Using new imaging technologies to better understand evolution of neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis
A physicist by training, Professor Daniel Côté works with neurobiologists to develop imaging technologies that can visualize brain cells and determine their level of activity, or that can help with surgery. This approach, based on the use of lasers, optical fibers and the application of complex physical principles, provides a better understanding of the functioning of the brain in health or disease.
The technologies developed by Dr. Côté's team have...
Synaptic transmission: from chronic pain to Alzheimer's disease
Yves De Koninck's work focuses on the transmission of signals from one neuron to another, also called synaptic transmission, and the necessary balance between excitatory and inhibitory signals in the brain and spinal cord. His research has shown how a normally benign stimulus can turn into a pain signal, leading to the development of chronic pain.
One person in five will experience chronic pain in their lifetime, a proportion that increases with age. This is the leading cause of disability in the country...
Important discoveries in brain imaging enabling early diagnosis of brain disorders
Dr. Simon Duchesne's research aims to enable the earliest possible diagnosis of degeneration of the brain, as caused by disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. By comparing measurements taken from radiological images of the brains of cognitively healthy people with those of the brains of people with a disease, Professor Duchesne can determine the significant differences that characterize the latter. The presence of such "biomarkers" in the brain could predict the onset of symptoms decades in advance...
Investigating Neurometabolic Pathways involved in Brain Health and Disease.
Dr. Paul Dutchak's research program aims to understand the metabolic requirements for normal brain function and determine how genetic changes effect the regulation of metabolic pathways in the brain. Dr. Dutchak is particularly interested in developing a metabolic map of neurological disorders to better diagnose, and therapeutically target neurological diseases that are underscored by a dysregulation of metabolism, including: epilepsy, autism and...
Design of brain-computer interfaces to understand and stimulate neuronal activity leading to the formation of new neuronal connections.
Dr. Christian Éthier studies how neuronal activity, the passage of an electrochemical current between neurons, leads to the formation or strengthening of connections between these neurons. This phenomenon, known as neuronal plasticity, is essential to the process of learning or repairing neural circuits following injury or stroke damage.
Dr. Ethier's team aims to find ways to guide neural reorganization, through electrical or optical...
Development of immunological tools for the study and treatment of the brain
Professor Claude Gravel is Director of the Gene Transfer laboratory. He works to combine the tools of gene therapy with those of immunology to develop new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of devastating degenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He has been a pioneer in the use of viral vectors for the treatment of inherited retinal degeneration and motor neuron degeneration in animal models.
Professor Claude Gravel was one of the founding members of the Neurophotonics...
Cyberbehavior – The study of human behaviors in virtual spaces
Professor Matthieu Guitton's research aims to understand the behavior of people online, in virtual spaces. He is as interested in the psychology of individuals and virtual communities (including virtual communities of patients) as in the social dynamics in these groups, ethics, and computer-aided communication.
Impact and use of the internet and virtual reality in health
Dr. Guitton's research also focuses on information technologies applied to health sciences. He is studying telemedicine, the...
Development of novel methods for early detection, and non-pharmacological treatments of cognitive decline during aging
Dr. Hudon is a neuropsychologist who develops approaches to better diagnose and treat disorders that occur most often in the elderly population, such as mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease. Early detection increases the likelihood that a change in lifestyle and certain treatments may delay the progression of the disease, significantly improving the quality of life of people affected.
Dr. Hudon uses and tests neuropsychological assessment and...
Promising discoveries on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gherig's disease, is a serious progressive disease that causes the death of motor neurons, which control muscle movement.
The death of motor neurons causes paralysis, which makes walking, speech, swallowing and eventually, breathing impossible. This is a terminal illness, without remission or cure.
Jean-Pierre Julien is a pioneer in ALS research
Professor Jean-Pierre Julien was the first to show that...
Innovative approaches to understand the role of immune cells in brain diseases
Dr. Jasna Kriz studies the role of brain immune cells, called microglia, in the healthy brain, in cerebral ischemia, and in neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Dr. Kriz has developed mouse models in which she can detect the activation of genes of interest by bioluminescence, and thus see which genes are activated or inhibited during brain damage, or in neurodegenerative diseases. These models make it possible to see the expression of genes in real time and in...
Research into the causes of Parkinson's disease aiming to develop new treatments
Professor Martin Lévesque studies the development and maintenance of neural circuits that produce dopamine in the brain. His research has identified molecules that are necessary for the development, survival and integration of dopaminergic neurons in the brain. These neurons play a crucial role in movement control, mood, attention and stress response.
Dr. Lévesque's research has led to important advances in the understanding of Parkinson's disease, a neurodegenerative disease characterized by...
Early detection of neurodegenerative diseases by language tests and other cognitive tests
Professor Joël Macoir's research aims to develop and validate tests to detect or diagnose language and cognition disorders associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, progressive primary aphasia and other forms of dementia. Recently, projects in this area of research have led to the development of a quick and simple test that can be administered by frontline health care professionals to detect the presence of language disorders commonly observed in pathological...
Study of the neural circuits involved in Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases
Professor Martin Parent studies neural circuits within a specific set of brain structures, called basal ganglia, which play a crucial role in the control of movement. His team is particularly interested in the alterations that occur in these circuits that lead to the expression of the symptoms of Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases.
His studies on animal models have led to the identification of key actors whose function is impaired by these neurodegenerative diseases. His discoveries in...
A pioneer in the study of the organization of connections and pathways of the healthy brain, and changes that lead to the development of Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases.
Professor André Parent is a world-renowned pioneer for his research that has advanced our understanding of the role of neurons in a region of the brain called the basal ganglion. He has studied the role of these nerve structures deep under the cerebral cortex in the control of psychomotor behavior, both in normal and pathological conditions (for example in Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases).
Dr. Pozzi is presently focused on the study of the effects of the interaction between a previously studied extracellular protein and its receptor in different mutant models of ALS. These proteins are two important players in the communication among different cellular populations in the central nervous system. The final aim is to generate a therapeutic approach against this interaction and test it in animal models of ALS.
Investigation of new therapeutic targets to slow or prevent the development of severe neurodegenerative diseases
Dr. Chantelle Sephton's research program aims to find new therapeutic targets to slow or stop the development of devastating diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. Dr. Sephton is particularly interested in the role of two proteins, named TDP-43 and FUS, that bind to RNA, the genetic material that is used to produce proteins. These RNA binding proteins play a crucial role in controlling the production of other proteins that are...