Vicente Felipo: “We want to identify the mechanisms that lead to minimal Hepatic Encephalopathy to reverse the cognitive and motor impairment”

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In Europe there are about 2 million people with minimal Hepatic Encephalopathy, 200,000 in Spain. Most of them are undiagnosed so that cannot prevent the progression of the disease with cognitive and motor impairment that this entails. Vicente Felipo, researcher at the Centre Prince Felipe of Valencia explained on May 10 his progress in the investigation of this disorder in a lecture in the seminar series IDIBELL.

“The main thing is detecting minimal HE” Valencia explained. Most patients are undiagnosed because this variety of HE has no symptoms. “Currently it is only diagnosed through psychometric tests”. Felipo’s lab has found a marker in the blood that might work for minimal HE diagnose with a blood test. As he explained, they are working on the development of a diagnostic tool that can be used in any hospital.

Moreover, Vicente Felipo attempts to identify the mechanisms that lead minimal HE to reverse the cognitive and motor impairment. “We have already found some brain mechanisms responsible for certain types of cognitive and motor impairment. And we have managed to reverse them pharmacologically in rats “.

“Now the idea is to transfer these trials to the clinic” explained Felipo. “If we can improve cognitive and motor ability of patients with minimal HE, we could delay disease progression and improve quality of life for patients”.

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