • 27/11/2012 - General information

    IMIM researchers world leaders in neuroimaging and ADHD research

    Two studies led by researchers from the neuroimaging research group at IMIM led by Òscar Vilarroya, and which also involved researchers from UAB and the Hospital de la Vall d’Hebron, have been cited in the “Consensus Report of the APA Work Group” as international reference works in the area of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conferring upon these researchers the status of world leaders in this field.

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  • 23/07/2012 - General information

    The IMIM Antidoping Control Lab in London 2012

    From the 27th of July until the 12th of August the London 2012 Olympics will be taking place. Once again, and thanks to an agreement between King’s College in London and the IMIM Foundation, as of the 23rd of July a group of technicians from the IMIM Bioanalysis and Analysis Services research group will join the Official Antidoping Laboratory of the London 2012 Olympics.

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