Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

Physiological mechanisms of neurological disorers and diseases

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
3.03.00  Medical sciences  Neurobiology   
5.09.00  Social sciences  Psychology   

Code Science Field
B007  Biomedical sciences  Medicine (human and vertebrates) 

Code Science Field
3.01  Medical and Health Sciences  Basic medicine 
5.01  Social Sciences  Psychology and cognitive sciences 
Peripheral nerve and muscle disorders, breathing and sleep disorders, cognitive control, motor neuron diseases, biomarkers
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on June 4, 2023; A3 for period 2017-2021
Data for ARRS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender , archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  639  18,037  17,090  26.74 
Scopus  613  19,842  18,657  30.44 
Researchers (52)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  54420  Petra Avbelj    Technician  2020 - 2022 
2.  53269  PhD Mateja Baruca Grad  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023  26 
3.  53304  Adrijana Delić Suljić    Technician  2020 - 2023 
4.  37645  PhD Jure Demšar  Engineering sciences and technologies  Researcher  2020 - 2023  76 
5.  15400  PhD Leja Dolenc Grošelj  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023  496 
6.  17658  Magdalena Dremelj    Technician  2020 - 2023 
7.  39059  Katja Dremelj Šav    Technician  2020 - 2023 
8.  28744  PhD Tatjana Filipović  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023 
9.  55540  Irena Gaberšek Lavrač    Technician  2021 - 2023 
10.  32743  Ana Goričan    Technician  2020 - 2023 
11.  11684  Milan Grgič  Medical sciences  Technician  2020 - 2023  13 
12.  55542  Neja Istenič    Technician  2021 - 2023 
13.  17663  Suzana Justin Srebernjak    Technician  2020 - 2023 
14.  30089  Boštjan Kastelic    Technician  2020 - 2023 
15.  25615  PhD Mojca Kirbiš  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023  47 
16.  24233  Polonca Klinar    Technician  2020  13 
17.  17664  Barbara Koblar    Technician  2020 - 2023 
18.  30072  PhD Maja Kojović  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020  125 
19.  21883  Martina Korenčič    Technician  2020 - 2023 
20.  21239  PhD Blaž Koritnik  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023  261 
21.  19207  PhD Marko Korošec  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023  36 
22.  54421  Patricija Kranjc    Technician  2020 - 2022 
23.  37067  Igor Kušar Stojakovič    Technician  2020 - 2023 
24.  15121  PhD Lea Leonardis  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023  190 
25.  53306  Vesna Lukić    Technician  2020 - 2023 
26.  53129  Mojca Lukša    Technician  2020 - 2023 
27.  53305  Katja Majcen    Technician  2020 - 2023 
28.  54422  Darinka Mužar    Technician  2020 - 2023 
29.  56860  Lara Oblak  Social sciences  Junior researcher  2022 - 2023 
30.  33339  PhD Gregor Omejec  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023  129 
31.  57025  Jošt Peterca  Medical sciences  Junior researcher  2022 - 2023 
32.  53307  Marija Plaznik    Technician  2020 - 2023 
33.  37068  Nataša Plos    Technician  2020 - 2023 
34.  14502  PhD Simon Podnar  Medical sciences  Principal Researcher  2020 - 2023  352 
35.  37430  PhD Vida Ana Politakis  Social sciences  Junior researcher  2020  25 
36.  16365  PhD Janja Pretnar Oblak  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023  356 
37.  55541  Pija Pukšič    Technician  2021 - 2023 
38.  50534  PhD Nina Purg  Social sciences  Technician  2020 - 2023  30 
39.  17893  PhD Grega Repovš  Social sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023  480 
40.  17672  Stanislava Ristič Kovačič  Medical sciences  Technician  2020 - 2023  32 
41.  12149  PhD Zoran Rodi  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023  104 
42.  32744  Bojan Romih    Technician  2020 - 2023 
43.  23432  PhD Melita Rotar  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023  33 
44.  36162  PhD Anka Slana Ozimič  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023  115 
45.  17670  Tanja Trdič    Technician  2020 - 2023 
46.  26203  PhD Tomaž Velnar  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023  370 
47.  17675  Tatjana Vidmar    Technician  2020 
48.  07476  PhD David Božidar Vodušek  Medical sciences    2020 - 2023  466 
49.  54419  Maša Vučina Ojsteršek    Technician  2020 - 2023 
50.  08780  PhD Janez Zidar  Medical sciences  Researcher  2020 - 2023  404 
51.  17677  Nevenka Zlatnar    Technician  2020 - 2023 
52.  53785  Breda Žunkovič  Medical sciences  Technician  2020 - 2023 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0312  University Medical Centre Ljubljana  Ljubljana  5057272000  73,855 
2.  0581  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts  Ljubljana  1627058  95,382 
The research programme »Physiological mechanisms of neurological disorders and diseases« consists of four parts. In the first part »Pathophysiology and diagnosis of peripheral nerve and skeletal muscle disorders« we will apply a combination of clinical, electrophysiological (EMG) and ultrasonographic (US) methods to study peripheral neuropathies, motor neuron diseases and sacral nerve disorders. Using combination of these methods, we expect to improve determination of the site and etiology of peripheral nerve lesions, which is essential in decisions about the type of treatment. We intend to use a combination of EMG and US also in studies of polyneuropathies and myopathies, where we expect that systematic assessment of patients will enable us to define specific EMG and US patterns useful in diagnostics and therapy. In the second part »Pathophysiology and diagnostics of sleep and breathing disorders« we will assess the effect of upper and lower motor neuron lesion on breathing disorders in patients with neuromuscular diseases. We will try to identify the mechanism by which sleep apneas lead to damage of the white brain matter. We will also study the pathophysiology of breathing disorders in patients with ischemic stroke in medulla. Our objective is to evaluate breathing disorders occurrence in these patients and to assess effectiveness of using polysomnography during sleep to identify patients at risk. Breathing disorders in these patients are often subclinical and are shown as changed breathing patterns during sleep, whereas unidentified can lead to respiratory failure. Within »Foundations of cognition in health and disease« the research will be focused on further study of core questions in the areas of working memory, cognitive control and integrated brain function. Particular attention will be paid to individual differences, first, in the effort to integrate the seemingly conflicting findings on mechanisms of information maintenance in working memory, second, to understand the core mechanisms of cognitive control, and third to understand the variability in mechanisms underlying psychopathology and cognitive dysfunction as a basis for the development of efficient personalized therapies. Research will be supported with the development of novel research methods and advanced integration of multimodal neuroimaging data. Within »Biomarkers of motor neuron diseases« we will investigate amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). These are neurological conditions where motor neuron degeneration causes movement and breathing dysfunctions. Pathophysiological mechanisms are not fully understood. With the help of better knowledge of different biomarkers of these diseases, we can expect progress in the field of diagnostics and treatment. In ALS and SMA patients, we will study various biological markers (biochemical, genetic, neuroimaging, and electrophysiological) and seek a link to the clinical aspects of the disease (functional disability, survival, impact of treatment).
Significance for science
The continuation of the existing research programme "Physiological mechanisms of neurological disorers and diseases" is important for the development of science through four main parts. In the first part “Pathophysiology and diagnosis of peripheral nerve and skeletal muscle disorders” we expect an important breakthrough in the field of focal peripheral neuropathies by combining electrophysiologic (EMG) and ultrasonographic (US) methods. In the past this approach enables us to better understand causes and mechanisms of ulnar neuropathy at the elbow, which is the second most common peripheral neuropathy. We already managed to improve the diagnostic procedure. With comprehensive study in the near future we wish to show that approach mentioned also improve the treatment outcome in ulnar neuropathy at the elbow, which is frequently inadequate, mainly due to inappropriate diagnosis and precise localization. The combination of EMG and US methods will also enable us to study fasciculations and muscle changes in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This will improve the diagnostic procedure and evaluation of the disease progression.   With the second part »Pathophysiology and Diagnostic of Sleep and Breathing disorders” we expect a better understanding of physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms underlying breathing disorders during sleep and better use of non-invasive mechanical ventilation in patients with neuromuscular diseases. We expect better understanding of mechanisms that lead to neuromuscular disease progression in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. We wish to develop a model for sleep and breathing disorders studies in patients with chronic neurological diseases, for which we use the model of hypoxic environment. The proposed research in "Foundations of cognition in health and disease" addresses current and central research questions in addressed fields of work. Its realization would enable significant advancements in resolving current theoretical dilemmas in understanding of working memory and contribute to development of more reliable and valid tests of working memory both for research as well as diagnostic purposes. In the field of cognitive control and integration of brain function the findings would enable better understanding of mechanisms of efficient integration of cognitive processes and underlying brain systems and support a shift in understanding of cognitive control as a system of coordinated dynamic reorganization of connectivity within and between multiple networks, and cognitive dysfunction as disintegration of efficiency and balance in the process of integration of brain activity. The findings gained would further our understanding of causes of individual differences as well as their significance and effect on the process of scientific research of cognition and brain function. They would contribute to better understanding of psychiatric disorders as the result of often overlapping deviations from normal function of codependent brain systems. The proposed research would also provide notable contribution to development and adoption of novel methods of research and data analysis from neurophenomenology to advanced methods of dynamic functional connectivity analysis. In the fourth part “Biomarkers of motor neuron diseases” we will contribute to knowledge of biological mechanisms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), which will help to improve diagnostics and effective treatment approaches.
Significance for the country
The continuation of the existing research programme "Physiological mechanisms of neurological disorders and diseases" is important for Slovenia's socioeconomic and cultural development through four main parts. Due to a high frequency of focal peripheral neuropathies that also considerably reduce work capacity, we expect that improvement in their diagnosis and treatment will in the long run importantly contribute to productivity of the population. Furthermore, with opening of the European borders for patients, we also expect improvement in our ability to compete for diagnosis and treatment of patients with these lesions. From our publications we therefore do not hope only for academic, but also promotional effects. In the second part “Pathophysiology and Diagnostic of Sleep and Breathing disorders”, early identification of respiratory insufficiency during sleep is important for an in time application of non-invasive ventilation in patients with neuromuscular diseases. Understanding the effect of upper and lower motor neuron on breathing and compliance with use of mechanical ventilation would lead to better therapeutic measures, there by improvement and longer life expectancy of neurological patients. Early identification and treatment of breathing disorders significantly lowers occurrence of cerebrovascular diseases. Research efforts in "Foundations of cognition in health and disease", especially in the area of tool development for efficient processing of large databases of multimodal neuroimaging data, will contribute to optimization of existing and possibly development of novel informational technologies. The tools developed and the findings gained will jointly enable the possibility to develop commercial applications in the field of personalized medicine. We expect the planned research to lead to development of tools and services with potentially significant impact on health care, particularly in the area of prediction, diagnosis and monitoring of dysfunctions and diseases of the brain, and improvement of treatment efficiency through introduction of personalized medicine tools. Potentially impactful research findings will contribute to recognition of Slovenian neuroscience in international scientific and professional community. The planned collaboration with foreign partners will enable access to foreign knowledge, technology and resources, as well as education and training of new generation of Slovenian scientists and professionals in the field of cognitive neuroscience. Better understanding the “Biomarkers of motor neuron diseases” will contribute to effective treatment approaches in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). While these are rare diseases, additional research and investigations are needed with cooperation of professionals from all over the world. Improvements of treatment approaches for these devastating diseases are also important for broader society. They improve the quality of life of patients and carers, and also lower high financial burden of these diseases.
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