More than eighty researchers from France and Quebec met March 20 – 21, 2014 at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital - The Neuro, McGill University and the McGill University Health Centre – for the second France-Quebec scientific workshop on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) associated with frontotemporal dementia. The first edition was held in Paris in June 2012 at the Brain and Spine Institute (ICM). This meeting is co-organized by Professor Heather Durham (The Neuro) and Dr. Edor Kabashi (ICM).
This stimulating exchange between French and Québécois researchers aims to establish and consolidate sustainable scientific collaborations that will better define the mechanisms responsible for this devastating disease, and to develop new therapeutic approaches. To promote scientific exchange between France and Quebec, The Neuro and ICM are also preparing to sign an agreement that will allow the exchange of students between the two institutions.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease in which progressive muscle weakness leads to paralysis. ALS is a result of the death of motor neurons (nerve cells) in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. Most people survive less than five years following diagnosis, but a small percentage of patients live for ten years or even longer. So far, there is no cure. About 3,000 Canadian adults have ALS and less than 1 in 10 patients have a family history of the disease.