Neurophysiology Lab | Fondazione Santa Lucia

Neurophysiology Lab

Areas of Investigation 

The Laboratory of Neurophysiology specializes in the study of synaptic plasticity and corticostriatal alterations in different experimental models of neurodegenerative disorders. The Laboratory is studying in particular the significant alterations in the origin of diseases such as Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases. Among these, the receptor changes and synaptic plasticity in the striatum. The striatum plays a primary role in the control of the basal ganglia in Parkinson's disease.


Approach and Experimental Models

The multidisciplinary research ranges from behavioral, morphological, molecular, electrophysiological analysis of in vitro, allowing a complete view of the mechanisms involved in the progression of the disease. The Laboratory uses several experimental models, applied at different stages of neurodegeneration, to study the alterations of synaptic plasticity in the different neuronal populations within the striatum. Spiny projection neurons and interneurons cholinergic represent the two main targets.


Levodopa Treatment: Characterization of Dyskinesia

In the Laboratory is being examined the electrophysiological, behavioral and molecular characterization of dyskinesia associated with chronic Levodopa treatment. Levodopa is the most used drug in Parkinson's patient. Different therapeutic approaches are studied in the present, to understand the mechanisms underlying these highly disabling side effects, both in the early model as well as in the advanced stages of the disease. Recently, the Lab began to study the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation, as alternative or adjuvant of Levodopa treatment.

  • CEINGE - Advanced Biotechnologies, Naples (Italy)
  • Department of Biochemistry, United Arab Emirates University (UAE)
  • Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
  • Department of Experimental Medical Science, University of Lund (Sweden)
  • Department of Medical Sciences, Pharmacology Section, University of Ferrara (Italy)
  • Department of Pharmacological Sciences, University of Milan (Italy)
  • Institute of Genetics and Biophysics Adriano Buzzati Traverso - National Research Council (CNR), Naples (Italy)
  • Instituto Carlos III, Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Madrid (Spain)
  • Italian Institute of Technology (ITT), Genoa (Italy)
  • Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Milan (Italy)
Ongoing Research Projects 
  • Functional and structural changes induced by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on corticostriatal pathway in models of Parkinson’s disease and LID
  • Mitochondrial targeting in LRRK2-associated parkinsonism (PARK8)
  • Role of serotonin in modulating L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia
  • Cell-type and subunit specific alterations of NMDA receptors in striatum at early stages of Parkinson's disease
Completed Research Projects 
  • NMDA receptor modulation in early Parkinsonism and in L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia: a new therapeutic strategy
  • Restorative Plasticity At Corticostriatal Excitatory Synapses

Laboratory of Neurophysiology

Fondazione Santa Lucia Irccs

Via del Fosso di Fiorano, 64 00143 Rome

European Centre for Brain Research (CERC) – Floor 2 – Room 205