Développement et Plasticité des Systèmes Moteurs Supraspinaux et Spinaux

Chercheurs boursiers - Junior 1 | Concours 2012-2013

Frederic Bretzner

Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier de l'Université Laval (CRCHUQ-CHUL)


Domaine : Neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Spinal cord injury is devastating due to the physical, societal, and economical harms incurred on individuals as well as on our society. Although the spinal cord contains all the circuitry necessary to locomotion, in the absence of commands from the brain, people with spinal cord injuries are unable to walk. Motor recovery can be partially achieved by strategies or therapies intended to regenerate axons from the brain to the spinal cord. Some of these approaches have reported such promising results in animal models that clinical trials are currently underway. However a major obstacle to achieving this goal is the lack of identification and characterization of appropriate targets at the brain and spinal cord levels, as well as the lack of knowledge of the mechanisms of plasticity of these targets. The current program aims to investigate the development and plasticity of motor nervous systems that are pertaining to motor control and locomotion. This will enable us to identify and characterize the nervous circuits that need to be repaired in order to improve functional recovery following spinal cord injury or diseases affecting the gait.