Non-Invasive Diagnostic Test Using Electroretinography for Profiling Patients with Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorders

Challenge: Psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression affect 25 million of individuals in North America. Early identification of risk factors for people with genetic predispositions remains the most promising avenue for improving the treatments for these diseases. However, there are multiple subgroups of patients within a specific disease whose condition is mediated by different molecular pathologies, … Read More


Innovative Optical Imaging and Bio-Simulation Platforms to Accelerate Central Nervous System Drug Discovery

Challenge: The development of efficient drugs targeting central nervous system (CNS) diseases remains a challenge, especially because of a lack of effective methods for studying processes occurring at the synaptic level. Protein interactions at the synapse are known to be modified under pathological conditions and to induce important changes in cellular function. Despite great advances in imaging, it remains difficult … Read More


Cyto-iGluSnFR: A glutamate biosensor platform for brain diseases

Challenge: Glutamate is the principal excitatory neurotransmitter of the human central nervous system (CNS). Disruption of glutamate homeostasis is a central feature of many neurological diseases, including stroke, glaucoma and Alzheimer’s disease. Glutamate levels in CNS are controlled by glial cells which facilitate its recycling and uptake through Excitatory Amino Acid Transporters (EAATs). Consequently, the EAAT proteins are attractive targets … Read More


Alzheimer’s Disease Mouse Model Characterization: Correlation Between MRI and ex vivo Immunohistochemistry

Challenge: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder affecting elderly people. There is currently no early diagnostic method available and there is no effective treatment. Better characterization of new animal models is therefore essential to enable the discovery of new therapeutics for AD. Solution: To maximize the information obtained from MRI and PET imaging studies of animal models for … Read More


The eye: a window to the brain – Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease in the Prodromal Stage from Non-Invasive Hyperspectral Retinal Images

Challenge: Alzheimer’s disease (AD) affects millions of people worldwide, causing an irreversible and debilitating loss of neuro-cognitive functions, with no cure currently available. At the moment, AD diagnosis can be confirmed post-mortem or through complex in vivo imaging approaches (Positron Emission Tomography or PET scanner) by observing two AD hallmarks in the brain, the deposition of β-amyloid (Aβ) plaques and … Read More


Inducible Mouse Models to Accelerate Drug Development for Parkinson’s Disease and Other Synucleinopathies

Challenge: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by motor symptoms, cognition, speech, mood, and behaviour disorders. While PD is currently diagnosed based on motor impairment, the non-motor deficits (the prodromal stage) typically precede the motor symptoms by several years. PD is associated with the presence of Lewy bodies and neurites composed of misfolded fibrillar α-synuclein. The recent development of animal models … Read More


Targeting the Right Cells: Human MiniPromoters for Restricted Gene Expression in Specific Cells of the Eyes

Challenge: Diseases of the eye, sometimes leading to blindness represent an enormous burden in terms of human suffering and economic cost. New gene therapies where promoters act as switches to modulate gene expression could offer cures, but such expression is difficult to target to the appropriate diseased cells. Due to their size, complexity and regulation, endogenous promoters can rarely be … Read More


ShARP: Screenable Assays for RNA-Binding Proteins Involved in Brain Disorders

Challenge: Brain disorders such as autism, major depressive disorder and Alzheimer’s disease are among the greatest medical challenges of our era. Many drugs targeting the central nervous system (CNS) have been developed to modulate G-protein coupled receptors, ion channels, or transporters with mitigated success. There remains a shortage of disease-relevant targets that can be harnessed for drug discovery to treat … Read More