Association des symptômes neuropsychiatriques au schéma de neurodégénérescence et leur précision pour prédire la performance cognitive individuelle


Alexandru Hanganu

Université de Montréal


Domaine : neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Programme Chercheurs-boursiers - Junior 1

Concours 2019-2020


Parkinson Québec

Dementia is one of the most devastating and feared age-related condition. There are 564,000 Canadians currently living with dementia and this number will double in 15 years. Finding early markers for detecting dementia allows early intervention with medication or rehabilitation techniques for maintaining a normal cognitive performance for a longer time and for reducing the rate of cognitive decline.

My previous work has identified structural brain markers associated with cognitive impairment in patients with Parkinson's disease. Recent advances have shown that neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) have a high potential of being an earlier marker of cognitive decline and may even precede the onset of clinically measurable cognitive impairment.

The present program will analyze MRI data of patients with Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease and will identify the NPS-associated brain alterations which have the highest potential of predicting future cognitive impairment. In the second study, transcranial magnetic stimulation will be used in order to measure cortical plasticity, identify its association with neuropsychiatric and behavioral profiles and predict individual cognitive performance.

This program will establish MR markers based on neuropsychiatric patterns that can predict the development of cognitive impairment at an earlier stage compared to the presently known markers. The prediction algorithm will be further individualized based on individual patterns of cortical plasticity. This will allow earlier detection of people prone to develop cognitive impairment over time. Having identified these individuals, we will be able to apply brain modulations techniques in order to maintain their normal cognitive performance for a longer time.