The Mitochondrial Neuropathology Research Group will receive a grant from La Caixa Foundation to investigate new therapies for mitochondrial disease. The call, which aims to promote promising scientific initiatives, selected 8 projects in neuroscience, from more than 150 proposals, that will receive funding for 3 years.
Dr. Quintana’s project will focus on studying the alterations that occur in a specific area of ??the brain, the basal ganglia, in mitochondrial pathologies. This group of diseases, which affect one in 5,000 newborns, are caused by a dysfunction in the organelles responsible for providing energy to the cells, the mitochondria. Because of a lack of cellular energy, those tissues more energy-demanding (such as the brain) are the most affected. These are very serious degenerative diseases, for which there is currently no effective treatment.
The project’s objective is to study the alterations observed in the basal ganglia neurons, which are suspected to be caused by signals initiated in the mitochondria. Thanks to the funding from La Caixa Foundation, the research group of Dr. Quintana will investigate how to reverse these signals and find new therapies for these pathologies.