Rôle des neurexines dans la propagation de l'alpha-synucléine pathologique dans la maladie de Parkinson


Aurélie Fallon

Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal [IRCM]


Domaine : neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Programme Formation de maitrise

Concours 2019-2020


Parkinson Québec

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a condition known to affect motor functions. The non-motor symptoms of PD, such as cognitive and sleep disorders, are being studied more and because of their high frequency and negative consequences. More than a third of individuals with PD have a specific sleep disorder called REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). That disorder is characterized by undesirable behaviors during the sleeping phase in which dreams occur. Patients with both PD and RBD present more severe autonomic, cognitive and motor symptoms, as well as more severe disease progression. This suggests more serious and extensive brain damage in this subtype of patients. Few studies have looked at brain abnormalities in patients with PD and RBD, and those who did have significant limitations. Our study aims to identify the brain deficits associated with the presence of RBD in PD.

To achieve our goal, 50 patients with PD (25 of whom had RBD) and 50 healthy subjects underwent magnetic resonance imaging, a night at a sleep laboratory, neuropsychological assessment, and neurological examination. We will use various advanced techniques to evaluate the integrity of brain structures. This project will allow a better understanding of the cerebral damage that underlies the more severe clinical symptoms of patients with PD and RBD. This could lead to the identification of new biomarkers for the development of cognitive impairments in PD, thus allowing the investigation of the efficacy of developing neuroprotective agents.