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



National Philanthropy Day (NPD) is on November 15. In anticipation and celebration of NPD, we would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank our donors and volunteers for their philanthropic efforts! Philanthropy is defined as, “the love of humankind,” and our donors and volunteers exemplify this concept and help move the work of The Neuro forward. Thank YOU! Learn more about NPD.




Dr. Guy Rouleau Receives the 2016 Prix de l’oeuvre scientifique from Médecins francophones du Canada

The Prix de l’oeuvre scientifique recognizes the career’s work of a Canadian doctor whose activities and scientific publications have had a wide influence on domestic and international clinical practice, and on advancing medicine. “In awarding this prize, our association would like to underlie Dr. Rouleau’s contribution to the advancement of medical knowledge and to recognize his entire scientific career,” said Dr. Marie-Françoise Mégie, president of the Médecins francophones du Canada, a Montreal-based organization dedicated to promoting humane, high-quality medicine through its network of members.

Learn more about this great honour!


Neuro-Palliative Care – Easing the Burden of Illness

The Susan Cameron Cook Neuro-Palliative Care Program, named in honour of Susan Cameron Cook, whose family provided vital seed funding, is an initiative that once developed, will help reduce the mental and physical suffering of neurological patients and their families in their journey from the diagnosis of a severe neurological disease to end of life. On October 17, 2016, the collaborative effort of the neuro-palliative initiative was marked with a public event about palliative care that brought together communities of support and emphasized the special needs of patients with complex neurological diseases, and the critical need for a program that can meet these needs.


Learn more.


Essential Tremor Sufferers Needed for Study

Often misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor affects nearly one per cent of the world’s population, increasing to four per cent of those over 40. The involuntary shaking of hands is the most common symptom, but symptoms can also include shaking of the head and legs.

Dr. Guy Rouleau and colleagues at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University and Kiel University in Germany have led a large international collaborative study that sheds new light on the genetics behind essential tremor, in a paper published in Brain Journal on October 21st, 2016. It is the largest study on essential tremor to date. In an effort to follow up this study, 10,000 additional essential tremor sufferers are needed.

Anyone who would like to participate in the study should email Eligible individuals will be contacted via telephone.


Learn more.


Community Connections


One Million Thanks for a Brilliant Night!

Thank you to everyone who supported A Brilliant Night on October 19, 2016, and helped us raise an incredible one million dollars! The wonderful evening was filled with inspiration and endless generosity. We hope to see you all again next year at the next Brilliant Night!


Learn more about the success of this unforgettable event!




Get Ready for Giving Tuesday!

Giving Tuesday, a new Canadian movement for giving and volunteering, taking place every year after Cyber Monday, is on Tuesday, November 29, 2016! The Neuro is participating by raising funds for a student travel award. Check your email for additional details – coming soon!


Grip'N'Rip to the Tune of $85,000!

The Grip’N’Rip for MS golf tournament was a huge success once again, with more than $85,000 raised to support the MS Greatest Needs Fund at The Neuro! This wonderful achievement is thanks to the hard work of Benjamin and Jordan Topor, their army of friends, volunteers, and golfers, and loyal Neuro donors like YOU, who are committed to finding new and better treatments for multiple sclerosis. Congratulations to everyone who participated!


Help us Make Gains for Brains

There are only a few tickets left, so act fast to make some serious gains for brains! Join the family and friends of the late Maria Michela Mariano on Saturday, November 12 at the Le Madison reception hall and enjoy a delicious 5 course meal, open bar, music, and a special presentation by Dr. Kevin Petrecca, Head of the Brain Tumour Program at The Neuro, all for only $125! Can’t make it to the party, but want to contribute to this worthy cause? Please email or contact Bailey Levine at The Neuro’s Development Office.  (Please click image of poster to enlarge it.)



Save the Date: HEADS UP on the Concussion Issue

Mark Friday January 27, 2017, on your calendars for our Heads Up event! The Neuro is hosting a public lecture and poster session in support of concussion research. The expert-led public lecture and panel discussion will focus on the timely topic of concussions. While concussions are prevalent in professional sports, they can happen to anyone. Public Lecture 7-9 p.m. and Scientific Poster Session 5-10 p.m.

Learn more!


Annual Denis Melançon Neuroradiology Conference in Neuroradiology

The 9th Annual Denis Melançon Neuroradiology Conference in Neuroradiology was held on October 21, 2016, at The Neuro. This annual conference was established to honour Dr. Melançon, for his dedication to patient care and his commitment to training the next generation of neuroradiologists. The focus this year was on stroke, with presentations by experts from The Neuro and McGill University. Members of Dr. Melançon’s family were on hand to hear a tribute given by Dr. Donatella Tampieri and Mr. Edmund Tobin.


The Israel Cancer Research Fund’s Annual Women of Action Luncheon

On November 20, 2016, The Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) will host its 11th Annual Women of Action Luncheon, where inspirational mother-daughter teams, including Neuro volunteers Jacynthe and Laurie Côté, will be honoured. Have you purchased your tickets yet? 


Learn more!


In Focus


Dr. Fred Andermann Retires

Dr. Fred Andermann, Former Director of The Neuro’s Epilepsy Service and the Epilepsy Unit, has retired from The Neuro. Fred is renowned for his work on syndromes, specifically, Rasmussen’s Syndrome, migraine-epilepsy syndromes and, Andermann syndrome. He published nine books and more than 500 scientific papers, and is the winner of numerous awards/prizes, including:
  • 2014 Alan Ross Prize, Canadian Pediatric Society
  • 2013 Officer of the Ordre national du Québec
  • 2006 Order of Canada
  • 2003 Prix du Québec, Prix Wilder-Penfield
  • 2000 William G. Lennox Award, American Epilepsy Society
  • 1999 Penfield Award, League Against Epilepsy
  • 1995 Distinguished Clinical Investigator Award, American Epilepsy Society and Milken Foundation

Please join us in wishing Fred a happy and healthy retirement!

Parkinson’s Learning Module Aims to Enhance Nursing Care

Parkinson Canada is pleased to launch its latest online learning module, especially designed to help nurses learn how to assist patients in managing their Parkinson’s symptoms at every stage of the disease. “Parkinson’s disease is a complex neurological disease and is best treated by a team of health care professionals,” says Grace Ferrari, Senior Manager, Education & Support, for Parkinson Canada. “Nurses have a great deal of interaction with patients, so they can offer meaningful tips on managing medication and the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease to get the best results, reduce the impact of any side effects, and improve quality of life.”

Two of the module’s developers from The Neuro, Lucie Lachance RN, MSc., Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Jennifer Doran, BN, CNN(C), Nurse Clinician, delivered much of the module’s content for a Parkinson Canada workshop at the 2015 Canadian Association of Neuroscience Nurses conference. Positive reaction to the workshop confirmed the demand for more training and led to the development of a Parkinson Canada online learning module for all nurses.

Learn more!

The Neuro Welcomes Librarian Alexandre Amar-Zifkin

Earlier this fall, Alexandre Amar-Zifkin, MLIS, as appointed as the new medical librarian for The Neuro. Alex joined the MUHC Libraries in autumn 2011 as a library assistant at the Allan Memorial Institute and the Royal Victoria Hospital. He moved to the Montreal Children's Hospital in 2013 as a librarian and took a permanent position at the Montreal General Hospital in 2015.

Alex completed his Masters of Library and Information Science at McGill and his BA in Communications at the University of Ottawa.

You can reach Alex by email at or at, or by telephone at 514.398.1980. 


Congratulations to...

Dr. Lucy Vieira, who won the 2016 Transition to Clinical Practice (TCP) Neurology Teaching Award. This award is given to the physician who received the most nominations by the students completing TCP Neurology. A monetary contribution to the Transition to Clinical Practice (TCP) Teaching Fund has been made by the Faculty of Medicine in Dr. Vieira’s honour. This fund will be used to purchase educational materials and tools to support teachers during TCP.

Dr. Daniel Guitton, who was nominated to Quebec’s Conseil superieure de l’education.

Dr. Anne-Louise Lafontaine, who recieved the 2016 Award of Distinction for Outstanding Contributions to McGill Neurology.

Dr. Robert Altman, who recieved the 2016 McGill Neurology Clinical Teaching Award.

Alby Richard (resident), who recieved the 2016 Adele D’Amato Scholarship.


In Memoriam

Dr. Samuel J. Brendler, 1922-2016

Dr. Samuel J. Brendler passed away on September 28, 2016. He received his M.D. from the New York University College of Medicine in 1946, having been awarded membership in the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society in his junior year. His time studying physiology at The Neuro in the early 1950s was a source of great pride for him. He leaves his partner of more than 50 years, Heinke, his children Elizabeth Brendler and Chet Blackman, Katherine Brendler and Ed Lutz, Victoria Brendler and Dan McIntire, Matthias Brendler and Suzanna Schlemm, and Thomas Brendler and Lucinda Hitchcock, and his grandchildren Phoebe, Violet, and Lila.

Read Dr. Brendler’s obituary.


Dr. John B. Richardson, 1936-2016

Dr. John B. Richardson, a neuropathologist at The Neuro for several years, died peacefully at his home in Montreal on October 15, 2016. He received loving care from his wife, Edith Zorychta, his five children Eric, Karen, Celia, Eva and Alan, and his nine grandchildren Galen, Olivia, Connor, Alexander, Georgia, Sophia, Liam, Sacha and Noah. Dr. Richardson was widely admired for his skill as a pathologist, for his quiet efficiency and for his sense of generous collaboration.

Dr. Richardson earned his BSc, MD and PhD in pharmacology at McGill University. Following residencies at the Royal Victoria Hospital, the Toronto General Hospital and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, he joined the RVH, where he served as pathologist in chief for six years as well as Chair of McGill’s Department of Pathology. He joined The Neuro as associate pathologist in 1993, and two years later, was appointed as Director of Neuropathology. Outside his work, Dr. Richardson was devoted to his family and pursued many interests that reflected his joy of life and his constant eagerness to learn. Donations in his memory can be made to the John B. Richardson Scholarship Fund for Early Music at the McGill Schulich School of Music by calling 514.398.4054  or online at (indicate 06578, the John B. Richardson Fund).

Read Dr. Richardson’s obituary.

Dr. Allan L. Sherwin, 1932-2016

Dr. Allan L. Sherwin, a neurologist who did pioneer work in neuropharmacology, passed away peacefully at his Montreal home on October 14, 2016. He is survived by his wife Fiona Clark, his sister Elaine, daughters Cindy and Pamela, step-children, Karen and Rachel, and grandchildren, Cameron, Erin, Nathan, Emma, Devin and Griffin.


At the time of his death, Dr. Sherwin was Professor Emeritus of Neurology at McGill University and Attending Neurologist Emeritus at The Neuro. Born in Montreal, he received a BSc (Honours) in Biochemistry in 1953, his M.D. in 1957, and his PhD in 1965, all at McGill University. He became Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in 1963. For more than three decades, he simultaneously pursued clinical and research activity with a special interest in epilepsy. Dr. Sherwin was one of the founders of the Canadian League against Epilepsy and a member of the scientific committee of the Savoy Foundation for Epilepsy. In addition to his work at The Neuro, he served as a neurologist at the Lachine General Hospital, and as a neurological consultant to the Kahnawake First Nation. After retiring, Dr. Sherwin gathered archival material related to Chief Peter E. Jones (1843-1909), one of the Canada’s first Indigenous people to obtain a medical degree. Dr. Sherwin’s colleagues recall his kindness, generosity, and dedication to his patients. The family requests that those wishing to honor Dr. Sherwin’s memory may make a donation in his name to The Neuro by calling 514.398.1958.

Read Dr. Sherwin’s obituary.


Faces of The Neuro


Did you catch the latest #NeuroProfiles on The Neuro’s Facebook page? Read all about the people who make The Neuro a special place, including:

  • Bailey Levine, Development Officer, Leadership and Annual Giving
  • Roula Vrentzos, Coordinator of the Epilepsy Clinic

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



Fast Facts


Do you tweet? Check out The Neuro on Twitter!


Brain Facts


Boo! Why We Love Halloween

You can enjoy this Halloween season and revel in the sensations and excitement of the season, knowing that the flutter in your stomach, the sweat on your palms, and your racing heart beat are all part of a coordinated and dynamic effort by your brain to direct your energy to keep you alive and well.


Learn more!

Credit: Will Sanders via Getty Images


A Way to Predict Response to Antidepressants?

A study by researchers at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA has found a new noninvasive way to predict which individuals will respond favorably to the most commonly used medications to treat depression — using brain wave recordings.


Read the article.

Credit: UCLA


MOvember 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 won’t 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, can be cancelled at any time. It’s also the best way to ensure that when inspiration strikes, our scientists and doctors have the resources they need to make a difference to 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!


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


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