Relève étoile Jacques-Genest 
December 2018

Jessica Agostinone

PhD student in neuroscience
CHUM Research Centre

Award-winning publicationInsulin signalling promotes dendrite and synapse regeneration and restores circuit function after axonal injury

Published in: Brain


Glaucoma is the world's leading cause of blindness. There is no cure and current treatment options remain relatively ineffective, since over 40% of patients continue to experience drops in their visual acuity. Recent studies have shown that early morphological changes in dendrites—the long extensions that enable neurons to receive nerve signals—may play a key role in neurodegenerative diseases, including glaucoma. Relying on transgenic mice and leading-edge technologies, Jessica Agostinone was able to demonstrate for the very first time that adult neurons are able to regenerate their dendrites and synapses after axonal injury. Her work could have profound implications for the prevention of visual impairments stemming from glaucoma by putting forward a practical and cost-effective non-invasive treatment strategy.