Prédiction et contrôle des processus neurodégenératifs dans la maladie de Parkinson

 

Bratislav Misic

Centre universitaire de santé McGill [CUSM]

 

Domaine :  neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Programme chercheurs-boursiers  - Junior 1

Concours 2017-2018

Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, affecting more than 1% of the Canadian population. PD is marked by a progressive spread of atrophy from the midbrain to subcortical structures and eventually, to the cerebral cortex. The motor and cognitive consequences of PD are devastating, yet no cure exists and current treatments lose effectiveness over the long term. Recent discoveries suggest that PD may be caused by neuron to neuron spreading of a key protein, alpha-synuclein, which misfolds and aggregates, causing damage and cell death. Here we propose a computational framework that integrates multiple types of neuroimaging and gene expression data to characterize and predict the spreading patterns of alpha-synuclein in PD.

This computational platform will serve as a virtual workbench to validate the contribution of potential risk factors (e.g. genes, metabolism), identify vulnerable brain regions and pathways, and most importantly, to test the efficacy of treatment strategies and therapeutic interventions to slow or divert disease progression (e.g. antiparkinson drugs). Currently, little is known about the large-scale mechanisms and principles driving the spread of neurodegeneration, so the proposed project will offer important insight into designing novel therapies for individuals with PD.