Approches clinicopathologiques et précliniques au développement de traitements pour les maladies neurodégénératives

 

Frédéric Calon

Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec [CHUQ]

 

Domaine : neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Programme Chercheurs-boursiers de mérite

Concours 2018-2019

I have been trained as a pharmacist and biochemist. My research team focuses on the development of treatments for brain diseases, particularly neurodegenerative diseases, which affect more than 500,000 Canadians. My team uses realistic research approaches to develop new treatments for Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and/or Essential Tremor (ET). As an example, I lead one of the major groups in the world that showed that omega-3 fatty acids can exert protective effects in animal models of AD, PD and stroke. The impact is obvious as omega-3s are in the food we eat and because one third of people regularly buy omega-3 supplements. I have recently founded an international laboratory with a collaborator in France to further study the links between nutrition and brain function.

Since we are one of the few groups in the world to have identified pathological changes in the brain of ET patients, I receive emails every week from patients anxious to see our endeavors move to clinical trials. In the next years, my team will first try to identify what is wrong directly in the brain of patients-volunteers who donated their brains. Then we will develop new animal models or use those already available to test novel drug formulations. Finally but not the least, my research group is developing new ways to help drugs enter the brain, because the vast majority of new drugs are blocked by the blood-brain barrier, and thereby useless for brain disease. In conclusion, the ultimate goal of our work is to accelerate the transfer of knowledge from basic neuroscience to clinical applications for highly prevalent brain diseases.