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This topic will be the focus of this year’s La Marató de TV3, to be held on 19 December 2010, in order to raise money to research methods and techniques that may cure those suffering from these injuries or significantly improve their quality of life.

Spinal injuries lead to paralysis and loss of sensation below the affected area, as well as other conditions resulting from this state. Depending on whether the injury is total or partial, and on its location, the consequences are more or less serious.

Brain injuries affect specific parts of the brain that control movement, sensation and perception, emotion and behavior, as well as higher mental functions like attention, memory, language and intelligence. Although this type of injury can have many causes, La Marató de TV3 will focus on those that come on suddenly.

7,118,273 euros: total funds raised by La Marató 2009

With the donations received through 30 March, La Marató 2009 added more than one million euros to the total raised last December. Thus, in total, they collected 7,118,273 euros to fund biomedical research projects in minority diseases. This piece of good news is accompanied by another: 288 research projects have been presented to the call for proposals for funding, the highest number in this project’s 14-year history. Of the proposals received, 176 are based in a single center and 112 are joint projects to be carried out by two or more research centers, which implies collaboration between the network of Catalan institutions and those in Spain and abroad.

Project evaluation

The projects will be awarded to the Catalan Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Research (AATRM), from the Department of Health, which will manage the evaluation process. International specialists in minority diseases will review the proposals in a peer review process, evaluating the projects’ scientific and social healthcare relevance, methodological rigor, and possibilities of being applied immediately.

The evaluation process will culminate with a meeting of international assessors in Barcelona in September, who will prioritize the highest-ranking projects. The list drawn up in this meeting will be presented to the Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee, which will inform the Board so they can approve the grants.

The research projects to be funded with these donations will be made public in an event held in November.

Winning researchers will work to advance research on minority diseases over a period of three years, during which the Foundation and the AATRM will carry out exhaustive economic and scientific control of the funded projects.

Finally, in 2015, the results of these projects will be made public in a symposium organized by the La Marató de TV3 Foundation.

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