Appointment of Josep Dalmau, Group leader (R4)
In neuroscience as in medicine, nothing is more exciting than to discover a new disease and try to understand its physiopathology. These are the paths to the treatment of patients and their ultimate cure

Current research


The principal objective of the group is the study of autoimmune/inflammatory brain diseases including multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD) and optic neuritis, antibody-associated autoimmune encephalitis syndromes, and cancer-related paraneoplastic neurologic disorders, among others. We aim to identify novel biologic, genetic, immunologic, and neuroimaging biomarkers that will allow for early and accurate disease diagnoses and have prognostic value. Our research is also aimed at elucidating the underlying immunopathogenic disease mechanisms through studies that link immunological processes to abnormal neuronal function.


The group aims at discovering the mechanisms of these diseases through studies examining how autoimmunity alters the structure and function of neurons and brain circuits and results in symptoms that include changes in behavior,  memory, movements, and seizures or progressive disability.  The research is carried out in the clinic, with the participation of patients, and in the laboratory. Clinical studies include neuropsychological, psychophysical, and sleep evaluations. Laboratory studies use advanced neuroimaging, molecular, immunological and electrophysiological techniques, and computational modeling.


The group has discovered novel autoimmune brain diseases, developed guidelines for diagnosis and treatment, and has identified diagnostic and prognostic markers that enable faster diagnosis and initiation of treatment that improve patient outcomes.  The group has uncovered the basic mechanisms of these diseases and produced animal models that are being used to further optimize treatment approaches.