Nucleus for Clinical-biological research
The Nucleus for Clinical-Biological Research (NCB) was created along with the new CPAD headquarters at the Alvaro Alvim Unit of HCPA in 2012. The nucleus aims to develop studies related to drug users in general, especially those attending the Addiction Psychiatry Inpatient and Outpatient Units. Studies are directed to clinical and psychiatric topics, involving epidemiological and demographic aspects, social, family, comorbidities, and others that can clarify and better guide the diagnosis, prevention, treatment and resocialization of drug addicts. In its initial years, NCB has already collected information from more than 1,500 patients and has developed research partnerships with other centers of excellence, in addition to continuing to analyze data and publishing articles linked to other databases of multicenter studies conducted in partnership with the National Secretariat for Drug Policies.
Finally, this nucleus has also been dedicated to improve the knowledge in the more biological aspects related to the psychoactive use disorders. There is a special interest in brain damage and in the hypothesis of chronification of the disease through the concept of neuroprogression. Therefore, several studies with biomarkers, such as BDNF, and with oxidative stress and inflammatory markers have been performed. Neuroimaging studies using techniques such as SPECT and Magnetic Resonance are being conducted and the results are promising. It is expected that with the innumerable findings and more robust analytical techniques such as Machine Learning, it will be possible to propose a model of staging of the disorder and to identify more individual aspects, including genetic ones, in order to develop more personalized intervention strategies and with greater adherence and effectiveness to minimize damage and improve the quality of life of these patients.