August 2016
The Neuro News is a monthly newsletter highlighting activities at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital.



Researchers Open New Path of Discovery in Parkinson’s Disease

A team of scientists from the University of Montreal and The Neuro have discovered that two genes associated with Parkinson's disease are key regulators of the immune system, providing direct evidence linking Parkinson's to autoimmune disease.


Learn more about this ground-breaking discovery!



Seeing What the Eyes are Telling Us

The eyes are nothing without the brain. While the eyes capture the photons reflecting off our surrounding environment, it’s the brain’s job to convert that information into something meaningful.


Learn more about how researchers are finding ways to compensate for brain impairments and improve vision.



Solving the HSP Puzzle

Researchers from The Neuro have identified novel gene mutations that cause hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), a step forward in efforts to treat this debilitating disease.


Learn more!


Alzheimer’s First Indicator

Researchers at The Neuro have discovered that a decrease in blood supply to the brain is the first physiological harbinger of Alzheimer's disease.


Learn more (in French)

Credit : Capture d'écran TVA Nouvelles


Minister of Science Visits The Neuro

Guy Rouleau, Director of The Neuro, was among those who welcomed Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, Government of Canada, to The Neuro on July 6, 2016. Minister Duncan’s visit included stops at the Big Brain Lab and iPS Cell Platform Lab.


Community Connections


A Brilliant Night – Save the Date – October 16, 2016

This year, the second annual A Brilliant Night cocktail dinatoire, will be held at Windsor Station. After last year’s great success of raising $690,000 for brain cancer research, we’re aiming to have another fantastic year! Through interactive, immersive technology, guests will be inspired and educated in a sensorial and moving environment. With the city’s top restaurants participating, this will be an event that you do not want to miss!  


Click here for more information. Like our Facebook page. Follow us on Instagram.


Petition for Increased Palliative Care

Do you want to do your part to advocate for increased palliative care in Québec?

  1. Sign the petition.
  2. Forward it to all of your friends, family, and colleagues in Quebec!

Why Does Memory Fail Us?

Please join McGill's Principal and Vice-Chancellor Suzanne Fortier at a cocktail dinatoire and panel discussion featuring leading brain researchers from the Montreal Neurological Institute.  They will outline the advances that are being made in the field of memory loss, and the hope that these discoveries hold for those suffering from memory-related diseases.


The discussion will be introduced by neuroscience pioneer Dr. Brenda Milner, whose discoveries over an extraordinary seven-decade career  have revolutionized our understanding of memory.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016, from 6 to 8 p.m.

40 Westt Steakhouse, 2305 Trans-Canada Highway, Pointe-Claire

RSVP @, or call 514-398-1248


Vernissage for ALS Research at The Neuro

Please join Pearl and Mort Levy as they present works of sculpture and photography at the Centre d’art E.K. Voland, from September 8 to 10, 2016. Proceeds from the vernissage will benefit Dr. Angela Genge’s ALS Research Fund at The Neuro, a cause that is very close to their hearts.

For more information about this event, or to make a donation to ALS research at The Neuro, please contact




Tasting the City

On Tuesday September 13, 2016, the best chefs in the city will come together to dazzle the culinary senses in order to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research at The Neuro. Brainchild of Nick de Palma, chef and owner of Inferno restaurant, and hosted by Canadian all-star diver Alexandre Despatie, and popular television host Philippe Fehmiu, the event promises to be the first of many that will bring foodies and philanthropists together for a great cause!


For more information, please visit Tasting the City.


Grip’N’Rip for MS

More than $30,000 has already been raised to support the MS Greatest Needs Fund thanks to the Topor Family, and the generous golfers participating in this year’s Grip’N’Rip for MS tournament!  If you haven’t already registered to play at the beautiful Hillsdale Club in Mirabel on Sunday, September 11, 2016, register your foursome at or by calling 514-779-7687, today!




Art Work Exposition by Andrea Lavoie

Andrea had a front row seat at The Neuro while she recovered from multiple surgeries over nine long months. She saw doctors, nurses, and volunteers hard at work day-in and day-out, bringing hope and comfort to patients just like her. To say thank you to Dr. Jeffery Hall and his team, Andrea will be showing her artwork at the Kirkland Library on September 11, 2016, from 2-4 p.m., with proceeds supporting patient care.

For more information about this event, or to make a donation to support patients at The Neuro, please contact


In Focus


Patient Partnership with The Neuro’s Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Clinic Improves Essential Service

New initiatives, including the implementation of a new nursing helpline – MS Access – for patients calling with clinical issues, have dramatically enhanced service provided to patients of The Neuro’s MS Clinic!


Learn more!


New Director of The Neuro BioBank Named

Dr. Jason Karamchandani has been named Director of the Neuro BioBank. Dr. Karamchandani has many years of experience in the field of bio banking, having founded the brain tissue BioBank at St. Michaels Hospital (University of Toronto). He has already played a seminal role in launching the Neuro’s initiative, which aims to establish and steward a one-of-a-kind integrated open-science repository of high quality biological samples with linked clinical, imaging and biological metadata, obtained from well-characterized patients with a range of neurological and neurosurgical conditions.



Wilder Penfield Digital Collection Launched

The McGill Library and Archives recently launched the Wilder Penfield Digital Collection, which features selected materials from the Osler Library of the History of Medicine's Wilder Penfield Fonds, P142. Dr. William Feindel, former director of The Neuro selected the photos, letters, and other records that document both Dr. Penfield’s life and the history of the Institute.

View the collection


Happy Birthday to Dr. Brenda Milner and Dr. Hanna Pappius

On July 14, 2016, personnel and friends of The Neuro celebrated the birthdays of Dr. Brenda Milner and Dr. Hanna Pappius.


Bleeding-edge Coding Technology… and Beer

Read how Alan Evans is using hackathons and cutting-edge statistics to unravel the complexity of brain disorders.



Patient Stories


A Letter to The Neuro's Dr. Petrecca Offers a Second Chance

Michel Desmarteaux, who was diagnosed with an aggressive inoperable brain tumor, owes his life to his wife, Chantal Lachapelle, who wrote a letter to Dr. Kevin Petrecca at The Neuro.


Learn more about Michel’s story here (in French).


Credit : Capture d'écran TVA Nouvelles


Congratulations to ...


Clotilde Degroot, who coined the winning name for The Neuro’s Biobank: NeurO C-BIGR, or The Neuro OpenScience Clinical Biologic Imaging and Genetic Repository. Clotilde, who is the coordinator of the Quebec Parkinson Network, which is headquartered at The Neuro, will receive a $500 prize. The NeurO C-BIGR will play a central role in The Neuro’s Open Science Initiative. In addition, it invokes Dr. Penfield’s original vision for The Neuro, where patients are individually empowered by being offered the opportunity to participate in research that will advance our understanding of patients with neurological disease – and ultimately impact treatment.

Amit Bar-Or, MD, FRCPC, FAAN, FANA, who was invited to give the Annual T. Evans Wyckoff Lecture on October 21, 2016, in Seattle, Washington.


The T. Evans Wyckoff Lecture in Neuroscience at Virginia Mason was established in 2000 by Ann Pigott Wyckoff in honor of her late husband, Theodore Evans Wyckoff. The lectureship is the Neuroscience Institute’s premiere annual event, featuring internationally-renowned physicians and researchers in the field of neuroscience.

Oliver Lasry, who won a Killam Prize for the best paper presentation on Fellows’ Day. Lasry is a Neurosurgery Resident, working on a PhD in Epidemiology.

Sylvain Baillet, who received an NSERC Research Technology and Instrumentation grant to overhaul the local high-performance computing resources made available to brain-imaging researchers from The Neuro, and their partners. He also won a Compute Canada Research Platform and Portals (RPP) grant to provide considerable in-the-cloud storage for The Neuro Brain Imaging Centre brain imaging data, which is shared with partners.

Patricia O’Connor, former Associate Director of Nursing (Neuroscience) at The Neuro, who won the Prix Florence in nursing. Learn more about her and her work, in her own words.

Back Track


The Brain that Couldn’t Remember

Read the fascinating untold story of the fight over the legacy of “H.M.” – the patient who revolutionized the science of memory.


An illustration of an operation similar to the one performed on Henry Molaison in 1953.

Credit : Copper photoengraving printed by the Grenfell Press for The New York Times

Henry Molaison, then 60, at M.I.T. in 1986.

Credit : Jenni Ogden


Fast Facts


Considering transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)? Read this before zapping your brain!
Do you have your copy of the Wounded Brain Healed, which details The Neuro’s history from 1935 to 1984? Purchase a copy of this beautiful book for 30% off!  The Montreal Gazette explains why it makes a fantastic coffee-table book!


Brain Facts


Research Sheds New Light on What Constitutes Healthy Aging of the Brain

The inability to remember details, such as the location of objects, begins in early midlife (the 40s), and may be the result of a change in what information the brain focuses on during memory formation and retrieval.
Learn more!



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


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