IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques

News

  • 09/09/2014 - Press release

    The economic impact of disorders of the brain in Spain is the equivalent of 8% of its GDP

    Mental disorders and brain disease represent a high cost in Europe and around the world. Researchers from IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) have recently published in the PLOS ONE journal the results of a study that estimates that the cost of disorders of the brain in Spain is the equivalent of 84 billion Euros per year. This figure is far higher than the Spanish expenditure in health, which was 73 billion Euros in 2012. When referring to the cost of a disease, this not only includes the direct health cost – resources used for primary healthcare, specialised care, hospital stays, medication, preventive programmes, etc. –but also direct non-medical costs of these disorders and diseases –for instance, the cost of carers –and the indirect costs or potential loss of productivity for death, permanent or temporary disability, lost or decreased leisure, etc. For this study, a group of nineteen disorders and diseases of the brain were included, encompassing neurological diseases –dementia, epilepsy, headache, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, strokes and neuromuscular diseases – and also mental diseases –anxiety disorders, humour disorders and psychotic disorders – to reach a global and individual estimate of their impact.

    Més informació "The economic impact of disorders of the brain in Spain is the equivalent of 8% of its GDP"

  • Press release

    Identified almost 200 genes that have evolved more rapidly in humans than in other primates

    A study carried out by researchers from the Research programme on Biomedical Informatics (GRIB) at IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) and the UPF has used new human genetic data to learn more about mutations that may have conferred a selective advantage to humans over the past 5 million years of evolution. This provides researchers with a new vision on human evolution. The availability of the genetic variants in a large number of people, through initiatives such as the Project 1000 Genomes, is useful not only to understand the genetic basis of diseases, but also to carry out research on the human evolution. According to Mar Albà, an ICREA professor and the coordinator of the IMIM research group on Evolutionary Genomics “This variation provides us with a measure on the proportion of the amino acid changes seen typically in a protein while it maintains its function. Once we have this value, we can then count the differences with the ancestral protein in humans and chimpanzees and if we find there have been more changes than expected, this is because the function of the protein may have changed during human evolution”.

    Més informació "Identified almost 200 genes that have evolved more rapidly in humans than in other primates"

  • 30-06-2014 - Press release

    The inhibition of a protein opens the door to the treatment of pancreatic cancer, one of the tumours with the worst prognosis

    Researchers from IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) have identified a new protein, galectin-1, as a possible therapeutic target for pancreatic cancer. For the first time they have demonstrated the effects of the inhibition of this protein in mice suffering this type of cancer and the results showed an increase in survival of 20%. The work further suggests that it could be a therapeutic target with no adverse effects. This article will be published in the next edition of the Cancer Research journal, will be featured on the front page and will also be published as an author's view in OncoImmunology. Until now, the strategies for treating this tumour were aimed at attacking the tumour cells and had little success. The latest studies indicate that trying to destroy what surrounds the tumour is possibly a better strategy. “Our contribution is directed toward this, as the reduction of galectin-1 mainly affects the immune system and the cells and structure that surrounds the tumour cells, which is called the stroma. Therefore, galectin-1 as a therapeutic target has great potential”, explains Dr. Pilar Navarro, co-ordinator of the research group on molecular mechanisms of tumorigenesis of IMIM and director of the research.

    Més informació "The inhibition of a protein opens the door to the treatment of pancreatic cancer, one of the tumours with the worst prognosis"

  • 05/06/2014 - Press release

    Researchers identify a new gene associated with haemorrhagic stroke

    Researchers from the International Stroke Genetics Consortium (ISGC), among them scientists from the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), and the Research Foundation MutuaTerrassa (FMT) of the University Hospital MutuaTerrassa (HUMT) have identified a new gene, PMF1, involved in intracerebral haemorrhage. The finding, published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, was possible thanks to the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) on this disease.

    Més informació "Researchers identify a new gene associated with haemorrhagic stroke"

  • 05/05/2014 - Press release

    Animal hoarding, a lesser-known problem for public health and welfare

    Animal hoarding is a psychiatric disorder that consists of accumulating large numbers of animals at home, usually cats and dogs, without providing them with a minimal standard of care. Researchers from IMIM (Hospital del Mar Research Institute) publish the first European study to provide data on this disorder, in the Journal Animal Welfare. The disorder is still largely unknown and has a negative effect on the health of both the people who suffer from it and the animals involved. “This is the first step towards public recognition of this disorder, a disorder that constitutes a growing concern for government as it is becoming a serious problem for public health. There are still no standardised action protocols for intervention in these cases” states Paula Calvo, a researcher of the IMIM research group on anxiety, affective disorders and schizophrenia and of the “Cátedra Fundación Affinity Animales y Salud” (Affinity Foundation Chair for Animals and Health) of the Department of Psychiatry of the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

    Més informació "Animal hoarding, a lesser-known problem for public health and welfare"

  • 26/03/2014 - Press release

    A system is being developed that will enable the prediction of the incidence of myocardial infarctions over the next decade

    Investigators from IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) in partnership with the Department of Health of the Generalitat de Catalunya, have developed and validated a system called CASSANDRA which enables the prediction of the incidence of myocardial infarctions over the next ten years. This data is of great value for health planning and for the definition of strategies for the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases. The estimations are made on the basis of expected demographic changes and the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors. Using CASSANDRA the authors have estimated that between now and 2022, the incidence of myocardial infarctions in Spain in individuals between 35 and 74 years of age will be 523 cases per 100,000 men and 232 cases per 100,000 women, if the only factor taken into account is the aging of the Spanish population.

    Més informació "A system is being developed that will enable the prediction of the incidence of myocardial infarctions over the next decade"

  • 28/01/2014 - Press release

    Measuring waist circumference would improve the detection of children and adolescents with cardiometabolic risk

    A study led by researchers from IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) and published in the journal PlosOne concludes that including waist circumference measurements in clinical practice, together with the traditional height and weight measurements, would make it easier to detect children and adolescents with cardiometabolic risk, i.e. those with a higher predisposition to suffer from arteriosclerosis or type 2 diabetes. This study is the first of its kind in Spain on abdominal obesity in children and adolescents, one of the most important risk factors associated to this disorder, which has increased in recent years.

    Més informació "Measuring waist circumference would improve the detection of children and adolescents with cardiometabolic risk"

  • 14/11/2013 - Press release

    Researchers from IMIM describe a new function of two molecules involved in metastasis

    Researchers from IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute) lead by Dr. Sandra Peiró have described a new function for two key molecules involved in tumor progression. Transcription factor SNAIL1 and enzyme LOXL2 are essential to Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT); meaning the process by which tumor cells are able to move and reach other tissues. The study has been published in the Molecular Cell Journal and places enzyme LOXL2 as a possible therapeutic target to treat cancers such as breast, lung or skin cancer. Transcription factors are proteins that regulate gene expression. They activate or deactivate a gene’s function. Researchers at IMIM have studied the function of one of these transcription factors, Snail1, in mouse cells during the Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT). Sandra Peiró, a researcher from the IMIM Research Group on Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition and Tumor Progression explains: “EMT is a process consisting of converting epithelial cells, the ones covering the internal and external surfaces of the body, into what are known as mesenchymal cells. In this process, the cells acquire a series of new characteristics that enable them to migrate and resist apoptosis (programmed cell death), self-regenerate and, finally, invade neighboring tissues and reach other areas of the body. When this process occurs at the tumor epithelial cells, the resulting mesenchymal cells can migrate and generate metastases”.

    Més informació "Researchers from IMIM describe a new function of two molecules involved in metastasis"

  • 28/10/2013 - Press release

    New statistic model forecasts the effect of tobacco consumption on childhood asthma

    A scientific study recently published on International Journal of Statistics in Medical Research states that tobacco consumption must be decreased by 15% in Spain, particularly at home, in order to reduce the number of childhood asthma cases. The research is signed by professors Toni Monleón-Getino and Martín Ríos, from the Department of Statistics of the UB, and experts Oriol Vall, Carme Puig, Òscar Garcia-Algar and Antonella Chiandetti, members of the Childhood and Environment Research Group of the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM). Asthma is the most common chronic illness during childhood and adolescence in industrialized countries. Several factors have been proposed to explain asthma. It affects between 10% and 17% of children and teenagers in Spain. There is no treatment to cure this illness which may decrease considerably patients’ quality of life. Although its prevalence has been increasing over the last 40 years in many countries, no statistical or simulation model existed to forecast the evolution of childhood asthma in Europe.

    Més informació "New statistic model forecasts the effect of tobacco consumption on childhood asthma"

  • 26/09/2013 - Press release

    Intestinal mucus has anti-inflammatory functions

    Researchers at Institut Hospital del Mar d’Investigacions Mèdiques (IMIM) in Barcelona, in collaboration with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and other U.S. Institutions, have found that intestinal mucus not only acts as a physical barrier against commensal bacteria and dietary antigens, but also prevents the onset of inflammatory reactions against these agents. This fundamental property of mucus was unknown until now and its discovery could potentially improve the life of people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease. Mucus is a colloidal gel produced by glands present in our mucosal surfaces, including the intestine. "Our body produces on average a liter of mucus every day. Despite its abundance, mucus has been poorly studied and thus very little is known about its composition, synthesis and functional properties. Part of the problem may be that mucus is traditionally viewed as a symbol of disease and thus represents an antivalue" explains Dr. Andrea Cerutti, ICREA Research Professor, coordinator of the research group in B Cell Biology at IMIM, Professor of Medicine at Mount Sinai and responsible for the study.

    Més informació "Intestinal mucus has anti-inflammatory functions"

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