Étude longitudinal sur la progression et le traitement de la maladie d'Alzheimer chez les modèles rongeurs en utilisant l'Imagerie cérébrale

 

Jamie Near

CIUSSS de l'Ouest-de-l'Ile-de-Montréal

 

Domaine : neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Programme chercheurs-boursiers  - Junior 1

Concours 2017-2018

Alzheimer's disease is a devastating neurodegenerative disease whose prevalence and impact on society are steadily on the rise.  The main risk factor for Alzheimer's disease is age, and nearly 5 out of every 10 Canadians over the age of 85 are affected.  If treatments and outcomes are not improved, then the coming decades will see the negative societal impacts of Alzheimer's Disease reach catastrophic levels.  Recent research advances have led to the development of animal models of Alzheimer's Disease that exhibit many of the same pathological features seen in the human form of the disease.  Such models provide a highly promising testing ground for new pharmaceutical treatments that have potential to translate directly into improved health outcomes for human patients.  However, evaluating and monitoring drug efficacy in animal models is challenging. 

In this research program, I propose to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to study changes in brain anatomy and brain chemistry that occur as a result of pathology in rat and mouse models of Alzheimer's Disease.  In parallel, I also plan to treat a subset of these animals with Naproxen – a common anti-inflammatory drug that has shown promise in the prevention of Alzheimer's disease.  In doing so, I hope to evaluate the effectiveness of Naproxen at reversing the pathological progression of Alzheimer's Disease.  In addition, I will apply a novel technique called carbon-13 MRS to obtain detailed measures of brain metabolism in the same animals, to gain insights into the metabolic alterations that accompany disease pathology.

The framework of this study will be re-applied towards future drug studies in animal models, the outcomes of which may lead to the eventual discovery one or more successful treatments against Alzheimer's Disease.