March 2017
The Neuro News is a monthly newsletter highlighting activities at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital.




Anièle Lecoq to Lead Philanthropic Efforts at The Neuro

We are pleased to announce that philanthropic leader Anièle Lecoq will join The Neuro and oversee the advancement portfolio, effective May 23, 2017. Anièle will assume the overall management of fundraising operations of The Neuro, including the planning and implementation of strategies to secure major philanthropic gifts and the stewarding of special and major gift donors.

Since September 2015, Anièle has been working at the Centre hospitalier universitaire vaudois (CHUV) in Lausanne, Switzerland, first as Head, Institutional Philanthropic Development, and then, as Director of the Fondation CHUV. Prior to that, she spent 10 years at the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation, first as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, and then, as Special Advisor to the Major Fundraising Campaign. Under her leadership, the Foundation secured investments of more than $300 million for Hospital and Research Centre projects and priorities, increased Annual Giving to $33 million, and provided strategic management for two major campaigns, with targets of $100 million and $200 million.

Anièle is an active member of various professional and philanthropic boards and associations, and holds two post-graduate degrees, a Masters in Political Science from l’Institut d’études politiques de Grenoble, and a Masters in Urban Economy from l’Institut d’études politiques in Paris.

Anièle’s depth and breadth of experience in philanthropic leadership, and as an executive leader and senior consultant in the private sector, will be tremendous assets to McGill and The Neuro.

Molecule Shown to Repair Damaged Axons

A foray into plant biology led Andrew Kaplan, a PhD candidate from The Neuro, to discover that a natural molecule can repair axons, the thread-like projections that carry electrical signals between cells. Axonal damage is the major culprit underlying disability in conditions such as spinal cord injury and stroke.

Read more about this recent discovery.



Rebooting Brain Science

With new methods for combing through huge amounts of data, the growth of open science, and $84 million in funding for the Healthy Brains for Healthy Lives initiative, McGill is embarking on a new era of neuroscience.

Read the full story.



Recognizing Rare Diseases

February 28, 2017, was Rare Diseases Day, an opportunity to recognize a class of disease that is often overlooked. In the past five years, The Neuro has made the study and treatment of rare diseases a major priority, hiring new specialists and support staff and coordinating activity under a new research group.

Learn more.

Community Connections

Determination and Community Spirit Net Big Gains for Rare Neurological Disease Research in Quebec

Danielle Lepage Bonin has been raising funds for research into sensory neuropathy since 2009. This year, though plagued by health problems, she was still able to raise  $28, 028.50 to support Dr. Brais’ research into this rare genetic disease that disproportionately affects Quebecers in the Lanaudière region. Danielle’s devotion to this cause is well known in the community – the residents of Saint Thomas, Joliette, and the surrounding areas have contributed more than $227, 000 through her fundraising drives and because of her motivation over the past eight years. Congratulations and sincere thanks to everyone who has volunteered their time, given silent auction items, and donated to this important cause!

Stay tuned for information about next year's fundraiser!

Join The Neuro at the 2017 Scotiabank Charity Challenge

Register today and raise much-needed funds for The Neuro by completing a 5K, 10K, or 21K run! Even children can participate in the 500 metre dash!

Detailed registration instructions are available here.

Use promo code 17NEURO5k, 17NEURO10k or 17NEURO21k for a $15 discount on your registration!

For more information or to register, please call 514-398-5785, or email us!

Buy Your Ticket for the Brain Matters Raffle

Support brain cancer research with the purchase of a Brain Matters raffle ticket! You could win one of these fantastic prizes:

1st Prize - Rolex Watch ($10, 000 value)
2nd Prize - Flight Credit ($3, 000 value)
3rd Prize - MacBook and Accessories ($2, 000 value)

Tickets: $30, available through Josie at 514-926-1282

Raffle draw: June 19, 2017

Thanks to Josie Arcobelli and her family for this initiative!

Good luck!


Franco Di Giovanni Foundation 13th Annual Social Night Fundraiser

Saturday, April 1st, 2017
Cocktails; 5 p.m. Dinner: 6 p.m.
Prima Luna Reception Hall, 7301 Henri-Bourassa, Montreal

Dinner and Dancing  Open Bar  Midnight Buffet & Dessert Table
$125 per ticket
Door Prizes  Fabulous Prizes  Raffles  Auctions  Gifts  Sports Memorabilia
To purchase tickets, or for more information, please call Lina Di Giovanni at 514.494.6831

Proceeds to benefit Brain Tumour Research at The Neuro


Disco Bowling Fundraiser for The Tony Colannino Foundation

Saturday, April 1, 2017, 7–10 p.m.
Centre de Quilles Anjou sur le Lac, 11200 Renaude Lapointe, H1J 2V7

Adults: $40 (includes playing fee & $20 tax receipt). Children under 12: $5
Teams of 6, reserve your lane with Anna Colannino : (514)-648-8284 or via Facebook.


A History of Neuro-Oncology Canadian Savoir Faire

March 30, 2017 at 4:35 p.m. in the Osler Library, with Oslerian wine and cheese

An Illustrated Talk by Rolando Del Maestro, MD-PhD
William Feindel Emeritus Professor in Neuro-Oncology,
Director of McGill Neurosurgical Simulation Research and Training Centre


March is for Monthly Giving!

Every single day, 365 days a year, professionals at The Neuro are busy working on behalf of our loved ones. They will not rest until they find better treatments for those suffering from some of the most debilitating diseases and disorders of our time, but they need our help.

A monthly gift in support of The Neuro is easy to set up by using your credit card, it can be cancelled at any time, and it is the best way to ensure that when inspiration strikes, our scientists and doctors have the resources they need to make a difference for patients today, and in the future.

Please join our monthly giving program today by using the DONATE NOW button (below) and selecting “recurring” as your gift type. Thank you!

Benefit Concert for Quebec Parkinson Network

Under the baton of Maestro Gilles Auger, I Medici is performing at an afternoon of French music - a Benefit Concert for Quebec Parkinson Network. 

Saturday, April 1, 2017, at 4:30 p.m. at St. Andrew and St. Paul Church

Please click here for tickets and additional information.


In Focus

Focus on Human Brain Mapping

Nature Neuroscience presented a special issue highlighting considerations and recent developments in noninvasive techniques that improve our understanding of neural measurements in humans, bridging the gap between human and animal research in neuroscience. Dr. Sylvain Baillet contributed a review on MEG for human electrophysiology and imaging.

Read the contents of this special issue.

Women at the McGill University Health Centre

In light of the recent International Women’s Day, the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) produced this video to recognize women at the MUHC. Women have historically played a significant role at The Neuro, and this tradition of excellence continues today.

Patient Story

In Her Own Words…

Josie Maiorino Arcobelli, former brain tumour patient

I would love to write something inspirational and comforting to make someone's journey easier, however I cannot. There is nothing simple about being told you have a brain tumor, as your mind quickly wanders off to the worst possible situations; “What happens to me now?”

Read all of Josie’s story. Do you have a patient story to share? Please submit it to us.

Josie Maiorino Arcobelli, third from the left.

Congratulations to...

Dr. Boris Bernhardt, winner of the Michael Prize 2017, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to research promoting further developments in epileptology. The 2017 Michael Prize and 20.000 Euro fund, will be officially awarded at the International Epilepsy Congress in Barcelona in September 2017, where Dr. Bernhardt will present a lecture.
Emily Coffey, PhD student with Dr. Robert Zatorre, who was named Étudiante-chercheuse étoile in February 2017 by the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ). Emily was also selected as a Banting fellow, one of only 21 awarded in Canada.
Maria Barrette, second year medical student at McGill University, who recently became the first recipient of the William Osler Academy Awards, with her paper entitled: Contrarian Contraception: Radical Feminism and The Birth Control Handbook in late 1960s Montréal. Maria has been invited to present her essay at the American Osler Society Meeting in Atlanta in April. Maria’s essay was also awarded first place in the Pam and Rolando Del Maestro William Osler Medical Students Essay Awards during McGill’s Osler Day on October 26, 2016. Read all about it!


In Memoriam

Dr. Israel Libman, 1931-2017

Dr. Israel Libman, neurologist and former Jewish General Hospital (JGH) Chief of the Department of Neurology, passed away on Sunday February 19, 2017.

Dr. Libman was a brilliant teacher and medical practitioner.  He joined the Jewish General Hospital (JGH) as a full time staff member in 1962, went on to serve as the JGH Neurologist-in-Chief for more than 30 years. During his tenure as chief, and owing to his outstanding clinical teaching skills, which were recognized by McGill University, the JGH was chosen as a Neurology training site for McGill residents.  All of his residents benefitted from his thorough and rigorous approach to clinical neurology.  Dr. Libman’s teaching rounds were remarkable and would always include a didactic presentation as well as demonstrations of abnormal speech patterns, gaits disturbances and abnormal limb movements and posturing. A Royal College examiner once commented that he could always recognize a resident who had trained under Dr. Libman by their particular style and approach to patient evaluations.  Over the years, Dr. Libman was able to attract and support a productive group of clinician scientists to the JGH which formed the basis of its academic department.

Although Dr. Libman has passed, his sharp clinical skills, keen powers of observation and insightful teachings live on in generations of neurologists.  His commitment to the teaching of his profession and his commitment to the Jewish General Hospital were lifelong passions evident to all who were fortunate to work with him.

Read Dr. Libman’s obituary.

Ginette Thibault Halman

Ginette Thibault Halman, passed away at the age of 43 on March 5, 2017 following a courageous battle with breast cancer. A native of Pointe-de-l’Église, Nova Scotia, Ginette earned a Master’s degree in Neuroscience from McGill University in the lab of Dr. Wayne Sossin at The Neuro, and then established a career in neuroscience research.

Read Ginette Thibault Halman’s obituary.

Fast Facts


It's all on our Facebook Page in March

March is an important month for Neuroscience! Our Facebook page will feature articles in light of the following important dates in March:

Always stay up-to-date thanks to The Neuro’s Facebook page!

Help Someone at The Neuro Get the Recognition they Deserve

Do you want to acknowledge a deserving doctor, clinician, researcher, staff member or student through #NeuroProfiles?  Send us an email!

Volunteers Needed for Study Investigating Human Motor Control

Brain Facts

First Diagnostic Radiotracer for Early Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease Approved in Canada

ISOLOGIC has received marketing authorization from Health Canada for the commercial production and market supply of NeuraCeq in Canada. NeuraCeq is the first diagnostic radiotracer to support the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) that is commercially available in the country. NeuraCeq availability in Canada was previously limited to investigational medicine purposes.

“The commercial availability of NeuraCeq will provide physicians throughout Canada a non-invasive method to more confidently and accurately assess complex and atypical cases of cognitively impaired patients for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Doctor Jean-Paul Soucy, Medical Director of PET imaging at the Montreal Neurological Institute. “In the absence of an approved disease modifying treatment, advancing our ability to make an early and accurate AD diagnosis is critically important to providing optimal symptomatic treatment and non-pharmacological measures to manage disease progression and quality of life in these patients.”

Read more.

The Polluted Brain

There is mounting evidence that polluted air can lead to dementia!

Read the complete article in Science magazine.

Brain-controlled Robots

A team from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Boston University, is in the process of creating a feedback system that lets people correct robot mistakes instantly with their brains.

Learn more.

Identifying the Neural Signature of Healthy Brain Aging

A new study reports the ability to modulate brain activity when it comes to shutting off processes irrelevant to a task may be compromised in older people.

Read the complete article in Neuroscience News.

Autism Diagnosis by Brain Scan?

Recent reports that it might be possible to use MRI to identify at-risk children are exciting, but we are still a long way from autism diagnosis by brain scan.

Learn more.


Donate NowThe Neuro relies on our loyal community of donors in order to unlock the mysteries behind some of the most devastating neurological diseases and disorders of our time, and to help the patients and families affected by them. Your donation can make all the difference to the future of neurological care. Please give generously!


The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital — The Neuro, is a unique academic medical centre dedicated to neuroscience. Founded in 1934, The Neuro is recognized internationally for integrating research, compassionate patient care and advanced training, all key to advances in science and medicine. The Neuro is a research and teaching institute of McGill University and forms the basis for the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre.  For more information, visit


Send comments to Communications. To subscribe, click here.
Past issues of the Neuro News.



3801, rue University Street
Montréal (Québec) H3A 2B4 / 514-398-3873

Vous pouvez modifier vos préférences de communication ou désabonner à partir de futurs envois.