Archives : September 2015

New Study Maps the Progression of Parkinson’s Disease Within the Brain


Scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro), at McGill University and the McGill University Health Centre, have made advances in understanding the process by which Parkinson’s Disease (PD) progresses within the brain.

The findings add new evidence to the hypothesis that brain cells in Parkinson’s patients might deteriorate according to a prion-like model of disease propagation, in which a toxic agent spreads from brain cell to brain cell utilizing the normal connections of the brain.

“The atrophy pattern on MRI is compatible with a disease process that spreads via brain networks – something that had never been shown in human patients before, and would support the hypothesis that PD is caused by a “toxic agent” that spreads trans-neuronally,” says Dr. Alain Dagher, the senior author of the study.

Current treatment options help control or minimize symptoms including tremors, slowness of movement, stiffness or rigidity, and loss of balance. The findings of this study hold exciting therapeutic implications. In the long term, it will help researchers develop new techniques to assess the efficacy of drugs that could target the culprit protein and might eventually lead to treatments that will prevent, slow, halt or even reverse the progression of PD.


Hope for Patients Living with Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease kills the cells in the brain that create dopamine, a chemical messenger. This, in turn, leads to symptoms such as tremors.

Researchers at University of Saskatchewan and Harvard University are aiming to use stem cells to treat Parkinson’s disease.

These patients cells will be transplanted into the brain to produce dopamine, explains Dr. Mendez.

According to Dr. Ole Isacson from Harvard University, patients could see the first benefits nine months after stem cell transplantation.

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Public Conference on Parkinson’s Disease

“Everything you ever wanted to know about Parkinson’s disease”

This public conference will be held on October 28th, 2015 from 18h30 to 20h at CHU de Québec-Université Laval.

Speakers Dr Frédéric Calon, professor at the pharmacy faculty and researcher at the CHU de Québec

Dr Léo Cantin, neurosurgeon at L’Enfant-Jésus Hospital

Dre Francesca Ciccetti, professor at the medicine faculty and researcher at CHU de Québec

 Place : CHU- CHU de Québec-Université Laval, 2705, boulevard Laurier

Amphitéâtre Fisher TR-54, Québec (Québec) G1V 4G2

Abstract : Dr. Calon will present the current knowledge about Parkinson’s disease as well as the available treatments in pharmacy. Dr. Cantin will discuss the benefits  and limits of the Deep Brain Stimulation as an approach for alleviation of motor symptoms of PD. Finally, Dr. Ciccetti will elaborate on therapies being tested for the treatment of the disease, in particular, gene transplantation.

Free registration at :