Cristina Sánchez-Mora

University Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Barcino, Catalonia, Spain

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Publications (29)104.15 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Frustration represents a particular aspect of the addictive process that is related to loss of control when the expected reward is not obtained. We aim to study the consequences of frustrated expected reward on gene expression in the mouse brain. For this purpose, we used an operant model of frustration using palatable food as reward combined with microarrays. Transcriptomic profiles of frontal cortex, ventral striatum and hippocampus were analysed in five groups of mice: (1) positive control receiving palatable food and the cue light as conditioned stimulus; (2) frustrated group only receiving the cue light; (3) extinction learning group that did not receive palatable food nor the light; (4) negative control that never received the reinforcer nor the light during the whole experiment; and (5) yoked that received palatable food passively. Gene expression changes produced by frustration were revealed in the frontal cortex and ventral striatum, but not in the hippocampus. Most of the changes, such as the modification of the dopamine-DARPP-32 signalling pathway, were common in both areas and estimated to have neuronal origin. Extinction learning induced transcriptional changes only in the ventral striatum, with most genes showing down-regulation and without alteration in the dopamine-DARPP-32 signalling pathway. Active palatable food-seeking behaviour induced changes in gene expression in ventral striatum mainly affecting cell communication. In conclusion, frustration behaviour-induced changes in frontal cortex and ventral striatum mainly related to dopamine-DARPP-32 signalling that could play an important role in the loss of behavioural control during the addictive processes.
    Addiction Biology 10/2014; · 5.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) is essential in the regulation of stress responses. Increased methylation of the promoter region of the glucocorticoid receptor gene (NR3C1) has been described both in subjects with history of childhood trauma and in patients with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). However, no data on the possible association between a higher methylation of this gene and clinical severity is available. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between NR3C1 methylation status, the history of childhood trauma, and current clinical severity in subjects with BPD. A sample of 281 subjects with BPD (diagnosed by SCID-II and DIB-R semi-structured diagnostic interviews) was recruited. Clinical variables included previous hospitalizations, self-injurious behavior, and self-reported history of childhood trauma. DNA was extracted from peripheral blood. The results indicated a significant positive correlation between NR3C1 methylation status and childhood maltreatment (specifically physical abuse). In addition, a positive correlation between methylation status and clinical severity (DIB-R total score and hospitalizations) was observed. These findings suggest that NR3C1 methylation in subjects with BPD may be associated not only with childhood trauma but also with clinical severity, adding new evidence to the involvement of gene-environment interactions in this disorder.
    Journal of psychiatric research. 07/2014;
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    Journal of Psychiatric Research 05/2014; · 4.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The existing literature that reports findings linked with the involvement of neurotrophic factors in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is reviewed. Neurotrophins, a family of neurotrophic factors, are a kind of proteins that are specific to the nervous system and play an essential role in neuron survival, differentiation and proliferation during the development of the central and peripheral nervous system. These molecules stimulate axonal growth and exert an influence on the connections with the target tissue in order to establish the synaptic connections. The study of neurotrophins in ADHD, a neurodevelopmental disorder, is of interest mainly due to the functions that these proteins perform in the central nervous system. Studies on animal, pharmacological and molecular genetic models yield evidence that relates neurotrophins with the disorder. This work reviews the results from the studies conducted to date on ADHD and neurotrophic factors, especially brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Thus, although pharmacological studies suggest that the response to atomoxetine in adults with ADHD is not directly mediated by the effect on the BDNF, reductions in BDNF levels in the plasma of adult patients with ADHD have been reported. Further studies with broader samples and greater control of environmental factors that can regulate neurotrophin expression, such as diet, physical exercise and situations of social risk, are needed to be able to determine the role they play in the aetiology of ADHD.
    Revista de neurologia. 02/2014; 58(S01):S19-S24.
  • Neuropsychopharmacology 01/2014; · 8.68 Impact Factor
  • European Neuropsychopharmacology; 01/2014
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    ABSTRACT: Attention-deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common psychiatric disorder with a worldwide prevalence of 5-6% in children and 4.4% in adults. Recently, copy number variations (CNVs) have been implicated in different neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD. Based on these previous reports that focused on pediatric cohorts, we hypothesize that structural variants may also contribute to adult ADHD and that such genomic variation may be enriched for CNVs previously identified in children with ADHD. To address this issue, we performed for the first time a whole-genome CNV study on 400 adults with ADHD and 526 screened controls. In agreement with recent reports in children with ADHD or in other psychiatric disorders, we identified a significant excess of insertions in ADHD patients compared to controls. The overall rate of CNVs >100 kb was 1.33 times higher in ADHD subjects than in controls (p = 2.4e-03), an observation mainly driven by a higher proportion of small events (from 100 kb to 500 kb; 1.35-fold; p = 1.3e-03). These differences remained significant when we considered CNVs that overlap genes or when structural variants spanning candidate genes for psychiatric disorders were evaluated, with duplications showing the greatest difference (1.41-fold, p = 0.024 and 2.85-fold, p = 8.5e-03, respectively). However, no significant enrichment was detected in our ADHD cohort for childhood ADHD-associated CNVs, CNVs previously identified in at least one ADHD patient or CNVs previously implicated in autism or schizophrenia. In conclusion, our study provides tentative evidence for a higher rate of CNVs in adults with ADHD compared to controls and contributes to the growing list of structural variants potentially involved in the etiology of the disease.
    Journal of Psychiatric Research 11/2013; · 4.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Atomoxetine (ATX) is a non-stimulant drug approved for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Although animal models have provided evidence that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is involved in the effects of ATX in the brain, there are no studies of BDNF in ADHD patients undergoing treatment with ATX. The aim of this study was to evaluate the possible changes in serum levels of BDNF in adults treated with ATX and its relationship with clinical improvement. A total of 54 adults with ADHD (age 33.43 ± 8.99 years) without any medical or psychiatric comorbidities were treated with ATX for 3 months; 35 of them completed the protocol. The clinical data for ADHD diagnosis, including Conners' ADHD Rating Scale and blood samples, were collected at baseline (V1) and at the end of the treatment (V2). Adults with ADHD who completed ATX treatment for 3 months showed a significant improvement in their clinical symptoms. No significant differences were found in BDNF levels before and after treatment with ATX in the whole group of patients (p = 0.15). The inattentive subgroup of ATX responders showed a decrease of serum BDNF after 3 months of ATX treatment (p = 0.05) not present in the combined subtype (p = 0.82). These results suggest that BDNF is not directly involved in the neurobiological mechanisms of ATX-induced improvement of clinical symptoms of ADHD. The differences between the combined and inattentive subtypes in serum BDNF changes suggest selective ATX-induced effects in the function of brain circuitry.
    Psychopharmacology 11/2013; · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We genotyped the LPR and VNTR polymorphisms of the serotonin transporter gene in 504 cocaine-dependent patients and 508 controls. No association was detected with either polymorphism or with any haplotype combination. This study provided no evidence that these polymorphisms confer susceptibility to cocaine dependence in our sample.
    Psychiatry Research 10/2013; 210(3):1287-1289. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Cocaine-induced psychosis (CIP) is among the most serious adverse effects of cocaine. Reduced serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels have been reported in schizophrenia and psychosis; however, studies assessing the involvement of BDNF in CIP are lacking. Methods: A total of 22 cocaine-dependent patients (aged 33.65 ± 6.85) who had never experienced psychotic symptoms under the influence of cocaine (non-CIP) and 18 patients (aged 34.18 ± 8.54) with a history of CIP completed a 2-week detoxification program in an inpatient facility. Two serum samples were collected from each patient at baseline and at the end of the protocol. Demographic, consumption and clinical data were recorded for all patients. A paired group of healthy controls was also included. Results: At the beginning of the detoxification treatment, serum BDNF levels were similar in both the non-CIP and the CIP groups. During early abstinence, the non-CIP group exhibited a significant increase in serum BDNF levels (p = 0.030), whereas the CIP group exhibited a decrease. Improvements in depression (Beck Depression Inventory, BDI, p = 0.003) and withdrawal symptoms (Cocaine Selective Severity Assessment, CSSA, p = 0.013) show a significant positive correlation with serum BDNF levels in the non-CIP group, whereas no correlation between the same variables was found in the CIP group. Conclusions: This study suggests that BDNF plays a role in the transient psychotic symptoms associated with cocaine consumption. In the non-CIP group, the increase in serum BDNF appears to be driven by the effects of chronic cocaine consumption and withdrawal. In contrast, patients with CIP share some of the neurotrophic deficiencies that characterize schizophrenia and psychosis.
    Neuropsychobiology 09/2013; 68(3):146-155. · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by inappropriate and impaired levels of hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention. Around 75% of adults with ADHD show comorbidity with other psychiatric disorders such as disruptive behavior disorders or substance use disorders (SUDs). Recently, there has been growing interest in studying the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the susceptibility to complex disorders. Interestingly, converging evidence suggests that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within miRNAs or miRNA target sites may modulate the miRNA-mediated regulation of gene expression through the alteration of the miRNA maturation, structure or expression pattern as well as the silencing mechanisms of target genes. Genetic studies and animal models support the involvement of the serotonin receptor (HTR1B) in ADHD. We evaluated the contribution of one SNP in the miR-96 target site at HTR1B and eight tagSNPs within the genomic region containing this miRNA in 695 adults with ADHD (266 and 396 subjects with and without comorbid SUD, respectively), 403 subjects with SUD without life-time diagnosis of ADHD and 485 sex-matched controls from Spain. Single and multiple marker analyses revealed association between two SNPs located at the 3' region of miR-96 (rs2402959 and rs6965643) and ADHD without SUD. Our results provide preliminary evidence for the contribution of two sequence variants at the miR-183-96-182 cluster to ADHD without comorbid SUD, and emphasize the need to take comorbidities into account in genetic studies to minimize the effect of heterogeneity and to clarify these complex phenotypes.
    European neuropsychopharmacology: the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology 07/2013; · 3.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The DISC1 gene was named after its discovery in a Scottish pedigree with schizophrenia (SCZ) patients. However, subsequent studies have shown association of DISC1 variants with a range of different neurocognitive phenotypes and psychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder (BPD), and major depression. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) shares some symptoms with BPD and ADHD patients often suffer from comorbid affective disorders. We wanted to examine the role of DISC1 in ADHD, and with comorbid symptoms of mood disorders. Eleven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously implicated in SCZ and BPD, and a DISC1 duplication involving exon 1, were genotyped in 561 adult ADHD cases and 713 controls of Norwegian ancestry. The intronic SNP rs1538979 was associated with ADHD in the Norwegian sample [odds ratio (OR): 1.33, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03-1.73, P = 0.03] and replicated in a Spanish adult ADHD sample of 694 cases and 735 controls, using the tagging SNP rs11122330 (meta-analysis: P = 0.008, OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.06-1.47). In the Norwegian ADHD sample we also observed an association between the Phe607-variant of rs6675281 and a positive score on the Mood Disorder Questionnaire (MDQ; OR = 1.44, 95% CI 1.08-1.93, P = 0.01). To our knowledge, this is the first study to show an association between DISC1 variants and ADHD. Our study suggests that further studies are warranted to resolve if DISC1 variation is involved in several common neurodevelopmental disorders including ADHD. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics 02/2013; · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It has been hypothesized that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is involved in the pathogenesis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), although experimental data regarding the contribution of BDNF gene polymorphisms to this psychiatric disorder are controversial. Recently, changes in BDNF serum levels have been reported in children with ADHD, but there are no studies about the possible role of this neurotrophin in adults. A total of 54 Caucasoid ADHD adults, including the predominantly inattentive and combined types (aged 33.43 ± 8.99 yr) and 59 Caucasoid unrelated healthy controls (aged 35.52 ± 9.37 yr) were included in a study to evaluate BDNF levels in serum. Medical, neurological and psychiatric co-morbidities were excluded. Clinical data concerning ADHD diagnosis and blood samples for patients and controls were collected. BDNF serum levels were significantly lower in adults with ADHD compared to healthy controls (p < 0.0001). Although the combined type of ADHD subgroup displayed lower BDNF serum levels than the inattentive type, the differences did not reach statistical significance. No significant correlations were found between serum BDNF levels and scores on the Conners' Adult ADHD Rating Subscales. These results suggest a role for BDNF in ADHD, at least in those patients whose disorder persists throughout life. Low BDNF levels may contribute to the neurodevelopmental deficits of ADHD and to the persistence of the disorder into adulthood. BDNF differences between ADHD subtypes should be further studied.
    The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 01/2013; · 5.64 Impact Factor
  • American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B Neuropsychiatric Genetics 01/2013; · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cocaine dependence is a neuropsychiatric disorder in which both environmental and genetic factors are involved. Several processes, that include reward and neuroadaptations, mediate the transition from use to dependence. In this regard, dopamine and serotonin neurotransmission systems are clearly involved in reward and other cocaine-related effects, whereas neurotrophic factors may be responsible for neuroadaptations associated with cocaine dependence. We examined the contribution to cocaine dependence of 37 genes related to the dopaminergic and serotoninergic systems, neurotrophic factors and their receptors through a case-control association study with 319 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) selected according to genetic coverage criteria in 432 cocaine-dependent patients and 482 sex-matched unrelated controls. Single marker analyses provided evidence for association of the serotonin receptor HTR2A with cocaine dependence (rs6561333; nominal P-value adjusted for age = 1.9e-04, OR = 1.72 (1.29-2.30)). When patients were subdivided according to the presence or absence of psychotic symptoms, we confirmed the association between cocaine dependence and HTR2A in both subgroups of patients. Our data show additional evidence for the involvement of the serotoninergic system in the genetic susceptibility to cocaine dependence.
    Genes Brain and Behavior 12/2012; · 3.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: AIMS. The purpose of this study is to update the information available on the main group of genes that have been related with a susceptibility to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or with the pharmacological response to different drugs used in the treatment of ADHD, in a number of different association and meta-analysis studies. DEVELOPMENT. Different studies have provided evidence of the importance of the genetic load in the susceptibility to ADHD. The work carried out to date point to genes in the dopaminergic system, such as the gene that codes for the dopamine transporter (DAT1 or SLC6A3) and for the dopamine receptor D4 (DRD4); in the noradrenergic system, like the gene coding for the adrenergic alpha-2A receptor (ADRA2A), the COMT gene, which codes for the enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase and the gene that codes for latrophilin 3 (LPHN3), as genes that are candidates for playing a part in the susceptibility to ADHD, and being involved in the pharmacological response as well as in the risk of presenting associated behavioural disorders. On the other hand, the genes involved in regulating the metabolism of the drugs used in the treatment of ADHD, such as the gene CYP2D6 and gene CES1, play a role in the efficiency and tolerance of these psycho-pharmaceuticals. CONCLUSIONS. Although in recent years there has been an increase in the number of pharmacogenetic studies conducted on ADHD, findings differ significantly from one study to another. Integrating and meta-analytical studies are needed to be able to develop a more personalised treatment for ADHD.
    Revista de neurologia 11/2012; 55(10):609-18. · 1.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Preclinical studies indicate that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is involved in neuroplastic changes underlying enduring cocaine-seeking following withdrawal. However, little is known about temporal changes in serum BDNF levels or the involvement of BDNF in craving and abstinence in early-abstinent cocaine-dependent patients. Twenty-three cocaine-dependent individuals (aged 33.65±6.85 years) completed a two-week detoxification program at an inpatient facility. Two serum samples were collected for each patient at baseline and at the end of the protocol. Serum samples were also collected for 46 healthy controls (aged 35.52±9.37 years). Demographic, consumption and clinical data were recorded for all patients. Significantly lower serum BDNF levels (p<.0001) were observed for cocaine-dependent patients at baseline compared to healthy controls. Serum BDNF levels increased significantly across 12 days of early abstinence (p=.030). Baseline BDNF levels correlated with craving (p=.034). Post-detoxification BDNF levels correlated with craving (p=.018), loss of control (p<.000), abstinence measures (p=0.031), depression (p=0.036), and anxiety (p=0.036). Post-detoxification BDNF levels also had predictive value for the loss of control measure of craving. Chronic cocaine use is associated with decreased serum BDNF. A progressive increase in serum BDNF levels during early abstinence correlates with cocaine craving and abstinence symptoms and may reflect increasing BDNF levels in different brain regions. These findings suggest that serum BDNF may be a biomarker for cocaine addiction.
    European neuropsychopharmacology: the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology 09/2012; · 3.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by inappropriate difficulties to sustain attention, control impulses and modulate activity level. Although ADHD is one of the most prevalent childhood psychiatric disorders, it also persists into adulthood in around 30-50% of the cases. Based on the effect of psychostimulants used in the pharmacological treatment of ADHD, dysfunctions in neuroplasticity mechanisms and synapses have been postulated to be involved in the pathophysiology of ADHD. With this background, we evaluated, both in childhood and adulthood ADHD, the role of several genes involved in the control of neurotransmitter release through synaptic vesicle docking, fusion and recycling processes by means of a population-based association study. We analyzed single nucleotide polymorphisms across 16 genes in a clinical sample of 950 ADHD patients (506 adults and 444 children) and 905 controls. Single and multiple-marker analyses identified several significant associations after correcting for multiple testing with a false discovery rate (FDR) of 15%: (i) the SYT2 gene was strongly associated with both adulthood and childhood ADHD (p=0.001, OR=1.49 (1.18-1.89) and p=0.007, OR=1.37 (1.09-1.72), respectively) and (ii) STX1A was found associated with ADHD only in adults (p=0.0041; OR=1.28 (1.08-1.51)). These data provide preliminary evidence for the involvement of genes that participate in the control of neurotransmitter release in the genetic predisposition to ADHD through a gene-system association study. Further follow-up studies in larger cohorts and deep-sequencing of the associated genomic regions are required to identify sequence variants directly involved in ADHD.
    European neuropsychopharmacology: the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology 08/2012; · 3.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Neurexin 3 gene (NRXN3) has been associated with dependence on various addictive substances, as well as with the degree of smoking in schizophrenic patients and impulsivity among tobacco abusers. To further evaluate the role of NRXN3 in nicotine addiction, we analyzed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and a copy number variant (CNV) within the NRXN3 genomic region. An initial study was carried out on 157 smokers and 595 controls, all of Spanish Caucasian origin. Nicotine dependence was assessed using the Fagerström index and the number of cigarettes smoked per day. The 45 NRXN3 SNPs genotyped included all the SNPs previously associated with disease, and a previously described deletion within NRXN3. This analysis was replicated in 276 additional independent smokers and 568 controls. Case-control association analyses were performed at the allele, genotype and haplotype levels. Allelic and genotypic association tests showed that three NRXN3 SNPs were associated with a lower risk of being a smoker. The haplotype analysis showed that one block of 16 Kb, consisting of two of the significant SNPs (rs221473 and rs221497), was also associated with lower risk of being a smoker in both the discovery and the replication cohorts, reaching a higher level of significance when the whole sample was considered [odds ratio = 0.57 (0.42-0.77), permuted P = 0.0075]. By contrast, the NRXN3 CNV was not associated with smoking behavior. Taken together, our results confirm a role for NRXN3 in susceptibility to smoking behavior, and strongly implicate this gene in genetic vulnerability to addictive behaviors.
    Genes Brain and Behavior 06/2012; 11(6):704-11. · 3.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common psychiatric disorder manifesting as symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity. Learning disabilities co-occur with ADHD in 20-30% of cases and this high co-occurrence raises the possibility of a common etiological background. Forkhead box P2 (FOXP2) encodes a transcription factor involved in speech and language impairment and in the control of the corticobasal ganglia circuits known to be relevant in ADHD, suggesting a possible role of FOXP2 in ADHD. Our aim was to carry out an association study between FOXP2 and adulthood ADHD. We carried out a case-control association study in 643 adult ADHD patients and 619 controls from Germany and in 361 adult ADHD patients and 442 controls from Spain with 12 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms covering the FOXP2 gene. The single-marker and multiple-marker analyses showed an association between FOXP2 and combined ADHD in the German cohort [rs12533005: P=0.0033; odds ratio=1.30 (1.09-1.56); rs12533005/rs1229761: P=4.1e-04; odds ratio=1.38 (1.15-1.66)]. These positive results, however, were not confirmed in the Spanish sample. Although these preliminary findings provide a tentative evidence for the contribution of FOXP2 to ADHD and suggest common genetic factors for this psychiatric disorder and learning disabilities, they should be interpreted with caution. Further studies in larger samples are needed to clarify the role of this transcription factor in ADHD.
    Psychiatric genetics 04/2012; 22(4):155-60. · 2.33 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

174 Citations
104.15 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2009–2014
    • University Hospital Vall d'Hebron
      • Department of Psychiatry
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2012
    • VHIR Vall d’Hebron Research Institute
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
    • Autonomous University of Barcelona
      • Departamento de Psiquiatría y Medicina Legal
      Cerdanyola del Vallès, Catalonia, Spain
    • Instituto de Salud Carlos III
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 2011
    • University of Barcelona
      • Departament de Genètica
      Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain