Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau

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SMC participants

Specialist doctor at the Clinical Epidemiology and Public Health Service of the Hospital de Sant Pau in Barcelona and Patient Safety Expert

Director of the Internal Medicine Department and head of the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Functional Unit at the Hospital Sant Pau in Barcelona

Clinical Head of the Thoracic Surgery Department at the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in Barcelona, co-coordinator of the CASSANDRA lung cancer screening project and director of Integrated Research Projects in Thoracic Oncology at the Spanish Society of Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery (SEPAR)

Director of the Memory Unit of the Neurology Service of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau and director of the Alzheimer's Unit at the Fundació Catalana Sindrome de Down

Director of the Dermatology Department of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau and professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona

Neurologist in the Neuromuscular Diseases Unit - Autoimmune Neurology - Neuromuscular Lab
Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau & Institut de Recerca Biomèdica Sant Pau, Barcelona

Specialist in Immunology at the Hospital de Sant Pau in Barcelona and secretary of the Spanish Society of Immunology

Contents related to this centre

A family of more than 1,000 members with origins in Colombia has a mutation called "paisa" that leads to the development of Alzheimer's disease. In 2019, an added mutation in the apoE gene called "Christchurch" was described as conferring strong protection to an individual carrying two copies of it. Now, a study has found that 27 family members carry a single copy and that it is also associated with some degree of protection. According to the authors, who publish their findings in the journal NEJM, the discovery could be used to develop new treatments for the disease. 

Adverse effects

The number of patients who suffered harm associated with medical procedures, treatments and contact with healthcare systems increased by 59% worldwide between 1990 and 2019, according to a study published in the journal BMJ Quality & Safety. This is higher than the population growth of 45 % over the same time period. Older people suffer the most adverse effects, with the main increase occurring in those aged 65-69 years.  


Researchers have found specific antibodies in the blood of patients years before they showed symptoms of multiple sclerosis. This group of antibodies was present in 10% of the 250 people who later developed the disease, and were part of a sample of over 10 million US military personnel. The finding could have potential for early detection of multiple sclerosis, says the research team in a paper published in Nature Medicine


An antibody therapy is able to restore the immune system of elderly mice to a more youthful state. The method, published in the journal Nature, rebalances blood cell production and reduces age-related immune decline. Preclinical and clinical studies are needed to determine whether this approach could be feasible in humans. 


A study has analysed more than 100 environmental factors and their impact on the immune response. After studying about a thousand volunteers, its conclusions are that smoking is the factor that causes the most alterations in defences. While some changes are transient, others may remain for years after quitting. The results are published in the journal Nature.

Multiple sclerosis /

An international team, involving researchers from Hospital Clínic-IDIBAPS and the Multiple Sclerosis Centre of Catalonia (Cemcat), has identified for the first time a genetic variant related to the progression of multiple sclerosis. It is located near two genes that had not previously been linked to multiple sclerosis. According to Stephen Sawcer, co-lead author of the study, "understanding how the variant exerts its effects on the severity of multiple sclerosis will pave the way for a new generation of treatments that can prevent disease progression". The results are published in the journal Nature.


A study of 89 patients has shown that the drug teriflunomide is able to delay the onset of multiple sclerosis symptoms in people whose MRI scans show early signs of the disease, even if they have not yet developed symptoms. The work has not yet been published in a scientific journal and its results have been shared at a meeting of the American Neurological Association.


A study in mice has found that high doses of the sweetener sucralose can reduce the immune response and, under certain laboratory conditions, alter its action against infections or tumours. The results are published in the journal Nature.


Two studies have found changes in the microbiome of patients affected by chronic fatigue syndrome. In particular, they have found a decrease in both butyrate and certain bacteria that produce butyrate. Butyrate is a factor related to the protection of the intestinal barrier and appears to play a role in the regulation of the immune system. Both papers are published in the journal Cell Host and Microbe.


A Swedish study has found an association between lack of sleep or poor quality sleep during adolescence and an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis later in life. They put the relative increased risk at 40 %. The results are published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.