Neurochemistry Lab | Fondazione Santa Lucia

Neurochemistry Lab

Areas of Investigation 

The Laboratory of Neurochemistry conducts research on the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Using cell and animal models that mimic the genotype of patients with familial ALS, we are trying to identify therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative disease that today treated with palliative care only.

 

Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Oxidative Stress in ALS

Studies performed by the research group show that even in ALS, as in other neurodegenerative disorders (eg. Parkinson's disease), mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress play an important role already in early stages of the disease, when the patient is still asymptomatic. Through genetic manipulation it is possible to slow down by 50 percent the progression of the disease in murine models carrying SOD1 mutations, typical of the ALS patients. The research is therefore directed to the identification of conventional, non-gene therapies with the same molecular targets.

 

Frontotemporal Dementia and Spinal Muscular Atrophy

The Laboratory of Neurochemistry also studies the molecular mechanisms operating in frontotemporal dementia and spinal muscular atrophy. Frontotemporal dementia is at one extreme of a continuum with ALS and its degenerative lesions mainly affect the frontal and temporal lobes. Spinal muscular atrophy affects the motor neurons of the anterior horn of the spinal cord. It is presently an incurable disease.

Collaborations 
  • Institute of Cell Biology and Neurobiology, National Research Council (CNR), Rome (Italy)
  • Institute of Translational Pharmacology, National Research Council (CNR), Rome (Italy)
  • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)
  • Université de Strasbourg (France)
Ongoing Research Projects 
  • OligoALS – nuove strategie per rimuovere gli aggregati proteici nella SLA

Laboratory of Neurochemistry

Fondazione Santa Lucia Irccs

Via del Fosso di Fiorano, 64 00143 Rome

European Centre for Brain Research (CERC) – Floor 1 – Room 105