Principal investigator: Prof Alain Dagher, MD
Our laboratory examines various pathological states that are related to a disruption in dopamine function. These range from motor disease (Parkinson’s) to addictive disorders (gambling, smoking, obesity). We are currently employing various neuroimaging techniques, including functional MRI, PET and rTMS; in concert with these types of data we are also investigating some of the behavioral, endocrine and metabolic correlates of these syndromes so that we may gain a better and more thorough understanding into the complexities of these disease states.
About Prof. Dagher:
Dr. Dagher is a neurologist specializing in movement disorders and functional brain imaging. His research aims at understanding the function of the basal ganglia, with a particular emphasis on appetitive behaviours. This involves studying how we learn about rewards and punishments, and become motivated to engage in reward seeking behaviours. The two main techniques used are positron emission tomography (PET) targeting the dopamine system, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The research focuses on Parkinson’s disease, stress, drug addiction (notably cigarette smoking), pathological gambling, and obesity. Dr Dagher is funded by CIHR, FRSQ, NIDA, the Parkinson Society of Canada, The Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders, and Unilever PLC.