News

Open your eyes and smell the roses

Christopher Pack

February 29 2012 – Activating the visual cortex improves our sense of smell. A new study reveals for the first time that activating the brain’s visual cortex with a small amount of electrical stimulation actually improves our sense of smell. The finding published in the Journal of Neuroscience by researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro, McGill University and the Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, revises our understanding of the complex biology of the senses in the brain.

Doctors find new way to predict recurrent stroke

Dr. Coutts (right) and patient

Feb 24, 2012 – New research from the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) shows that using a CT (computerised tomography) scan, doctors can predict if patients who have had a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or minor stroke, with neurological symptoms such as weakness or speech issues, are at risk for another more severe stroke.

The secret to forming memories

Clayton Dickson

Feb. 14, 2012 – U of A researchers have established that the brain’s ability to rehearse or repeat electrical impulses may be critical in making a newly acquired memory more permanent.

Warning! Collision Imminent!

Christopher Pack

Feb. 6th, 2012 – The brain’s quick interceptions help you navigate the world – When you are about to collide into something and manage to swerve away just in the nick of time, what exactly is happening in your brain? A new study from the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro, McGill University shows how the brain processes visual information to figure out when something is moving towards you or when you are about to head into a collision.

A team from Université Laval shed new light on neuron regeneration in the brain

Armen Saghatelyan

Dr. Armen Saghatelyan

Feb. 5 2012 – Researchers at the Robert-Giffard Research Center of Université Laval have just shed new light on the regeneration of brain neurons. The work of Lusine Bozoyan, Jivan Khlghatyan and Armen Saghatelyan, published in the February 1st edition of the Journal of Neuroscience, demonstrates the role played by cells called astrocytes in this mechanism.

Genetic breakthrough for brain cancer in children

Dr. Nada Jabado

Jan. 30, 2012 – Canadian-led research team identifies two mutations in crucial gene involved in deadly pediatric brain tumours

An international research team led by the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI MUHC) has made a major genetic breakthrough that could change the way pediatric cancers are treated in the future.

Study Identifies a New Way Brain Cells Die in Alzheimer’s Disease – Will help lead researchers towards new treatments

Zamponi and Stys

Zamponi & Stys

A new study challenges conventional thinking about how brain cells die in Alzheimer’s disease. The findings demonstrate a previously unknown mechanism by which the cells die and will help lead researchers in new directions for treating the degenerative brain disease. The study by scientists at the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute is published this week in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Defective cell ‘battery’ plays central role in neurodegenerative disease

Peter McPherson

Peter McPherson

Jan. 17, 2012 – A devastating neurodegenerative disease that first appears in toddlers just as they are beginning to walk has been traced to defects in mitochondria, the ‘batteries’ or energy-producing power plants of cells. This finding by a team of researchers, led by investigators from the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro- at McGill University, was published in this week’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS).

How do we split our attention?

Dr. Julio Martinez-Trujillo

DEC. 21, 2011 – McGill’s Cognitive Neurophysiology Lab team finds that we are natural-born multi-taskers

Imagine you’re a hockey goalie, and two opposing players are breaking in alone on you, passing the puck back and forth. You’re aware of the linesman skating in on your left, but pay him no mind. Your focus is on the puck and the two approaching players. As the action unfolds, how is your brain processing this intense moment of “multi-tasking”?

A breakthrough in pinpointing protective mechanisms in Multiple Sclerosis

Alexandre Prat

December 1st, 2011 – In an article published today in the prestigious journal Science, a team of researchers led by Dr Alexander Prat and postgraduate fellow Jorge Alvarez at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) sheds light on how the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) works to prevent the incursion of the immune system into the brain.

Scientists Highlight Link Between Stress and Appetite

Pittman and Bains

Researchers in the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine have uncovered a mechanism by which stress increases food drive in rats. This exciting discovery, published in the journal Neuron, could provide important insight into why stress is thought to be one of the underlying contributors to obesity.



Potential harm, but no demonstrated benefit from depression screening in primary care

Brett Thombs

September 19, 2011 – The Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care recommends routine screening for depression during primary care visits when systems are available for coordination of assessment and treatment. An article by an international panel of experts, published in the October issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, argues that there is no evidence that screening benefits patients and that, moreover, implementation of the practice would further burden an already financially-strapped health care system.

Study exposes major flaws in research on depression screening questionnaires – Research on detection of depression “forecasting yesterday’s weather,” say investigators

Par Hendrike 11:08, 3 May 2006 (UTC) (Travail personnel) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) ou CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia CommonsAugust 16, 2011 – A new analysis, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), reports that flawed research studies have exaggerated the degree to which depression screening questionnaires are able to accurately detect people with untreated depression. The number of untreated patients who would actually be detected using these questionnaires may be less than half the number predicted by existing studies.

No room for inaccuracy in the brain

The map of your brain is dynamic

July 20, 2011 – Dr. Ed Ruthazer is a mapmaker but, his landscape is the developing brain – specifically the neuronal circuitry, which is the network of connections between nerve cells. His research at The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro at McGill University, reveals the brain as a dynamic landscape where connections between nerves are plastic, changing and adapting to the demands of the environment.

Montreal researchers awarded for pioneering research into music and brain plasticity

Music affects brain plasticity

July 20, 2011 – The 22nd annual Neuronal Plasticity Prize of the Fondation Ipsen has been awarded to Robert J. Zatorre (Montreal Neurological Institute, BRAMS Laboratory), Isabelle Peretz (University of Montreal, BRAMS Laboratory)  and Helen J. Neville (University of Oregon, Eugene, USA), for their pioneering research in the domain of “Music and Brain Plasticity”.

RCM researchers uncover a new piece of the puzzle in the development of our nervous system

Ephrins help guide neuron growth in limbs

July 14, 2011 – Researchers at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM) are among the many scientists around the world trying to unearth our nervous system’s countless mysteries. A new piece of the puzzle was recently uncovered by Dr. Artur Kania, Director of the IRCM’s Neural Circuit Development research unit and Associate Professor at Université de Montréal’s Department of Medicine, and a postdoctoral fellow in his laboratory, Dr. Tzu-Jen Kao.

New genetic clues for schizophrenia De novo mutations are more frequent

DNA sequence

Reading of a DNA sequence

July 11, 2011 – De novo mutations – genetic errors that are present in patients but not in their parents – are more frequent in schizophrenic patients than in normal individuals, according to an international group of scientists led by Dr. Guy A. Rouleau of the University of Montreal and CHU Sainte-Justine Hospital.