Four I3PT mental health projects, awarded 1,3 million euros by La Marató

Four I3PT mental health projects, awarded 1,3 million euros by La Marató 1080 608 Mireia Córcoles

According to experts, one in four people suffer from one mental health disorder throughout his life. Despite the high number, stigmas and prejudices are still experienced in our society due to lack of knowledge.

To find solutions and offer a comprehensive approach to mental health, Fundació La Marató de TV3 has been awarded 81 research teams with a total of 12.147.989 euros -raised thanks to the set of actions and activities framed in The 3 TV2021 and Catalunya Ràdio Marathon dedicated to mental health–, that yesterday afternoon announced in an event on TV3.

With this amount collected they can be carried out 36 research projects that "will transform solidarity into answers that offer a comprehensive approach to mental health to improve the quality and life expectancy of patients and their families", as explained by the entity.

The awarded projects of the I3PT

This year, a total of four research teams from the Parc Taulí Research and Innovation Institute (I3PT), in collaboration with other research institutions, have won a grant from TV3's La Marató, adding a total of 1.296.047 euros. Of these, 725.000 euros will be used to develop the subprojects from the I3PT.

These four projects have been selected from a total of 150 that were submitted and passed an international evaluation process. Also, in three of these selected projects, the I3PT will be the main coordinator.

Over the next few years, the award-winning research groups will work to find answers and provide a comprehensive approach to mental health.

Unraveling the influence of gut microbiota and derived metabolites in major depression: a knowledge transfer neurometabolomic study of the irritable bowel and porcine model

Research staff:

  • Dr. Narcís Cardoner Álvarez I3PT Foundation, from E-Mental Health and Epidemiology Group
  • Dr. Librado Jesús Garcia Gil | Institute of Biomedical Research of Girona Dr. J. Trueta IDIBGI
  • Dr. Antoni Dalmau Bueno IRTA Agro-Food Research and Technology Institute

🧪 €396.487,50

Dysbiosis of the gut microbiota could play an important role in the depressive symptoms that characterize major depressive disorder (MDD) and that frequently appear in functional gut diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Postbiotics, small molecules derived from the metabolic activity of the microbiota, could be a key factor in this symptomatology. The aim of the project is to transfer the established knowledge about the microbial signature in IBS, and to identify bacteria and postbiotics associated with TDM. It is expected to identify a series of postbiotic molecules linked to depression and neuronal alterations.

Implementation of a digital tool for the telematic monitoring and management of emotional and cognitive sequelae related to post-intensive care syndrome: impact on functionality and quality of life

Research staff:

🧪 €299.771,66

Some ICU survivors develop mental health problems and cognitive and physical alterations, which are known as Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS). Some of the symptoms experienced, such as post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety and cognitive impairment, can become chronic and have an impact on the quality of life of patients and their relatives.
The aim of the project is to optimize, implement and evaluate the impact on the quality of life of the APPICS digital platform, designed for the monitoring and management of the mental health sequelae of PICS in ICU survivors and their relatives , during the first year of recovery. It is expected that critically ill patients in the APPICS program will show better levels of functionality and quality of life, as well as an improvement in emotional disturbances during the first 12 months of ICU discharge.

Effectiveness and safety of the EPPICS technology tool for cognitive stimulation and emotional support of the critically ill patient: a randomized controlled clinical trial

Research staff:

🧪 €200.000

ICUs are places intended for the care of critically unstable patients at risk of death, therefore they are a potentially hostile environment for a mentally vulnerable patient. Along with the physical stress associated with critical illness and interventions (mechanical ventilation), there are physiological (delirium) and psychosocial factors (isolation, inability to communicate due to intubation or tracheotomy) that negatively affect their comfort and well-being during admission. Beyond the emotional impact related to the ICU environment, approximately half of the patients will suffer Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (SPCI), a set of physical, cognitive and emotional sequelae that affect the functionality and quality of life of the survivors. Multiple interventions have been proposed to mitigate the medical, economic, and social cost of PCOS, but prevention-focused strategies are scarce, delaying treatment initiation and increasing the risk of chronicity.

The aim of the project is to conduct a clinical trial to test the effectiveness and safety of an early cognitive and emotional digital therapy based on non-immersive virtual reality techniques in critically ill patients.

New therapeutic targets in depression: the role of situational perception

Research staff:

🧪 €399.787,50

Only 50% of patients with depression benefit from standard treatment and this places a massive burden on society. Clinical assessment, cognitive therapies, and brain stimulation for depression may benefit from including a detailed characterization of situational awareness. This clashes with standard practices that deal primarily with how patients interpret specific events or their environment as a whole. However, there is good evidence that most everyday situations can be well described by eight standard dimensions.
Across six work packages, the group will study whether situational awareness potential is related to depressive symptoms in both virtual reality and outpatient settings in samples of patients with mild to moderate depression. He will also investigate the neural bases of situational perception in depression using neuroimaging. Finally, artificial intelligence will be used to extract the features most predictive of treatment response. This project aims to provide new therapeutic targets for depression based on situational awareness.

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