Microcircuiterie et neuroplasticité adaptative des ganglions de la base dans la maladie de Parkinson

 

Martin Parent

Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Québec

 

Domaine : Neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Programme chercheurs-boursiers - Junior 2

Concours 2016-2017

The basal ganglia are a set of subcortical structures involved in motor behavior. The normal functioning of these brain structures relies on a fragile equilibrium between different neurochemical systems. In Parkinson's disease, the degeneration of dopamine neurons causes an imbalance in the functional organization of the basal ganglia and a compensatory reorganization of its microcircuitry. My research program for the next four years represents a logical extension of my previous work.

The main objective of my scientific program is to determine the cellular and molecular basis of neuronal communication in the basal ganglia and to characterize the neurochemical reorganization that occurs in this set of subcortical structures following neuropathological process at play in Parkinson's disease. More specifically, I will investigate the neurochemical and neuromorphological rearrangements in two key components of the basal ganglia, namely the striatum and the pallidum, following degeneration of dopamine neurons that characterizes Parkinson's disease. I will provide evidence that such reorganization leads to the expression of abnormal involuntary movements termed dyskinesia when L-Dopa, the main pharmacological treatment for Parkinson's disease, is administered.

My research program is entirely funded by the major granting agencies and will lead to new therapeutic approaches for Parkinson's disease and L-Dopa-induced dyskinesia.