Raphael MaldonadoPr. University Pompeu Fabra-Barcelona- Spain
Neurobiological substrate of food addiction, by Rafael Maldonado
NeuroPhar studies the neurobiological substrate of drug addiction, pain, affective and eating disorders. Our main interest is the development of research lines aimed at the identification of new therapeutic targets in the central nervous system.
We are interested in the neurochemical and neuroanatomical bases of addiction induced by opioids, cannabinoids, nicotine and psychostimulants. In our studies we address:
– Possible physical aspects of drug dependence
– Motivational components leading to the abusive consumption of such substances
A dual approach is followed:
i) a classical pharmacological strategy using compounds able to block or activate the different receptors or intracellular signalling systems; and
ii) genetically modified mice lacking a particular receptor or protein.
We are also working in the participation of the endogenous opioid and cannabinoid systems in the physiopathology of mood disorders. Several sophisticated behavioural models for anxiety and depression, as well as cutting-edge biochemical and molecular biology techniques allow the in vivo correlation of behavioural and biochemical responses.
The role of the endocannabinoid system in chronic pain and eating disorders is a topic of growing interest for our laboratory. Several sophisticated behavioural models of chronic pain (neuropathic, visceral, inflammatory) and food intake, together with genetic and biochemical approaches help in elucidating the role of this endogenous system in such pathophysiological situations.