Appointment of Núria Guañabens, Group leader
Common sense must be applied to research practice

Current research

Problem

Metabolic bone diseases, particularly osteoporosis, have important health implications, since they are often behind many bone fractures. Despite their relevance, they form a poorly studied health issue.

Approach

The group has studied the effect of cholestasis on bone tissue, both at the clinical and experimental levels. The group also has a wealth of experience in the study of osteoporosis in patients with terminal liver disease and following a liver transplant.

Study of the interactions between the liver and the bones has allowed it to identify the risk factors and cellular mechanisms involved, as well as to analyse various treatment options.

In the clinic, the group has evaluated the presence of fractures, bone mineral density and biochemical parameters of mineral metabolism in patients with chronic fatigue and advanced liver disease. In the experimental field, it has analysed the effect of the substances retained in cholestasis in bone cells.

Impact

The group has shown that patients with chronic fatigue and terminal liver disease have a high prevalence of osteoporosis. It has also identified risk factors, and it has verified that bisphosphonates are effective drugs for these cases.

In the experimental field the group has described how substances retained in cholestasis produce a damaging effect on bone-forming cells, which explains the deficit in bone formation (the main mechanism of osteoporosis associated with liver diseases that present with cholestasis).