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The mission of the Neuroscience research theme is to elucidate the biological, environmental and social mechanisms of neurological diseases and to develop novel and innovative therapies to prevent, treat or cure them.

The research activities are grouped into five themes, incorporating clinical, basic and translational research.

Neurodegeneration and neurorepair 

Researchers of the neurodegeneration and neurorepair theme are devoted to understanding the biological mechanisms that contribute to neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, dementia, glaucoma, Huntington's disease, and movement disorders. In addition, some teams investigate therapeutic options such as neural stem cells, pharmacological approaches and gene therapy to promote neuronal survival and facilitate neural tissue repair; while others are dedicated to the development of high-throughput screening tools based on simple animal models (zebrafish and the worm C. elegans). This latter approach permits the rapid identification of potential therapies for neurodegenerative diseases and lay the groundwork for subsequent human testing. 


The clinical and basic research activities of the neuroimmunology theme are primarily focused on multiple sclerosis. Our teams investigate the interactions between the immune system and the central nervous system in the context of this neuroinflammatory disease. Using multiple cutting-edge technological approaches, our groups strive to uncover pathobiological mechanisms that contribute to and drive the development and evolution of multiple sclerosis with the goal to identify new therapeutic targets. The clinical teams participate in numerous clinical trials and in the development of improved diagnostic and prognostic tools (aging, cognition, etc.) for multiple sclerosis patients. 


Researchers of the epilepsy theme aspire to identify genetic causes of epilepsy and define their impact through the use of in vitro, ex vivo and transgenic in vivo models. In addition, innovative approaches are developed to improve the evaluation and treatment of pharmacoresistent forms of epilepsy. This group develops and evaluates novel techniques to detect, localize and monitor epileptiform activities (MRI, magnetoencephalography, functional MRI combined with EEG, near infrared spectroscopy, intracerebral EEG). 


The neurovascular (stroke) theme investigates diagnostic tools, epidemiology and imaging of stroke and evaluates novel stroke treatments. Research is concentrated on haemorrhagic strokes and cerebral vasculitis. Based on the well-recognized expertise and the impressive volume of clinical activities, the clinical team is uniquely positioned to provide state-of-the-art training in stroke care to other groups in Quebec and throughout Canada. 

Addiction and mental health 

Researchers of the addiction and mental health theme investigate different types of substance misuse and their associated psychiatric and physical comorbidities. Clinical studies are aimed at developing innovative treatments for these conditions and at identifying behavioural risk factors and new targets for future interventions. The CHUM is one of four main nodes of the CIHR's Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse.