Launch of the Sentinel North Research Chair on Neurobiology of Stress and Resiliency

Caroline Ménard

The Sentinel North Research Chair on the Neurobiology of stress and resiliency was launched today.  The chairholder is Caroline Menard, and she is featured in an article in the newspaper Le Soleil.   

Université Laval researcher Caroline Ménard, who demonstrated that inflammation induced by chronic stress can influence the brain and lead to depression, now has a research chair.  The objective: to develop personalized new therapeutic approaches that treat the whole body rather than only the brain. 

The research chairqui a démontré comment l’inflammation induite par le stress chronique peut influencer le cerveau et mener à la dépression, a maintenant sa chaire de recherche. L’objectif: développer des approches thérapeutiques personnalisées et axées sur l’ensemble du corps plutôt que seulement sur le cerveau.

The Sentinel North Research Chair on the Neurobiology of stress and resiliency, launched wednesday, is accompanied by an investment of $500 000 over five years. 

The chairholder, Caroline Ménard, recently showed how chronic stress increases the permeability of the blood-brain barrier, whose role it is to protect the brain from undesirable substances (microbes and contaminants) that can be found in the blood.   She also confirmed the central role of inflammation in the development of depressive symptoms. 

"What interests us are the individual differences in response to chronic stress (death of a loved one, job loss, for example).  We know that people  living with chronic stress have higher chances of becoming depressed, but we know that not everyone does.  We try to understand why some are more vulnerable to chronic stress and why others are resilient", explains Caroline Ménard, who thinks biological mechanisms are at play.   

Read the complete article in Le Soleil (in French only)

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