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  • 01/10/2020 - General information

    EU-funded Mental Health Promotion and Intervention in Occupational Settings

    Each year, around 20 million European citizens are affected from depression. Depression is a serious illness which impacts on all aspects of life, including work. While Small and Medium Sized enterprises particularly face substantial economic losses due to the global impact of COVID-19, the MENTUPP consortium anticipates, that capacities for mental health promotion and provision in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will be even more limited in the future. A second COVID-19 wave might further impact negatively on people affected by depression. This is why action on occupational mental health is urgently needed. Resources for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises "Limited capacities for mental health promotion and provision of adequate occupational mental health programmes for employees are a concern shared by most decision-makers in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)", says Prof. Ella Arensman, Coordinator of the MENTUPP project. In the EU, these businesses contribute to more than 90% of the economy. Particularly, SMEs in the construction, healthcare and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sectors have been associated with higher risk of mental health difficulties compared to other sectors. COVID-19 has significant short-term and long-term effects on the mental health people working in these sectors. 

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  • 03/09/2020 - Press release

    European grant of 1.5 million euros to study how the brain encodes and stores our experiences

    The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded Dr. Arnau Busquets García, a Ramón y Cajal researcher at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), with a prestigious ERC Starting Grant. This recognition includes 1.5 million euros to develop a 5-year project. Grants from the ERC, which are part of the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, are the main source of European funding for research excellence. They support highly innovative projects led by outstanding and internationally renowned researchers, with the aim of helping them to build their own teams and carry out pioneering research in Europe. In this year's edition, 3272 applications were submitted and 436 grants were awarded, for a total of 677 million euros. The recipients have 40 different nationalities and the projects will be developed in 25 different EU member states. The countries awarded the most grants are Germany (88 grants), the UK (62), the Netherlands (42), and France (38). Spain secured a total of 23 grants, 7 of which are going to Catalan research centers.

    Més informació "European grant of 1.5 million euros to study how the brain encodes and stores our experiences"

  • 17/08/2020 - Press release

    Dr. Marta Torrens and Dr. Rafael Maldonado edit a special issue of European Neuropsychopharmacology on the recreational use of cannabis

    The journal is dedicating a prominent position to research on cannabis and its derivatives, its recreational use, the associated risks, and potential medical applications. It features articles by some of the most prominent figures in the field, under the editorship of Dr. Torrens and Dr. Maldonado. The July issue of the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology is dedicating a special section to the controversy over the globally growing trend to legalise the use of marijuana for certain recreational and medical uses. This has been edited by Dr. Marta Torrens, director of the Addictions Process Group at the Hospital del Mar Institute of Neuropsychiatry and Addictions (INAD) and coordinator of the Addictions Research Group at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), and Dr. Rafael Maldonado, head of the Neuropharmacology Laboratory at the Department of Experimental and Health Sciences (CEXS) at Pompeu Fabra University and the IMIM. Together they authored an editorial on the subject for the journal.

    Més informació "Dr. Marta Torrens and Dr. Rafael Maldonado edit a special issue of European Neuropsychopharmacology on the recreational use of cannabis"

  • 27/07/2020 - Press release

    World-Wide FINGERS: Spain is part of the first global initiative for prevention of dementia and Alzheimer´s disease

    World-Wide FINGERS (WW-FINGERS) is the first global network of clinical trials for risk reduction and prevention of dementia and Alzheimer´s disease through multidomain interventions. Spanish researchers from the Barcelonaβeta Brain Research Center (BBRC), the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and the CITA Alzheimer Foundation participate in this network which convenes research teams from over 30 countries. The main scope, scientific strategy and activities of the WW-FINGERS network have been recently published in Alzheimer´s & Dementia. WW-FINGERS builds upon the successful experience of FINGER study: the Finnish Geriatric Intervention Study to Prevent Cognitive Impairment and Disability, led by Prof. Miia Kivipelto and her team (Karolinska Institutet, Sweden; University of Eastern Finland; Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare and Imperial College London, UK). This pioneering randomized clinical trial (RCT) demonstrated that a 2-year multidomain lifestyle intervention consisting of nutritional guidance, exercise, social stimulation, cognitive training, and control of vascular risk factors benefitted cognition in seniors at increased risk of dementia (Lancet 2015). 

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  • 24/07/2020 - Institutional news

    IMIM, one of the Health Research Institutes to receive an ISCIII Responsible Research and Innovation Award

    In the first edition of the Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in Health Awards organised by ISCIII and promoted as part of the European project ORION  (Open Responsible research and Innovation to further Outstanding kNowledge) three proposals from three different Health Research Institutes (HRI) have been honoured out of a total of 26 proposals received. One of these three proposals is an IMIM project: The name of the successful project is "Co-creation and citizen participation in the design of the PENSA Study on the Prevention of Cognitive Impairment in People with Subjective Memory Complaints". Presented by Natàlia Soldevila and Laura Forcano from the Integrated Pharmacology and Systems Neuroscience research group at the IMIM, this work stands out for its application of citizen participation in the design of a clinical trial, an added value that allows the project to be reoriented to better adapt to the needs and expectations of the participants.

    Més informació "IMIM, one of the Health Research Institutes to receive an ISCIII Responsible Research and Innovation Award"

  • 08/07/2020 - Press release

    Star-Shaped Brain Cells Shed Light on the Link Between Cannabis Use and Sociability

    Cannabis use can lead to behavioral changes, including reduced social interactions in some individuals. To better understand the phenomenon, Inserm researcher Giovanni Marsicano and his team from NeuroCenter Magendie (Inserm/Université de Bordeaux), in collaboration with University of Salamanca (Spain) professor, Juan P Bolaños and his team, have identified for the first time in mice the cerebral mechanisms underlying the relationship between cannabis and reduced sociability. Their findings have been published in Nature. Dr. Arnau Busquets, currently a Ramon y Cajal researcher in the IMIM's Integrated Pharmacology and Systems Neuroscience Research Group is one of the first authors of this work.  He has been responsible for carrying out the in vivo part of the project in mice, during his postdoctoral period in Dr. Marsicano's team in Bordeaux. Dr. Busquets started his own group last September (https://www.imim.cat/programesrecerca/neurociencies/grfh/cell-type_mechanisms_in_normal_and_pathological_behavior/index.htm)

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  • 30/06/2020 - General information

    Two projects involving the IMIM selected in the Spanish Innovation Agency's Challenge-Collaboration call

    The successful projects are "Obtaining antioxidant active substances from the carob pod and validating their therapeutic potential", which involves the company Euronutra, the IBIMA (Malaga Biomedical Research Institute), the IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute), and the CRG (Centre for Genomic Regulation); and the project "Development of a new therapy for Fragile X syndrome", in which the company Connecta Therapeutics, the IMIM, and the CRG are participating. The Spanish Innovation Agency call for these grants is part of the State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation 2017-2020. The goal is to finance cooperative projects between companies and research bodies in order to carry out joint R&D projects that are close to the market and that, due to their subject matter, are aligned with the priorities established in the challenges of the State R&D Programme Oriented to the Challenges of Society.  This year's call has a budget of 260 million euros and one of the requirements is that the coordinator applying for the grant must be a company.

    Més informació "Two projects involving the IMIM selected in the Spanish Innovation Agency's Challenge-Collaboration call"

  • 10/06/2020 - General information

    Dr. Marta Torrens, the only Spanish author involved in the United Nations and World Health Organisation guide to treating drug addiction

    The Director of the Addictions Process Group within the Institute of Neuropsychiatry and Addictions at the Hospital del Mar (INAD) and a researcher at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) has participated in the drafting of this document, which analyses the different treatments and establishes the standards of use for the entire world. The guide was presented in March at the 63rd session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs 2020, held at the United Nations Office in Vienna. In March, the United Nations, through its Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and the World Health Organisation (WHO), jointly approved the first International standards for the treatment of drug use disorders. This document was written with the assistance of leading experts in this field, including Dr. Marta Torrens, Director of the Addictions Process Group at INAD and coordinator of the Addictions Research Group at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM). Dr. Torrens is the only author from Spain.

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  • 28/05/2020 - Press release

    New resource to assist SMEs in managing the effects of COVID-19 on the mental health and well-being of their workers

    The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are far reaching and long lasting for people working in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in terms of people's wellbeing and mental health and the social and economic impacts. he EU-funded large-scale Mental Health Promotion and Intervention in Occupational Settings project began in January 2020. The project aims to improve mental health and wellbeing in the workplace by developing, implementing and evaluating a multilevel intervention targeting both prevalent psychiatric disorders (depression, anxiety disorders) and non-clinical aspects of mental health (stress, burnout, wellbeing, depressive symptoms).

    Més informació "New resource to assist SMEs in managing the effects of COVID-19 on the mental health and well-being of their workers"

  • 04/05/2020 - Press release

    New therapeutic targets for treating memory impairment in Down syndrome

    A team of researchers led by Dr. Victoria Puig from the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), which also involved the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), has studied the neural basis of intellectual disability in mice with Down syndrome and has discovered that the neural networks of brain circuits relevant to memory and learning are over-activated and that the connectivity of these circuits is poor. The researchers have also observed that neural activity during sleep is abnormal and probably interferes with memory consolidation. The study has even identified biomarkers in brain rhythms that can predict memory deficits in the mice which are corrected by chronic treatment with a natural component of green tea, epigallocatechin gallate, which other studies have already shown to improve executive function in adults with Down syndrome.

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