Paola Alberti


Paola Alberti obtained MD degree (2010) and board in Neurology (2016) at University of Milano-Bicocca. She works at the Experimental Neurology Unit (Head: Professor Guido Cavaletti). Since she was a student in Medicine her main field of interest is Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neurotoxicity (CIPN). She authored 33 papers on international peer-review journals (h-index: 13), on CIPN related topics. She is involved either in clinical either in preclinical national and international CIPN research projects. She has a particular expertise in clinical and preclinical neurophysiology. She is a member of the following scientific societies: SIN, ASNP, PNS, Milan Center for Neuroscience.


Nerve excitability testing in animal models of oxaliplatin induced peripheral neurotoxicity: Ion channel dysfunction as a possible pathogenetic mechanism.

  • Track: Experimental Neuroscience
  • Tutor: Guido Cavaletti

Ion channel dysfunction has been suggested as a mechanism of peripheral nerve damage. There is a particular case in which this hypothesis is quite consistent: Oxaliplatin-Induced Peripheral Neurotoxicity (OIPN). Oxaliplatin is the cornerstone drug for colorectal cancer treatment; its use in clinical practice is limited by OIPN. There is no cure for this adverse event and it affects a vast proportion of cancer survivors. OIPN treatment has become a hot topic in Oncology practice. Transient ion channel dysfunction has been suggested to cause acute neurotoxicity symptoms: mainly, transient cold hyperalgesia, after administration (lasting 24-72 hours). A worse acute neurotoxicity has been related to a more severe chronic one (persistent sensory loss and neuropathic pain at limb extremities). Ion channels are mainly studied through in vitro techniques. However, also in vivo studies should be performed to develop new drugs for OIPN management. Our aim was implementing advanced neurophysiology in animal models to better understand OIPN pathogenesis, possibly relating acute and chronic phenomena. Nerve Excitability Testing (NET) could possibly be the solution to test axonal hyperexcitability induced by Oxaliplatin in in vivo experiments. We obtained a full NET profile of significant changes in our animal models of acute and chronic OIPN. Thus, we verified NET highly translational potential: the in vivo NET changes in animals can be matched either to findings from in vitro experiments focused on ion channels, either to clinical data (NET is easily applied in humans). We are testing AEDs to modulate acute neurotoxicity as tentative prevention of chronic OIPN.


Intenational collaborations (EU, US, Australia) in the context of CI-PeriNomS group


  • Awarded second place at Falling Wall Labs 2017 among all Italian participants with the project “Breaking the wall of Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neurotox” .
  • Travel grants as Young Presenting Author (oral communication) for these meetings: ASNP meeting 2013 (Verona, Italy), PNS meeting 2013 (Saint Malò, France), ASNP meeting 2014 (Sorrento, Italy), EFNS 2014 (Istanbul, Turkey), PNS meeting 2015 (Quebec City, Canada), SIN 2016 (Venezia, Italy).



She authored 33 publications on peer-review international journals. Her current H-index is 13 (Scopus, accessed at January 2018). The 5 most relevant publications are here enlisted.


  • Alberti, P (2012). Chemotherapy-induced Peripheral Neuropathy. 2012 Meeting Mediterranean Area Neurological Societies Meeting. Cyprus
  • Alberti, P. (2013). Epidemiologia e clinica della CIPN. 36° Congresso Nazionale AISD. Verona
  • Alberti, P. (2016). Advanced Master School Fabry. Monza
  • Alberti, P. (2016). OXALIPLATIN INDUCED PERIPHERAL NEUROTOXICITY: WHAT WE KNOW AND WHAT WE NEED.  “VI European Conference on cured and chronic cancer patients ” 23-24 september Syracuse
  • Alberti P. (2017) “TESTI E SITI”. I incontro per gli specializzandi in Neurologia. Roma, 26 marzo 2017.
  • Alberti, P. (2017). Dolore neuropatico postchemio e radioterapia. Padova, XII convegno trivento dei centri di terapia del dolore e cure palliative


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