Finding the way to memory

Dr. Timothy Kennedy

Dr. Timothy Kennedy

Guidance proteins regulate brain plasticity

Our ability to learn and form new memories is fully dependent on the brain’s ability to be plastic – that is to change and adapt according to new experiences and environments.

Addiction: abnormal communication in the brain

Alain Dagher

Dr. Alain Dagher

Addiction to cigarettes, drugs and other stimulants has been linked in the past to the brain’s frontal lobes, but now there is scientific evidence that indicates where in the frontal cortex addiction takes hold and how. Addiction could be a result of abnormal communication between two areas of the frontal lobes linked to decision-making. The discovery will undoubtedly stimulate clinical work on new therapies for millions of people who suffer from addiction.

Major step toward an Alzheimer’s vaccine

Dr. Serge Rivest

Dr. Serge Rivest

A team of researchers from Université Laval, CHU de Québec, and pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has discovered a way to stimulate the brain’s natural defense mechanisms in people with Alzheimer’s disease.A team of researchers from Université Laval, CHU de Québec, and pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has discovered a way to stimulate the brain’s natural defense mechanisms in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

The pain puzzle: Uncovering how morphine increases pain in some people

Yves De Koninck

Dr. Yves De Koninck

Researchers discover new pathway to reduce paradoxical pain

Quebec City & Toronto, January 6, 2013—For individuals with agonizing pain, it is a cruel blow when the gold-standard medication actually causes more pain. Adults and children whose pain gets worse when treated with morphine may be closer to a solution, based on research published in the January 6 on-line edition of Nature Neuroscience.

An IRCM breakthrough in stem cell research

Michel Cayouette

Dr. Michel Cayouette

Dr. Michel Cayouette, Director of the Cellular Neurobiology research unit at the IRCM, and his team published a scientific breakthrough in stem cell research in The Journal of Neuroscience. Amel Kechad, former student in the laboratory, and Christine Jolicoeur, research assistant, are co-first authors of the article, which was also signed by Adele Tufford and Pierre Mattar, both members of the same research unit.

Drug offers new pain management therapy for diabetics

Dr. Cory Toth

Dr. Cory Toth

A study from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute shows there is evidence to support a new drug therapy called nabilone to treat diabetic neuropathy, or nerve pain. Researchers enrolled 60 patients with diabetic neuropathy in a 12-week placebo controlled clinical study.

Common diabetes drug promotes development of brain stem cells

Freda Miller

Dr. Freda Miller

SickKids researchers suggest metformin helps produce new brain cells and enhance memory

TORONTO – Researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) have found that metformin, a drug commonly used to treat Type II diabetes, can help trigger the pathway used to instruct stem cells in the brain to become neural (nerve) cells.

New hope for understanding autism spectrum disorders

Nahum Sonenberg

Dr. Nahum Sonenberg

Researchers from McGill University and the University of Montreal have identified a crucial link between protein synthesis and autism spectrum disorders (ASD), which can bolster new therapeutic avenues. Regulation of protein synthesis, also termed mRNA translation, is the process by which cells manufacture proteins.

Light at the end of the channel

Mohamed Chahine

Dr. Mohamed Chahine

Researchers elucidate the structure of ion channels in the cell membrane

A breakthrough in basic science made by researchers from the Faculty of Medicine of Laval University may shed new light on cardiac arrhythmia, pain, epilepsy and some forms of paralysis.

Attack! Silent watchmen charge to defend the nervous system

Dr. Stephano Stifani

Dr. Stephano Stifani

In many pathologies of the nervous system, there is a common event – cells called microglia are activated from surveillant watchmen into fighters. Microglia are the immune cells of the nervous system, ingesting and destroying pathogens and damaged nerve cells. Until now little was known about the molecular mechanisms of microglia activation despite this being a critical process in the body.

Childhood abuse leads to poor adult health

Dr Jean-Philippe Gouin

Dr Jean-Philippe Gouin

Adults victimized as children are at an increased risk for disease, Concordia study shows

The psychological scars of childhood abuse can last well into adulthood. New research from Concordia University shows the harm can have longterm negative physical effects, as well as emotional ones.

New cause of child blindness identified

Dr Robert Koenekoop

Dr. Robert Koenekoop

One of the mysteries of blindness has been solved. A team of international scientists in collaboration with the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI MUHC) identified a new gene responsible for Leber Congenital Amaurosis (LCA), a devastating genetic form of blindness in newborns.

U0niversity of Toronto study demonstrates impact of adversity on early life development

Dr. Marla Sokolowski

Dr. Marla Sokolowski

Study part of growing body of knowledge surrounding gene-environment interplay

TORONTO, ON – It is time to put the nature versus nurture debate to rest and embrace growing evidence that it is the interaction between biology and environment in early life that influences human development, according to a series of studies recently published in a special edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Fruit fly’s ‘sweet tooth’ short-lived: UBC research

Dr. Michael Gordon

Dr. Michael Gordon

The humble fruit fly may have something to teach us about forgoing empty calories for more nutritional ones – especially when we’re hungry.

While the flies initially prefer food with a sweet flavour, they quickly learn to opt for less sweet food sources that offer more calories and nutritional value, according to new research by University of British Columbia zoologists.

Early life adversity affects broad regions of brain DNA

Dr. Moshe Szyf

Study provides strong evidence of a biological process that embeds social experience in DNA that affects not just a few genes but entire networks of genes.

Early life experience results in a broad change in the way our DNA is “epigenetically” chemically marked in the brain by a coat of small chemicals called methyl groups, according to researchers at McGill University.

Scientists discover gene behind rare disorders

Dr. Eric Shoubridge

International study with researchers at The Neuro reveals links with other neurodegenerative diseases

Scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro,  McGill University working with a team at Oxford University have uncovered the genetic defect underlying a group of rare genetic disorders.  

How genetics shape our addictions

Alain Dagher

Dr. Alain Dagher

Genes predict the brain’s reaction to smoking

Have you ever wondered why some people find it so much easier to stop smoking than others? New research shows that vulnerability to smoking addiction is shaped by our genes. A study from the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro, McGill University shows that people with genetically fast nicotine metabolism have a significantly greater brain response to smoking cues than those with slow nicotine metabolism.

Kurt Haas discovers master regulator of brain plasticity

Dr Kurt Haas

Dr. Kurt Haas

Synaptic plasticity, or the ability of neurons to form, strengthen, or weaken connections with each other, has long been studied as the basis for learning and memory. While the cellular processes and biological mechanisms involved are complex, much progress has been made at the Brain Research Centre and other research institutes around the world towards understanding this dynamic brain process.