IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques

News

  • 23/01/2018 - Press release

    An international study shows that only 1 in 10 patients with anxiety disorders receives the right treatment

    The director of the Epidemiology and Public Health programme at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and CIBER Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP) researcher, Jordi Alonso, was commissioned by the World Mental Health to lead an international study into the adequacy of anxiety disorder treatment across the globe. The results, from a sample of more than 51,500 individuals from 21 different countries, reveals that 10% of people suffer anxiety. Of these, only 27.6% have received some type of treatment, and this was considered appropriate in only 9.8% of the cases. It is the first time a study has described the treatment gap in anxiety disorders at an international level. "It is estimated that anxiety disorders affect 10% of the global population. These are pathologies that tend to be chronic, comorbid, and associated with a significant disability. If we add to this the fact that in 2010 they cost a group of 30 European Union countries €74,400 million, it is clear that this is an important public health problem", explains Jordi Alonso.

    Més informació "An international study shows that only 1 in 10 patients with anxiety disorders receives the right treatment"

  • 16/01/2018 - Press release

    Obesity and overweight multiply the risk of suffering cancer and heart disease

    Being overweight or obese exponentially increases the risk of suffering heart disease or cancer. This is the conclusion of the FRESCO (Spanish Risk Function of Coronary and Other Events) study, led by researchers from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and doctors from Hospital del Mar, who analysed the follow up of 54,446 people from 7 autonomic communities over a ten-year period. The work involved various research groups from Barcelona, Girona, Reus, Palma de Mallorca, Zaragoza, Murcia, Pamplona, Seville, and Talavera de la Reina. The results of the study are clear. The obesity epidemic has a greater impact on women. In fact, women are 5 five times more likely to suffer a cardiovascular disease, and have 12 times greater risk of developing cancer than those of normal weight, Being overweight, even if this does not reach obesity levels, still involves twice the risk of heart disease and four times the risk of cancer.

    Més informació "Obesity and overweight multiply the risk of suffering cancer and heart disease"

  • 04/12/2017 - Press release

    Genes identified that distinguish mammals from other animals

    What distinguishes Homo sapiens from other living beings? And the group of mammals? What makes them different? These are the questions that researchers from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) have been trying to answer, together with the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences at the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF). To do this, they analysed the already-sequenced genomes of 68 mammals and identified 6,000 families of genes that are only found in these animals. These are genes with no homologues outside mammals, in other words, they are not present in other hairless species. In humans, it is estimated that they represent 2.5% of the genes that code for proteins. The work was led by Dr. José Luis Villanueva-Cañas, a member of the IMIM's Evolutionary Genomics research group, and currently a researcher at the Evolutionary Biology Institute (UPF-CSIC), and Dr. Mar Albà, an ICREA researcher at both the IMIM and the Biomedical Informatics Research Programme (GRIB). The study also involved Dr. David Andreu's group from the UPF's Department of Experimental and Health Sciences. It has been published in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution.

    Més informació "Genes identified that distinguish mammals from other animals"

  • 03/11/2017 - Press release

    Hospital del Mar of Medical Research Institute involved in the largest international analysis for mapping the bladder cancer genome

    Dr. Joaquim Bellmunt, director of the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and Associate Professor at the University of Harvard, at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, is one of the first authors of a new international study that has mapped genome of bladder cancer. As part of the TCGA project (The Cancer Genome Atlas), the researchers have reported their final analysis of 412 tumour samples, providing the most accurate genetic description to date of this type of cancer. This will enable the analysis of new personalised treatment hypotheses for this disease. The study was published in the journal Cell. Dr. Bellmunt has stated that thanks to this work, we now "have a much broader perspective on the different varieties of urinary bladder cancer and its genetic alterations". Even so, the head of the IMIM stresses that "it is necessary to continue researching the best treatments and confirm hypothesised new treatment methods."

    Més informació "Hospital del Mar of Medical Research Institute involved in the largest international analysis for mapping the bladder cancer genome"

  • 13/09/2017 - Press release

    40 Million EUR European project for new drug safety assessment and integrative data analysis research.

    The five-year project, Enhancing Translational Safety Assessment through Integrative Knowledge Management (eTRANSAFE), aims to develop an advanced data integration infrastructure together with innovative computational methods to improve the security in drug development process and is funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking (IMI 2) together with the pharmaceutical industry. The eTRANSAFE consortium is a private and public partnership of 8 academic institutions, 6 SMEs and 12 pharmaceutical companies, and is coordinated by the Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques (IMIM) and led by the pharmaceutical company Novartis and Bayer AG. The eTRANSAFE project aims at improving the safety assessment across the drug discovery and development process by applying bioinformatics approaches to shared preclinical and clinical data to systematically analyse the translatability of effects. Thus, enabling the optimisation of resources and the development of safer medicines.

    Més informació "40 Million EUR European project for new drug safety assessment and integrative data analysis research."

  • 29/08/2017 - Press release

    Autoimmune diseases increase cardiovascular and mortality risk

    Researchers from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and IDIAP Jordi Gol have just published an article showing that autoimmune diseases significantly increase cardiovascular risk as well as overall mortality. This is particularly pronounced in people suffering rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus. In addition, it has been seen that inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn's or ulcerative colitis, increase the risk of stroke and death through any cause. The article is published this month in the journal Heart. The 6-year study followed a cohort of nearly 1 million people aged between 35 and 85, with no history of cardiovascular disease. The large sample size allowed the estimation of cardiovascular event incidence and mortality in people diagnosed with autoimmune diseases. Some of these diseases are relatively frequent, so their impact is quite significant. It is estimated that rheumatoid arthritis affects between 150,000 and 200,000 people in Spain, and somewhere around 100,000 people suffer Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

    Més informació "Autoimmune diseases increase cardiovascular and mortality risk"

  • 11/07/2017 - Press release

    Key immunological mechanism for regulating intestinal flora discovered

    Researchers at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) have shown for the first time that immunoglobulin M, secreted by the human intestine, plays a key role in maintaining the diversity of intestinal flora by including and maintaining microorganisms that are beneficial to our health. These results have been published in the prestigious scientific journal Immunity. "We have discovered that, in addition to immunoglobulin A, (IgA), immunoglobulin M (IgM), secreted by the human intestine, interacts with the intestinal microbiota and actively participates in maintaining its diversity. In addition, we have demonstrated that this immunoglobulin is part of an immunological memory system through which our organism is able to recognise and adapt to its microbial environment", explain Giuliana Magri and Laura Comerma, researchers from the B Cell Biology research group at the IMIM and first authors of the article.

    Més informació "Key immunological mechanism for regulating intestinal flora discovered"

  • 23/02/2017 - Press release

    New role of cholesterol in regulating brain proteins discovered

    A study led by researchers at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and the Institute of Medical Physics and Biophysics at the Faculty of Medicine in Charité Hospital, Berlin, published in the journal Nature Communications, demonstrates that the cholesterol present in cell membranes can interfere with the function of an important brain membrane protein, through a previously unknown mode of interaction. Specifically, cholesterol is capable of regulating the activity of the adenosine receptor, by invading it and accessing the active site. This will allow new ways of interacting with these proteins to be devised that in the future could lead to drugs for treating diseases like Alzheimer's. The adenosine receptor belongs to the GPCR family (G Protein-Coupled Receptors), a large group of proteins located in cell membranes, which are key in the transmission of signals and communication between cells. GPCRs are therefore involved in the majority of important physiological processes, including the interpretation of sensory stimuli such as vision, smell, and taste, the regulation of the immune and inflammatory system, and behaviour modulation.

    Més informació "New role of cholesterol in regulating brain proteins discovered"

  • 20/02/2017 - Press release

    Immunotherapy shown to be more effective than chemotherapy for treating bladder cancer

    An international multicentre study led by cancer specialist Joaquim Bellmunt, director of the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and coordinator of the IMIM's Genitourinary Oncology research group, has demonstrated the effectiveness of immunotherapy in treating advanced bladder cancer when the initial chemotherapy using cisplatin no longer works. It is the first time patient survival has been significantly prolonged in this kind of situation. The treatment also improves the quality of life of patients with respect to chemotherapy. This phase III study published in the highly prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, a benchmark for advances in applied medicine, becomes a reference work as until now there had been no significant breakthroughs in bladder cancer treatment that could be applied when the first option was no longer effective. These results provide evidence supporting the use of Pembrolizumab, an immunotherapy drug, as a new standard treatment for advanced bladder cancer, as has also been demonstrated for other types of tumour such as melanoma and lung cáncer.

    Més informació "Immunotherapy shown to be more effective than chemotherapy for treating bladder cancer"

  • 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.

    Més informació "Pregnancy Leads to Changes in the Mother’s Brain"

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