Décrypter les mécanismes pathologiques de la neurodégénérescence dans la sclérose latérale amyotrophique

 

Christine Vande Velde

Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal [CHUM]

 

Domaine : neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Programme Chercheurs-boursiers - Senior

Concours 2018-2019

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) causes the selective destruction of a particular pool of neurons, called motor neurons, which control voluntary movements. This neurodegenerative disease leads to a rapid and progressive paralysis resulting in death typically in less than three years after diagnosis. In Canada, there are 3000 patients affected at any given time. Unfortunately, there is no therapy available to halt the unrelenting progression of this disease.

The goal of my research program is to identify and characterize the cellular processes that have gone awry and contribute to ALS pathogenesis and progression in both neurons and other supporting cells of the brain and spinal cord. Some of these alterations appear early in the disease and could lead to the development of biomarkers, which are indicators that could lead to an earlier diagnosis or offer a means to follow disease progression. We do this using a combination of neuroscience, cellular and molecular biology approaches. Whenever possible, we validate our findings in patient material and/or cells. It is hoped that our approach will reveal novel targets for therapeutic and biomarker development. We are part of an international, collaborative effort to make ALS a manageable, not fatal, disease.