Signalisation de l'unité neurovasculaire suite aux maladies cérébrovasculaires: Implications pathobiologiques et thérapeutiques

 

Ayman ElAli

Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec-Université Laval

 

Domaine : neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Programme chercheurs-boursiers - Junior 1

Concours 2017-2018

Cerebrovascular accident, or stroke, constitutes a leading cause of death and disability of adults in Canada. The majority of stroke cases (87%) are ischemic caused by the interruption of the blood flow to a part of the brain when a blood clot blocks cerebral blood vessels, causing the death of nerve cells by depriving them for oxygen and nutrients. Currently, the injection of a blood clot-dissolving drug constitutes the only existing treatment in clinics. Nonetheless, this drug must be injected very shortly after first symptoms, as it increases the risk of cerebral haemorrhage by causing the rupture of blood vessels that are weakened by injury, thereby limiting its wide usage.

As such, it is more than urgent today to develop new treatments that can reduce the lesion inflected to the brain in the hours and days that follow stroke onset in order to allow patients to recover more efficiently. Cerebral blood vessels constitute a specialized interface that contributes to the proper functioning of the brain by supporting the survival of nerve cells. My research work has demonstrated that blood vessels constitute a promising therapeutic target, which has never been explored before. The central hypothesis of my research program is that the sustained destabilization of cerebral blood vessels after stroke hampers the recovery of damaged nerve cells.

Thereby, I postulate that the stabilisation of these blood vessels will ameliorate the efficacy of the drug-dissolving agent and allow damaged nerve cells to recover more efficiently. This will be achieved by targeting specialized mechanisms in the vascular cells that from cerebral blood vessels. In the frame of my research program, several treatments that were developed to treat other medical conditions will be evaluated, thus increasing the potential of rapidly translating our interventions to clinics.