The Laboratory of Neurochemistry and Behavior have been working on the neurobiological basis of psychotropic drugs action and the role of brain neurotransmitter circuits in cognitive symptoms of neuropsychiatric diseases. Recently, the interest of the lab moved to experimental models of Rett syndrome, a severe and rare genetic disorder affecting young girls during the first phases of development. We are committed to clarify the underlying pathogenic mechanisms and identify novel therapeutic strategies.
Rett syndrome: development of therapeutic strategies in mouse models of the pathology
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a rare and severe pathology affecting young girls during neonatal development. In most patients, RTT is caused by heterozygous mutations of the MECP2 gene a X-chromosome linked gene. To date, no disease modifying therapies are available for RTT. We are currently developing pharmacological strategies in Mecp2 mutant mice based on the repurposing of already marketed drugs to activate the expression of the healthy allele of the MECP2 gene, present in all affected female patients. If successful, the validity of this strategy might be rapidly assessed in clinical trials in patients with RTT.
Psychotropic drugs and neuropsychiatric diseases: role of serotonin
Studies on the role of serotonin (5-HT) in the main neuropsychiatric diseases, psychotropic drugs’ mechanism of action and biological basis of animals’ behavior have characterized our laboratory since the beginning of its activities. On-going studies are aimed at clarifying the role of 5-HT in the control of spontaneous- and psychostimulants-induced motor activity, a matter of dispute for a long time.
International Consensus on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.