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Parkinson’s Awareness Month 2019

Clinical care and research share one roof at The Neuro
Parkinson's Disease (PD) affects 1 in every 500 people in Canada.The Neuro is a centre for both research and clinical treatment of PD.

During Parkinson’s Awareness Month in April, the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro) is recognizing the outstanding medical staff and researchers at The Neuro working in PD and raising awareness about the services we offer our patients with this disease.

PD is a neurodegenerative disorder in which brain cells primarily degenerate in the basal ganglia, a part of the brain responsible for motor control and motor learning. Symptoms such as tremor, muscle stiffness, mood changes, depression, cognitive impairments can occur as early as in a person’s thirties. Severity and progression range widely.

In the last few years, The Neuro significantly increased its PD research and clinical activity. It also broadly extended its outreach by taking a historic initiative to adopt a policy of open science, offering its scientific and clinical data freely to scientific and medical institutions around the world. The synergy created through open-science exchanges raises the chances of more and earlier breakthroughs.

On the front line of patient care is The Neuro’s Movement Disorders Clinic (MDC). Each year, more than a 1,000 PD patients are followed and treated by a specialized multi-disciplinary team that includes six neurologists, two nurse-clinicians, an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, a speech and language pathologist, and a social worker. PD research and treatment are further carried out at The Neuro by world-class principal investigators, a neurosurgeon, a neuropsychologist, a neuropsychiatrist, and by genetic counsellors.

In recognition of its outstanding service, the MDC was named a Centre of Excellence by the Parkinson Foundation (PF) in the U.S. The Neuro is also the headquarters of the FRQS Quebec Parkinson Network (QPN) and the Quebec headquarters for the Canadian Open Parkinson Network (C-OPN), two integrated research networks whose mission is to pool resources and bring together patients, clinicians and researchers to accelerate discoveries in PD.

Throughout April, details on our web site will describe the work performed by The Neuro’s personnel in their continuing effort to improve PD patient care and treatment. Among these stories:

Principal investigators Dr. Edward Fon and Dr. Ron Postuma are helping to uncover the causes of PD.

MDC nurse-clinicians Lucie Lachance and Jennifer Doran are key contacts for patients accessing the MDC and for applying clinical data to patient care.

MDC patients volunteer to participate in new drug trials conducted by The Neuro’s Clinical Research Unit.

Patients’ first-person narratives describe the experience of living with PD.

Our Parkinson’s disease experts

Louis Collins, researcher, seeks to improve methods for identifying brain structures before surgery.

Dr. Alain Dagher, neurologist and researcher, uses functional brain-imaging techniques to provide data to explain effects of PD on thinking and emotion.

Clotilde Degroot, Coordinator of the QPN and C-OPN.

Jennifer Doran, MDC nurse clinician.

Thomas Durcan, researcher, develops stem-cell models for studying PD pathology and developing therapeutic molecules.

Maura Fisher, MDC physiotherapist, offers a dance exercise program for PD patients called Parkinson en mouvement

Dr. Edward Fon, neurologist and researcher, is The Neuro’s Scientific Director and serves as Director of the QPN, which he co-founded, and as Director of the McGill PF Centre of Excellence. He is also co-Director of C-OPN.

Kalyna Franco, MDC speech therapist

Pascal Girard, MDC social worker.

Dr. Philippe Huot, neurologist and researcher uses PD experimental models to develop new drugs.

Lucie Lachance, MDC nurse clinician

Dr. Anne-Louise Lafontaine, neurologist and researcher, is Director of the MDC.

Austen Milnerwood, researcher uses PD experimental models to understand the causes of PD

Dr. Ron Postuma, a neurologist and researcher, conducts research focussed on early detection of PD. Dr. Postuma serves as chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Parkinson Canada, and is a member of its Research Policy Committee.

Beth Robertson, MDC occupational therapist.

Dr. Guy Rouleau, neurologist and researcher and Director of The Neuro, investigates genetic causes of PD

Dr. Abbas Sadikot, a neurosurgeon, is a specialist in Deep Brain Stimulation and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Parkinson Canada.

Dr. Madeleine Sharp, neurologist and researcher, seeks to understand the cognitive dysfunction and behavioural problems seen in movement disorders.

Dr. Michel Sidel, MDC neurologist.

Dr. Ziv Gan-Or, researcher, investigates genetic causes of PD

The Montreal Neurological Institute & Hospital is a McGill University research and teaching institute; delivering the highest quality of care to patients, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. The Neuro is proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.