Inflammatory Central Nervous System Disorders

Inflammatory central nervous system disorders

team-item

Head of unit

Vittorio Martinelli

MORE

Our clinical group aims to deliver the highest quality translational and clinical research within both investigator- and commercial-led Clinical Trials with a focus on relieving the disease burden of MS on patients and their care givers.

Research activity

Our current research activities involve:

  1. Randomized Clinical Trials (RCTs): we are taking part in a number of phase II and phase III clinical trials of novel therapies in pwMS. Furthermore, we are participating in a phase I trial assessing the safety of intratecal neural stem cells (Phase I STEM trial).
  2. Clinical studies: we are focusing on the identification of predictive factors of response and on the early management of severe adverse events. Moreover, we are conducting studies on different biological factors (Serum Vitamin D, Smoking, Intestinal microbiota, CSF microvescicules, serum neurofilaments and clinical or MRI findings), to find possible correlations with inflammatory and degenerative aspects of MS, their prognostic role in pts at MS onset and in pts during different courses of the disease.
  3. Genetic studies: we aim at identifying genetic factors involved in susceptibility, disease severity and response to treatments. The laboratory follows complementary strategies, including omics technologies (mainly next-generation sequencing and array-based profiling), functional experiments and bioinformatics approaches to identify diagnostic, prognostic and therapy-related biomarkers.
  4. Neurorehabilitation studies: we have evaluated a) the efficacy of different aspects of intensive multidisciplinary rehabilitation projects; b) the predictors of disability improvement; c) the effects of different symptomatic drugs.
  5. Development of innovative technologies: we evaluated the advantages obtained by GPS, an objective measurement of walking distance of pwMS, to better define their disability. Our MS Centre is the leading Centre in the RADAR project, which aims to improve patients’ quality of life and, potentially, to change the way to follow pts using wearable devices and remote monitoring technologies.
  6. Neuropsychological studies: we are carrying out studies to evaluate a) the emotional and cognitive aspects of pwMS during the early phase of the disease; b) the psychological correlations and the coping strategies developed after the disease onset, b) the risk perception and propensity in pwMS and MS Neurologists,  and their influence on treatment choices.

We are also involved in studies on Neuromyelitis Optica and other rare CNS inflammatory diseases with a particular interest in their different clinical, epidemiological and therapeutical aspects.