Research is critical to serving the cause and the community. The GBS-CIDP Foundation International believes in supporting research by funding grants for projects that contribute to the knowledge and advancement of treatment of GBS|CIDP and variants of the condition.
We are pleased to announce our 2018 Research Grant Awardees are as follows:
1. Principal Investigator: Elisabetta Babetto, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor
The Research Foundation for SUNY on behalf of U. at Buffalo
Project: “Targeting Wallerian-like degeneration in GBS mouse models”
Synopsis: Axon degeneration accounts for the most debilitating clinical symptoms of Guillain Barré Syndrome (GBS). Our goal is to explore the mechanisms of axon loss in this condition, by testing the hypothesis that axon degeneration in GBS is governed by a defined molecular program amenable for therapeutic intervention. Specifically we will test whether inactivation of proteins, known to dictate axon loss after experimental injury, affords axon terminal protection in murine models of GBS.
2. Principal Investigators: Luana Benedetti, MD, PhD and Lucilla Nobbio, PhD
University of Genova, ITALY
Project: Sphingomyelin dosage in GBS/CIDP patients: biomarker validation in a multicenter, prospective study
Synopsis: The identification of a biomarker specific and sensitive to improve diagnostic accuracy, to monitor disease activity, to stage patients, and to select specific treatments is a prime goal for the GBS/CIDP Community. Due to the encouraging results we obtained by dosing SM levels in the CSF of patients affected by GBS and CIDP, we propose the present study whose major significance is to validate our results on a sizeable and carefully selected number of patients.
3. Principal Investigator: Paolo Ripellino, MD, Neurologist
Neurocenter of Southern Switzerland
Project: (IGOS) in Switzerland: a deeper look into HEV-induced GBS
Synopsis: This study will increase the amount of clinical and prognostic data of the IGOS consortium with the inclusion of patients from an important area located in the middle of Europe. The high quality of the Swiss health care system will allow researchers to obtain accurate data. The systematic collection of acute phase samples in a biobank will be fundamental for future international, cooperative studies. The subproject about the role of HEV is innovative because – although so far neglected – HEV is an increasing, preventable (by appropriate cooking and blood donors testing) disease and this infection is associated to GBS.
4. Principal Investigator: Luis Querol MD PhD
Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona
Project: Disease-specific Biomarkers In Inflammatory Neuropathies
Synopsis: Inflammatory neuropathies (IN) are disorders in which disease-specific biomarkers are not required or diagnostic purposes, leading to disease heterogeneity. We discovered the association of anti-contactin-1 antibodies to a specific CIDP subset using an unbiased approach. This strategy has also proven effective in antibodies against NF155 and nodal neurofascins in CIDP, in which our group has also played a central role. The discovery of paranodal antibodies hasboosted translational research in the field, including the description of specific pathology, genetic background (DRB1*15 association with NF155 antibodies), response to treatment and animal models, supporting the idea that the classification of IN according to disease-specific biomarkers would make IN research and care more efficient.
5. Principal Investigator: Dr Laura Zambreanu, MD, MRCP
National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, UK
Project: Intravenous immunoglobulin and intravenous methylprednisolone as optimal induction treatment in CIDP (OPTIC trial)
Synopsis: Most CIDP patients are treated with regular intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) because of fast improvement and rare adverse events, but IVIg is expensive. Corticosteroid treatment is associated with longer time to improvement and more side effects, but may lead to long-term remission1,2. We intend to participate in a multicentre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled superiority trial in patients with active CIDP. The primary objective is to assess whether combining IVIg and intravenous methylprednisolone (IVMP) leads to more frequent long-term remission in CIDP compared to IVIg alone. Patients will be recruited in the Netherlands and the UK.
Congratulations to all and thank you for your continued commitment to research in the area of GBS|CIDP and variants of the condition.