Adriana Roca-Fernandez is graduated in Psychology and holds a MSc in Neuroscience with a specialization in Molecular Physiology. She is trained in Neuroimaging, Neurochemistry and Neuropsychology and has been involved in several research projects in Spain, Italy, London and Oxford.
She is interested in the use of medical imaging techniques such as Optic Coherence Tomography (OCT) and structural magnetic resonance (MRI)-based techniques to understand what drives neurodegeneration in Neuromyelitis Optica spectrum disease (NMOSD) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Honorary research fellow/ PhD student
My project proposes to trace sub-clinical changes and optic neuritis (ON)-induced neuro-axonal damage in the visual system by investigating the brain, retina and functional outcomes, endeavouring to shed light on the visual pathway structure-function relationship in MS and our two cohorts of CNS antibody mediated conditions: AQP4 Ab+ and MOG Ab+ patients.
We plan to measure sub-clinical changes over time; assessing optic coherence tomography data and diffusion tensor markers in the afferent visual system. Clinically, these findings will allow us to ascertain whether or not trans-synaptic degeneration may play a role in the functional disability in AQP4 Ab+ patients and to confirm that MOG Ab+ patients belong to a non-degenerative entity that is distinct clinically and pathophysiologically from AQP4 Ab+ and MS.
Our group aims to do detailed imaging of the brain and how it changes over time comparing these new antibody conditions with each other and against multiple sclerosis. This will help improve our ability to diagnose these conditions by characterising them in a systematic way, to identify ways of monitoring treatment effectiveness and to understand the underlying mechanism of damage to help improve the development of future treatments.