Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disease whose clinical symptoms are mainly caused by the loss of substantia nigra dopaminergic neurons. The main problem, for both researchers and clinical practitioners, is that when patients present the first symptoms, somewhere between 70% and 80% of their dopaminergic neurons have disappeared. At present, the major challenges in the treatment of Parkinson's disease are protecting the dopaminergic neurons in order to prevent or halt progression of the disease and find a treatment that can rescue neurons at risk of dying. The objective of our group is to identify new neuroprotective strategies for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Our laboratory's projects focus on the following:
Identification of new anti-Parkinson's treatments by means of pharmacological manipulation of the cannabinoid system: The aim is to activate or inhibit elements of the cannabinoid system such as GPCR-type receptors (CB1, CG2, and GPR55) or the enzymes that break down endogenous cannabinoids. In this way, we aim to determine the function of the cannabinoid system in progression of the disease and to evaluate its therapeutic value.
Modulation of glial activity as a neuroprotective strategy: The aim is to characterize the different types of glial activation in order to understand how they contribute to the neurodegenerative process. In turn, this allows us to determine how we can favor a phenotype that releases neuroprotective molecules, such as GDNF.