María Pascual García obtains her PhD degree

Maria has succesfully defended her thesis titled “Unveiling Myelination Mechanisms in Schizophrenia”.


The brain is the most complex organ that animals possess. Many different cellular types, connections and specialized procedures compose the organ responsible for our actions, emotions and thoughts. The cellular elements – called neurons – communicate with each other and form an intricated neuronal network. To improve its efficiency, the nervous system has developed a way to enhance the speed of the neuronal conduction and optimize the energetic expenditure: the myelin sheath. Myelin is the insulating lipidic sheath that partially covers some of the connecting elements of neurons, the axons. Understanding the myelination process can shed light into the mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of those disorders where the myelin sheath is lost, such as schizophrenia or multiple sclerosis.

Using different approaches and mouse models, we studied the relationship between myelination in different brain areas and different neuronal types. Our results show that myelin is essential for the correct development of the network and functioning of the whole system. This research opens new targets to develop new drugs that can revert or stop the progression of demyelinating diseases.