4. Translational research as a necessary actor for fighting addiction: RIAPAd as a coordinated national cooperative framework
Addiction is one of the mental disorders whose neurobiological basis is better understood. However, despite the deep scientific knowledge on how drugs shape the addicted brain, the outcomes in term of effective interventions and therapies are still far from being successful. Translational research provides a framework (From bed to bench and back to patients) to face this paradox. The need of concerted translational research approaches in addiction demands a tighter relationship in between basic and clinical research. The recent opioid crisis, associated to the emergence of dozens of new synthetic opioids (mostly fentanil derivatives) demanding preclinical assessment, is a good example of this need to establish a solid intervention response where clinicians and basic scientists merge forces. RIAPAd design takes in consideration this premises to establish a translational research network throughout Spain’s territories.
In the presentation we will show the design and methods for incorporating translational research to give quick responses to clinician demands, providing tools and models to advance in effective interventions in addiction.
Examples of cooperative research in biomarkers, metabolic dysbalances, inflammation, cognitive impairment or affective disorders associated to drug use currently developed by RIAPAd partners will be described.
The challenges and opportunities that translational research offers to health professionals working in addiction settings will be discussed, together with the main difficulties and limitations of this approach.