These awards from Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa (SCML), considered the most important in Portugal in this area, allocate €400,000 to distinguish scientific or clinical research work in areas such as neurology, neuropathology, biochemistry, molecular biology, molecular genetics, chemistry, pharmacology, immunology, physiology and cell biology.

The Mantero Belard Prize, worth €200,000, highlighted, in this eighth edition of the prizes, the project of the team of researchers from the Champalimaud Foundation led by Noam Shemesh for the work developed in the knowledge of anomalies in the neural networks of Parkinson's disease.

This investigation "tries to understand how genetic information changes brain activity and its architecture”, Noam Shemesh, considering that, in practice, it will allow a better understanding of the disease and contribute to the possibility of being detected earlier, according to Lusa News Agency.

Considered the second largest degenerative disease in the world, Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that arises from a combination of genetic and environmental factors that affect the regulatory system of behaviour, leading to progressive motor dysfunction and cognitive decline, being more prevalent in advanced ages.

The now awarded project aims to "understand the mechanisms" regarding the relationship between what happens at the level of the molecules and the corresponding behavioural consequence, explained Noam Shemesh.

Speaking to Lusa, Noam Shemesh added that the 200,000 Euros will allow hiring more human resources and acquiring equipment necessary for the pursuit of the research project.

Studies carried out on animals, such as mice, indicate that, as in humans, they have little regenerative capacity after an injury, while others, such as the zebra and fish, show an exceptional regenerative capacity.

In practice, the investigation concluded that the elimination of senescent cells using drugs leads to a "remarkable functional recovery in injured mice", a job that may contribute to the development of a new therapy for spinal cord regeneration in mammals.