Ilary Allodi


  • KY16 9JP

    United Kingdom

Accepting Postgraduate Research Students

Personal profile

Research overview

We study the pathophysiology of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Dementia by investigating inhibitory/excitatory changes in the affected neural circuits with the aim to find potential treatments and early indicators for pre-diagnosis.

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Neurodegenerative disorders, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Frontotemporal dementia, mouse models of disease, systems neuroscience, machine learning-based behavioural assessment, spatial transcriptomics, gene therapy, in vitro disease modelling.



Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder affecting motor neurons found in spinal cord and brainstem, as well as cortico-spinal neurons. ALS is characterised by muscle wasting and progressive paralysis. Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition characterised by the degeneration of neurons in the frontal and temporal lobes, and by changes in behaviour and personality, frontal executive deficits and language dysfunctions. ALS and FTD have historically been considered unrelated neurodegenerative diseases, however it is now clear that genetic mutations in transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 (TARDBP), Fused-in-Sarcoma (FUS) and C9orf72 locus, are associated to both disorders and up to 50% of ALS cases develops FTD. These discoveries have transformed the approach to the investigations on disease mechanisms, however the origin and progression of ALS and FTD remain largely unknown and curative therapies do not exist. 

Dysfunctional cortical inhibition and changes in synaptic connectivity, leading to excitotoxicity, have been previously reported in both ALS and FTD (for review Mora & Allodi 2023, Frontiers in Neural Circuits). Moreover, our findings obtained in a mouse model of ALS (Allodi et al 2021, Nature Communications) showed loss of inhibitory inputs in the spinal cord already at asymptomatic stages. Loss of inhibitory inputs can lead to aberrant neuron excitability, intracellular ion dysregulation and cell death, extensively reported in ALS-FTD. However, the exact role of dysfunctional inhibition and changes in synaptic connectivity in disease onset and progression still remain unclear.

Machine learning-based behavioural analysis, system neuroscience approaches, spatial transcriptomics and multiplexing techniques, gene therapy are applied to understand the roles of interneuron connectivity in disease and to find new targets for treatment.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Science, Changing the intrinsic growth capacity of motor and sensory neurons to promote axonal growth after injury, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona


Award Date: 7 Jan 2013

Master in Science, The use of animal models to study the role of geneenvironment interactions in neuropsychiatric disorders, University of Turin


Award Date: 2 Jul 2008

Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Case study, neuropsychological evaluation of a patient affected by MELAS-MERRF, University of Turin


Award Date: 31 Oct 2006

External positions

Group Leader, Integrative Neuroscience Unit, University of Copenhagen

2021 → …


  • RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
  • QP Physiology


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