Miguel Hernandez University of Elche

Miguel Hernandez University of Elche


addictions, Alzheimer's, bioethics, behavioural sciences, embryonic development, diabetes, gene editing, neurodegenerative diseases, epidemiology, physics, mathematics, microbiology, neuroscience, mental health, transgenics
Mª José Pastor Vicente
Head of Press Area
96 665 8992
Ángeles C. Gallar Martínez
Head of Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit

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SMC participants

Director of the Nutrition and Bromatology research group.

Director of the Institute of Neurosciences, a joint centre of the Miguel Hernández University of Elche (UMH) and the CSIC

Professor of Physiology at the Miguel Hernández University of Elche and researcher at the CIBER on Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Diseases

Director of the Institute of Bioengineering at the Miguel Hernandez University of Elche and director of the Biomedical Neuroengineering group at the Center for Biomedical Research Network on Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN)

Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Applied Biology.

Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the Miguel Hernández University and director of the Global Health research group.

CSIC Group Leader at the Institute of Neurosciences (CSIC-UMH)

Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health and Director of the Unit of Epidemiology of Nutrition at the University Miguel Hernández

Researcher at the Department of Plant Production and Microbiology, Miguel Hernández University of Elche

Professor of Social Psychology, Department of Health Psychology 

Contents related to this centre

A study conducted in Spain and five other European countries shows that exposure to mixtures of endocrine disruptors during pregnancy is associated with metabolic health problems in children. The research, published in JAMA Network Open, followed more than 1,100 mother-child pairs between 2003 and 2016 and found a correlation between measures of metabolic dysfunction in children aged 6-11 years, and their prenatal exposure to chemicals such as metals or organochlorine pesticides, among others. According to the authors, these results could be related to the current increase in metabolic syndrome across the lifespan, which results in an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. 


A clinical trial involving 60 people with upper and lower body paralysis showed that a non-invasive electrical spinal cord stimulation device - called ARCEX - helps improve hand and arm function in quadriplegic patients. The study, the results of which are published in Nature Medicine, showed that 43 of the people with paralysis experienced improved arm and hand strength and function after receiving electrical stimulation along with rehabilitation exercises.  


A dose of psilocybin—a hallucinogenic substance—administered to groups of 3 or 4 people suffering from cancer and depression may help reduce their depressive symptoms, according to a clinical trial conducted in the United States. The study involved 30 patients who also received individual and group therapeutic support. In another article, also published in the journal Cancer, the authors examine how the study participants perceived the therapy.


A neuroprosthesis that electrically stimulates an area of the spinal cord of a man with Parkinson's disease improved his mobility and balance, according to results presented in Nature Medicine. The 62-year-old patient had severe difficulties walking and frequent falls, despite trying other treatments. After trials in non-human primates, this is the first time this technology has been tested in a human being, who has now been using the neuroprosthesis about eight hours a day for two years. 


The Science group of journals publishes several parts of a high-resolution atlas of human brain cells, the largest 'map' of its kind to date. It is a series of papers from an international mega-project, the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative - Cell Census Network (BICCN), launched in 2017 to study brain cell types and their functions in humans, non-human primates and rodents. The data "will now allow researchers to address fundamental scientific questions about the human brain and its genetic organisation," states the introduction to the journal's special issue.


Early-life adversity, such as separation from the mother, can alter the neurological functioning of mice, causing some to experience panic and anxiety later in life. A study shows that these changes can be passed on for at least two generations and that inhalation of a drug, the diuretic amiloride, can reverse them. According to the authors, this treatment could be used in the future to alleviate panic disorders and related conditions in humans. The results are published in the journal Science Advances.


An international team has discovered a new type of molecular fossil in sedimentary rocks from the mid-Proterozoic - which spans from 2.5 billion to 542 million years ago. Protosteroids, a type of lipids found in abundance in those rocks, indicate that eukaryotes were a dominant life form in aquatic environments between 1.6 billion and 800 million years ago, the authors explain in Nature. The finding would confirm the theory of Nobel laureate Konrad Bloch, who predicted the existence of these primordial molecules. 


A few weeks ago, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said that exposure to bisphenol A through food is a risk to human health. The agency recommended a much lower tolerable daily intake dose than it had its own previous recommendations. In this explainer, we review key facts and documents to cover this issue--which will continue to make the headlines in months and years to come.  


In 2018, a regulation was introduced in Scotland that establishes a minimum sale price for alcoholic beverages, proportional to the amount of alcohol they contain. A study has analysed the health impact of this measure. According to the authors, alcohol-related mortality has decreased by 13% since then, especially among the most disadvantaged socio-economic classes. The results are published in the journal The Lancet.


Previous research has shown that coffee drinking is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, but most are short-term, observational studies - they describe associations without being able to determine cause and effect. Research published in BMJ Medicine uses another method (Mendelian randomisation) to study potential causal relationships between caffeine levels in plasma and cardiovascular health, using genetic variants in nearly 10,000 people who participated in long-term studies. Higher genetically-predicted caffeine concentrations in plasma were associated with lower body-mass index and fat mass and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. In addition, the research shows that 43% of the protective effect of caffeine on the risk of type 2 diabetes was influenced by a reduction in body mass index.