03 March 2014
On 18 February, the University of Deusto held its prize giving ceremony for the Ninth Deusto-Santander Research Awards. These awards are supported by the Santander Bank’s Universities Global Division. First prize went to the project entitled "Rehabilitación Neuropsicológica con un instrumento de nueva generación en Esquizofrenia y Psicosis: Rehacop” (neuropsychological rehabilitation with the Rehacop). This new tool created by the team formed by Natalia Ojeda (leader), Javier Peña and Naroa Ibarretxe efficiently tackles the cognitive, functional and negative symptoms of these mental illnesses.
This research provides healthcare and rehabilitation services with an efficient tool to fill the gaps left by medication and other treatments. This means lower socio-healthcare costs and better quality of life for patients and their families.The second prize went to the study entitled: ¿Dios a la vista? El retorno de Dios. (God in sight. The return of God). The study examines the postmodern postmetaphysical globalised condition and was conducted by the team led by Diego Bermejo. The project focuses on in-depth study of the revival of religion in the postmodern world and looks to encourage public debate in Spain on the latest philosophical reflections concerning religion in all of its dimensions, prompted by the unquestionable continued existence of religion in today's global world and the belligerent response from "the new atheism".
REHACOP is a pioneering neuropsychological rehabilitation programme in Spain for the treatment of cognitive problems (attention, learning, memory, language, executive functions, etc.) affecting patients suffering from disorders such as schizophrenia or psychosis.
This comprehensive well-structured programme can be used by therapists and patients in socio-healthcare establishments or at home. It is the result of work by several experts in neuropsychology with over 18 years' experience in the field. Further information at: www.rehacop.deusto.esThe effectiveness of the programme has been tested with various groups and several articles have been published in Spanish and international high impact scientific journals. The studies published show that patients using the programme improve their concentration, learning and memory, in addition to communication and relationship skills, initiative and the symptoms of the illness.
Evolution of the disease also improves, enabling patients to become more independent.The study published in March 2013 in the Schizophrenia Bulletin is especially outstanding. This journal is currently the leading publication in the field of schizophrenia and psychosis. The chief editor and evaluators accepted the article after only one review, thus recognising the original approach and high impact of the improvement noted in patients. This makes Rehacop the first European clinical test to demonstrate effective evidence on improvement of cognitive problems and functional dependence while alleviating the harmful symptoms of the illnesses. Existing treatments have failed to find a solution to these three blocks of symptoms, which are the main healthcare problems caused by schizophrenia.In view of these results, Basque healthcare officials have proposed that Rehacop be implemented as a standard procedure in the Biscay and Alava mental healthcare networks. It is also expected to be implemented in other Spanish healthcare centres (it is already being used in La Rioja, Madrid, Valencia and Andalusia). When translated to the Catalan language, it will be used in Catalonia. Several research teams have expressed their interest in the programme being translated and adapted to English, Portuguese and Polish.
The programme is also being used in clinical testing with other groups affected by neuropsychological deterioration (Parkinson, multiple sclerosis, slight cognitive impairment). Data will be available in the coming months. Preliminary results indicate that patients’ brain functions improve as the symptoms of the disease improve. This has been demonstrated by functional neuroimaging tests. Several teams are using Rehacop on the international scene in Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Peru. It will soon be implemented in other Latin American nations.The Deusto-Santander Research Awards are set within the framework of collaboration with the Santander Bank. Its Global Universities Division has awarded these prizes since 2004. The Division’s activities are an essential part of the bank's social initiatives, with over 1,100 agreements signed with universities and research centres across the world. Programmes to finance studies, teaching projects, research and activities to foster the use of new technologies on campuses or university-business relations are examples of its actions.
Further information at www.santander.com/universidades