"All of us are very ignorant. What happens is
that not all are ignorant of the same things."

I2M2. Multimodal Molecular Imaging of Inflammation

Psychological factors of inflammation and neurodegeneration

We propose to evaluate quantitatively the inflammatory component of the most morbid and prevalent cerebral pathologies as obesity, cancer, neurodegeneration and ischemic episodes, implementing a novel multilateral approach involving, non invasive molecular imaging, transgenic animals deficient in specific signalling routes of inflammation and a novel computer learning and image processing environment. The Project integrates the activity of eight research groups (CSIC1-4, UCM1,2, UNED2, HLP), specialized in each pathology around the Central Facility of Advanced Services (CFAS) which includes the Reference Laboratories of Cerebral Cartography (RedLab194), Organic Synthesis and Molecular Imaging (RedLab 250), Magnetic Resonance (RedLab 105, as associate), Heterocyclic Chemistry (UAH1) and Artificial Intelligence (UAM1). The project is coordinated by Dr. Sebastián Cerdán (CSIC). The UNED group, leaded by Dr. Soledad Ballesteros, contributes with Dr. María de Ceballos (CSIC) to the evaluation and characterization of the role of inflammation in cognitive impairment and Alzheimer disease (CSIC4, UNED2).

Inflammation seems the principal contributor to many chronic central nervous systems conditions and it has been associated with adherence and leukocyte invasion in the infected tissue as well as activation of the immune system. Most neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by local inflammation of the brain cells. AD is the main cause of dementia. In this neurodegenerative disease, lesions start at the temporal and parietal cortices, extending lately to the hippocampus and the amigdala. Lesions in the medial temporal system and the hippocampus produce the deterioration of episodic memory considered as the first signal of AD. However, the alterations of attention could be the first cognitive process that deteriorates in AD patients.

The immune system and inflammation are also implicated in type 2 diabetes. Epidemiological studies have shown that a low-grade inflammation predicts incident of type 2 diabetes. Metabolic and immune pathways have also evolved to be closely linked and interdependent. In addition to using some of the same cellular machinery, metabolic and immune systems also regulate each other. This means that immune and metabolic systems regulated mutually. In this project we investigate the relationships between AD and type 2 diabetes. The results will be compared with normal aging. The Project in founded by the Madrid Community: Activity Programmes of I+D between Research Groups in Biomedicine of Madrid Community.

Related Publications

Redondo, M.T., Reales, J.M., & Ballesteros, S. (2010). Memoria implícita y explícita en ancianos no dementes con trastornos metabólicos producidos por la diabetes mellitus tipo 2. Psicologica, 31, 87-108.