Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epinière https://icm-institute.org Wed, 17 Jan 2018 15:16:01 +0000 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 ICM PHD CANDIDATES AND POSTDOCS WORKSHOP https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/workshop-docs-postdocs-2017/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/workshop-docs-postdocs-2017/#respond Tue, 31 Oct 2017 10:09:59 +0000 Antoine Bonvoisin https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=12790 This year, the workshop of ICM PhD students and postdocs, organized by the Ajités, gathered students from our institute and the UCL Institute of Neurology in For more information ]]> This year, the workshop of ICM PhD students and postdocs, organized by the Ajités, gathered students from our institute and the UCL Institute of Neurology in London.

During those 3 days of hard work, they exchanged on their respective scientific work through oral presentations and posters and attented high-level presentations by senior researchers from both institutes. This first exchange will be followed by a visit from PhD students and postdocs from IoN in 2018 to continue and strengthen the close partnership between the two institutes.

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CALL FOR APPLICATIONS : GROUP LEADER POSITIONS AT THE ICM https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/call-for-applications-group-leader-positions-at-the-icm/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/call-for-applications-group-leader-positions-at-the-icm/#respond Thu, 05 Oct 2017 08:55:11 +0000 Antoine Bonvoisin https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=12584 ICM is seeking to recruit group leaders to reinforce its research in Neurophysiology, and welcomes applications for recruit highly talented individuals with the For more information ]]> ICM is seeking to recruit group leaders to reinforce its research in Neurophysiology, and welcomes applications for recruit highly talented individuals with the ambition to establish an internationally competitive research group in a stimulating environment. ICM invites applications from exceptionally talented neurophysiologists working on or interested in expanding into epilepsy research in close interaction with clinicians at the Hopital Pitié-Salpêtrière. Applications must be sent by January 15th 2018.

ICM welcomes applications from starting, junior and mid-career investigators with a strong scientific track record in fundamental and/or translational neurophysiology research. Women are strongly encouraged to apply. The successful candidate is expected to be appointed as early as 2019.

ICM is home to 28 research teams bringing together more than 700 personnel, including 150 researchers, 200 technical staff and 300 students and post-docs. ICM laboratories use multiscale approaches from cellular and molecular neurobiology, neurophysiology, systems to cognitive neuroscience. ICM offers state-of the-art core facilities that support fundamental, preclinical and clinical research, including access to human tissue.

The ICM is a private foundation working in synergy with French public bodies, and affiliated with Sorbonne Université, CNRS and INSERM. Importantly, ICM is associated with the Pole for the Diseases of the Nervous System of the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital (APHP), as well as with a large network of public and industrial partners. ICM is dedicated to fundamental, translational and clinical research in Neuroscience, and fosters improved quality of care and education. Moreover, it hosts an in-house neuroscience clinical research center, spinoff, start-ups companies. The ICM is located alongside 13 National Reference Centers at the Pitié-Salpêtrière for rare neurological diseases.

Successful candidates will benefit from a competitive start-up package, recurrent core funding and will work in a stimulating and collaborative international environment. Group leaders at the ICM are affiliated with the Neuroscience Ph.D. program of the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC). Skilled assistance for applications to national and international funding programs will be also provided (e.g. ERC, CNRS, Inserm, ANR, ATIP-Avenir, Equipes FRM).

Applications must be sent by January 15th 2018. Find here all informations for applications.

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Better definition of the state of consciousness by measuring brain–heart interactions? https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/better-definition-of-the-state-of-consciousness-by-measuring-brain-heart-interactions/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/better-definition-of-the-state-of-consciousness-by-measuring-brain-heart-interactions/#respond Thu, 28 Sep 2017 09:44:14 +0000 Armance Gelaude https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=12549 How can we know if a patient is conscious if he or she is unable to communicate? Disorders of consciousness can be differentiated in two types: the “vegetative” For more information ]]> How can we know if a patient is conscious if he or she is unable to communicate? Disorders of consciousness can be differentiated in two types: the “vegetative” state, with no awareness from the patient and the “minimally conscious” state, with a certain degree of awareness. The distinction between these two states is very important to provide a prognosis on the patient’s neurological outcome, to choose the more adapted treatment and to inform patient’s relatives. All the tools that have been developed to determine consciousness until now, like EEG, f-MRI or PET scan are naturally “neurocentric” (focused on the brain activity). These tools require either heavy equipment or complex analysis. Can the rest of the body, however, contribute with extra information about the state of consciousness in noncommunicating patients?

The present study, conducted by Federico Raimondo and supervised by Dr. Jacobo Sitt, all part of the team of Lionel Naccache at the ICM, attempted to answer this question. The work builds on previous studies showing that “unconscious” functions of the autonomic nervous system, such as respiration or heartbeats are in fact modulated by conscious processes. Therefore, the researchers hypothesized that if patients are conscious the way their brains process external stimulation, for instance auditory clicks, will affect their heart activity.

By analyzing the data of 127 patients in vegetative or minimally conscious state, the team found that the heart cycle was indeed modulated by auditory stimulation only in minimally conscious patients: their cardiac activity “accelerated” when the auditory stimulation induced a “surprise” effect, suggesting that patients in MCS might have been able to predict this surprise more efficiently as compared to unconscious patients. The authors also showed that these results were complementary to previous investigations obtained using EEG. When these two tests (cardiac and EEG) were combined, the authors found that the prediction about the patients’ state of consciousness dramatically enhanced.

These results open new perspectives on a brain-body approach to evaluate consciousness in patients. The scientists now want to extend the framework to other physiological signals modulated by conscious processes, such as respiration or modulation of the pupil size, to develop a complete tool for evaluating consciousness at the bedside.

Référence : Brain-heart interactions reveal consciousness in non-communicating patients. Raimondo F, Rohaut B, Demertzi A, Valente M, Engemann D, Salti M, Fernandez Slezak D, Naccache L, Sitt JD. Ann Neurol. 2017 Sep 11

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The « Brain to Market » summer school is launched! https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/the-brain-to-market-summer-school-is-launched/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/the-brain-to-market-summer-school-is-launched/#respond Tue, 05 Sep 2017 14:25:05 +0000 Antoine Bonvoisin https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=12352 The 2017 « Brain to Market » summer school, takes place from the 4th to the 8th of September, at the Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epinière (ICM), in Paris, For more information ]]> The 2017 « Brain to Market » summer school, takes place from the 4th to the 8th of September, at the Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epinière (ICM), in Paris, with the depression for theme.

As every year, national and international researchers (Master and PhD students, post-doctorant), clinicians, engineers, and executives participate in the event 2017 « Brain to Market » summer school. This novel and innovative week of training combine both translational neuroscience and entrepreunarial formation providing to participants a comprehensive overview of reality and issues of the economic and industrial sphere.

During a 5 days period, through an intensive training, participants are challenged on research issues, on the depression concern for this year, with a final aim to imagine together medicine for tomorrow.

Find here the training program.

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THE ICM, DRIVING ECONOMIC GROWTH AND ACCELERATING MEDICINE IN FRANCE AND BEYOND! https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/the-icm-driving-economic-growth-and-accelerating-medicine-in-france-and-beyond/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/the-icm-driving-economic-growth-and-accelerating-medicine-in-france-and-beyond/#respond Thu, 31 Aug 2017 09:18:02 +0000 Armance Gelaude https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=12326 French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe made an official visit to Station F during Ambassador Week.

“Our digital transformation must be a success, and we will For more information ]]> French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe made an official visit to Station F during Ambassador Week.

“Our digital transformation must be a success, and we will dedicate 10 billion euros to a major research and innovation investment project” Edouard Philippe

 

Alexis Génin, Directeur des Applications de la Recherche à l’ICM, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Ministre des Affaires Etrangères, Edouard Philippe, Premier ministre, et Mounir Mahjoubi, Secrétaire chargé du Numérique.

 

As a part of Ambassador Week, the ICM welcomed French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe along with Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of International Affairs, Mounir Mahjoubi, French Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, and Xavier Niel to get an overview of high-level digital innovation in France. During Ambassador Week, French government leaders and ambassadors discuss the upcoming year’s roadmap and meet with elected officials, experts and representatives from the general public and the business world.

 

Alexis Brice, Directeur Général de l’ICM, Alexis Génin, Directeur des Applications de la Recherche à l’ICM, et Edouard Philippe, Premier ministre

 

The ICM is one of the key players on the French digital scene: an Institute at the heart of medical, technological, and digital innovation for the benefit of patients.

The delegation met with the ICM’s spokesperson, learned about the iPEPS incubator, and met with the managers of BioSerenity, an ICM startup incubated in situ. This was a fantastic opportunity for our Institute to highlight its specificities in research, in the digital world, as well as its international outlook.

The ICM, home to over twenty startups in its iPEPS incubator, chose to grow further in the place where future standards and trends will be developed: Station F, a huge Campus that brings together high-level digital startups including HEC, Microsoft, and the ICM (with IHU and Carnot Institute certification).

 

 

The Institute is world-renowned owing to numerous collaborations with top-of-class industrial and academic institutions, giving startups incubated at Station F the motivation to aim to international markets.

 

 

BioSerenity, as an example, is a rapidly-growing company that combines high-tech engineering, medical development and big data. It has received over 12 national and international awards as well as the support from doctors and patient organizations throughout the world. The company currently has over 50 employees throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. It is headquartered at the Brain and Spine Institute (ICM) at the heart of the largest teaching hospital in France: La Pitié-Salpêtrière, in Paris.

 

 

Ad Scientiam, yet another incubated startup, has been in the United States since early 2017 and recently took part in the “European Healthcare Startup Investment Mission” program organized by the United States Department of Commerce and SelectUSA. Ad Scientiam will leverage the program results to accelerate its growth: key priorities are the implementation of a distribution partnership for DAMS (medical device for patients with multiple sclerosis) and the creation of a network of research partners (universities, healthcare professionals and patient organizations).

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https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/the-icm-driving-economic-growth-and-accelerating-medicine-in-france-and-beyond/feed/ 0 NEW GENES INVOLVED IN BRAIN TUMORS https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/new-genes-involved-in-brain-tumors/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/new-genes-involved-in-brain-tumors/#respond Fri, 28 Jul 2017 09:31:44 +0000 Armance Gelaude https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=12328 A large-scale genetic study that ICM researchers took part in, within an international consortium, highlights the relationship between genetic profiles of patients For more information ]]> A large-scale genetic study that ICM researchers took part in, within an international consortium, highlights the relationship between genetic profiles of patients and varying susceptibility to different types of brain tumors.

Gliomas represent roughly 27% of primitive brain tumors, meaning tumors that originate directly within the brain. They are split up into two main categories: glioblastomas, the most aggressive (high-grade gliomas), and low-grade gliomas. Despite current treatment options including chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery, glioma prognosis is generally poor. A better understanding of tumor development is crucial.

Currently, no link between environmental factors and tumor development has been found. Research on genetic predisposition and familial risk in glioma development, however, has recently accelerated in part owing to pangenome assembly studies. These studies analyze genetic variations in many individuals with the same illness in order to study correlation with the illness.

Recent research on gliomas identified 13 new DNA areas involved in brain tumor predisposition. To continue these efforts in understanding glioma development, a multicenter study combined former pangenome assembly studies with 2 more recent studies with the participation of ICM researchers. Researchers analyzed a total of 12,496 cases and 18,190 control subjects.

In addition to the previously identified areas, researchers highlighted DNA areas that are “at risk” for glioma development. A specific DNA mutation in these areas may be linked to higher risk of developing a glioma-type brain tumor. 5 new areas were identified for glioblastomas, and 8 for low-grade gliomas.

This study is the largest pangenome assembly study on gliomas to date. On the whole, results highlight crucial data on specific assemblies for different subtypes of glioma and highlight the polygenic (linked to a set of genes) aspect of glioma predisposition.

Further research on pangenome assembly as well as functional analyses are necessary to gain a deeper understanding of the biological and developmental aspects of the various types of glioma. Studies may help acquire highly useful information for the implementation of new therapy and tailored treatment.

Source : Genome-wide association study of glioma subtypes identifies specific differences in genetic susceptibility to glioblastoma and non-glioblastoma tumors. Melin BS, Barnholtz-Sloan JS, Wrensch MR, Johansen C, Il’yasova D, Kinnersley B, Ostrom QT, Labreche K, Chen Y, Armstrong G, Liu Y, Eckel-Passow JE, Decker PA, Labussière M, Idbaih A, Hoang-Xuan K, Di Stefano AL, Mokhtari K, Delattre JY, Broderick P, Galan P, Gousias K, Schramm J, Schoemaker MJ, Fleming SJ, Herms S, Heilmann S, Nöthen MM, Wichmann HE, Schreiber S, Swerdlow A, Lathrop M, Simon M, Sanson M, Andersson U, Rajaraman P, Chanock S, Linet M, Wang Z, Yeager M; GliomaScan Consortium, Wiencke JK, Hansen H, McCoy L, Rice T, Kosel ML, Sicotte H, Amos CI, Bernstein JL, Davis F, Lachance D, Lau C, Merrell RT, Shildkraut J, Ali-Osman F, Sadetzki S, Scheurer M, Shete S, Lai RK, Claus EB, Olson SH, Jenkins RB, Houlston RS, Bondy ML. Nat Genet. 2017 May;49(5):789-794.

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GUEST RESEARCHER: PROF. CORI BARGMANN “SIMPLE ORGANISMS TO UNDERSTAND GENETICS. “ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/guest-researcher-prof-cori-bargmann-simple-organisms-to-understand-genetics/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/guest-researcher-prof-cori-bargmann-simple-organisms-to-understand-genetics/#respond Thu, 27 Jul 2017 09:28:59 +0000 Armance Gelaude https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=12327 Prof. Cori Bargmann from Rockefeller University was at the Brain and Spine Institute – ICM on June 6th 2017 to give a conference on « Neuromodulatory regulation For more information ]]> Prof. Cori Bargmann from Rockefeller University was at the Brain and Spine Institute – ICM on June 6th 2017 to give a conference on « Neuromodulatory regulation through timescales in C. Elegans nematodes ».


All our latest «Invited Researcher» videos’ on YouTube..

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SLEEPWALKING AND BEHAVIORAL DISORDERS IN REM SLEEP: SHARED CHARACTERISTICS? https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/sleepwalking-and-behavioral-disorders-in-rem-sleep-shared-characteristics/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/sleepwalking-and-behavioral-disorders-in-rem-sleep-shared-characteristics/#respond Wed, 26 Jul 2017 09:38:13 +0000 Armance Gelaude https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=12329 Restlessness in sleep is common, however it may be a symptom of two illnesses that seem to be complete opposites: sleepwalking and behavioral disorders in REM sleep. For more information ]]> Restlessness in sleep is common, however it may be a symptom of two illnesses that seem to be complete opposites: sleepwalking and behavioral disorders in REM sleep. The first affects a younger population and takes place during deep sleep, whereas the second mainly affects older patients and is often linked to neurodegenerative illness. However, a recent study carried out by ICM and APHP doctors and researchers found that certain characteristics of sleepwalking and behavioral disorders in REM sleep converge. These results could have an impact on diagnosis and patient care.

Sleepwalking and night terrors are considered abnormal behavior in deep sleep. Patients with low levels of consciousness are able to open their eyes, sit, scream, run, walk, hold onto objects, speak, or answer questions, for example – but often in an inappropriate fashion. Sleepwalking and night terrors mostly affect children and young adults, with high familial predisposition.

Conversely, behavioral disorders in REM sleep mainly affect individuals over 50. They are often associated with Parkinson’s disease or various types of dementia, as a precursor or associated disorder. Many studies have highlighted the link between Parkinson’s disease and sleep. Behavioral disorders are characterized by gesticulation, sudden arm and leg movement, laughs, speaking and screams. This type of behavior usually takes place in the patient’s bed and is not associated with walking. Patients describe the behavior as an attempt to act during dreams or nightmares.

These two disorders shouldn’t have any shared characteristics. However, previous studies found that in rare cases, some elderly patients had both behavioral disorders in REM sleep and experienced sleepwalking. Could this mean that the two illnesses share common characteristics?

To gain a deeper understanding of the question, doctors and researchers from the ICM and the sleep pathologies unit at Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital examined 62 patients with sleepwalking or night terror disorders, 64 patients with behavioral disorders in REM sleep, 66 healthy elderly patients and 59 healthy young patients.

Participants answered a series of questions aiming at analyzing mental content and dreams during pathological episodes as well as their behavior, and took a video-polysomnography test in that records various physiological datasets including an encephalogram, heartrate, and muscular activity during sleep along with video recording.
Results show that typical characteristics of behavioral disorders in REM sleep such as intense dreams or nightmares and a feeling of physically “experiencing” them through gesticulation are often seen in sleepwalking patients. This observation has an impact on the specificity of questionnaires used in general population epidemiology to detect behavioral disorder in REM sleep, with possible false positives.

In addition to abnormal behavior in deep slow-wave sleep, patients with sleepwalking disorders or night terrors display muscle tremors and excessive jolts in REM sleep without exhibiting abnormal behavior in REM sleep. The origin of these tremors has yet to be found. They may be linked to greater REM sleep dreaming in sleepwalkers (explaining an increase in short tremors) or a lack of motor inhibition during both deep and REM sleep.

While the networks involved in sleepwalking have yet to be detailed (those at play in behavioral disorders have been clearly identified with damage to the locus subcoeruleus, that usually locks movement down in REM sleep), these results highlight that an individual complaining of intense nightmares or dream activity is not necessarily affected by behavioral disorders in REM sleep nor are they at risk for Parkinson’s disease. They may simply be affected by night terrors in deep slow-wave sleep. This makes it all the more important to record sleep activity and behavior of individuals that scream, are agitated, and gesticulate during sleep. Risk associated with self-harm or harming others may justify recommending a light course of treatment to reinstate true muscular relaxation during sleep.

Source : Is there a common motor dysregulation in sleepwalking and REM sleep behaviour disorder? Haridi M, Weyn Banningh S, Clé M, Leu-Semenescu S, Vidailhet M, Arnulf I. J Sleep Res. 2017 May 17

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The first WIRED Workshop https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/the-first-wired-workshop/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/the-first-wired-workshop/#respond Mon, 17 Jul 2017 14:17:27 +0000 Armance Gelaude https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=12095 The first WIRED (Workshop on Intracranial Recordings in humans : Epilepsy, DBS) will be held at the ICM on October 3 and 4. Conferences, technical discussions, For more information ]]> The first WIRED (Workshop on Intracranial Recordings in humans : Epilepsy, DBS) will be held at the ICM on October 3 and 4. Conferences, technical discussions, poster session, commercial solutions, wine and cheese… all information and registration to this free event are on the website.

Intracranial electrophysiological recordings in human takes advantage of clinical investigations performed in the context of epileptic focus localization and deep brain stimulation (DBS) implants in movement disorder diseases. These recordings have proven to be of tremendous help to understand the physiopathology of these diseases, to validate results obtained with non-invasive approaches, and to study the general physiology of the human brain. Numerous technical developments have been recently made in the field, including the introduction of microelectrodes that allow investigators to obtain the level of spatial precision reached in animal models – down to single unit activity.

The first WIRED (Workshop on Intracranial Recordings in humans : Epilepsy, DBS) meeting will gather French and international participants, and invite leading speakers in the field. Featured talks will illustrate how intracranial recordings can be used for state of the art research projects, highlighting similarities and differences in DBS and epileptic investigation. All participants will have a chance to present their work at a poster session, with a prize worth 800€ to be awarded to the best poster. Since technical developments are key to scientific investigations, half a day will be dedicated to presentations and discussions on technical aspects. During the event, our partners will exhibit their latest commercial solutions.

The WIRED meeting will be held at the ICM on October 3 and 4, all information and registration to this free event are on the website.

Organisation : Katia Lehongre, Adrien Schramm.

Comité scientifique : Vincent Navarro, Brian Lau, Nathalie George, Michel Le Van Quyen, Marie Laure Welter, Lionel Naccache.

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How do emotions evolve over time ? https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/how-do-emotions-evolve-over-time/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/how-do-emotions-evolve-over-time/#respond Mon, 03 Jul 2017 13:01:56 +0000 Armance Gelaude https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=11974 A collaborative study involving Philippe Fossati's team at the ICM, a team from KU Leuven and a team from Maastricht University has shown that neural bases of For more information ]]> A collaborative study involving Philippe Fossati’s team at the ICM, a team from KU Leuven and a team from Maastricht University has shown that neural bases of emotions vary with time.

Our emotions evolve over time. This can seem obvious, but understanding the variations, dynamics and areas of the brain involved in the process is key for future therapy. Emotional variations are a key component in several mental health disorders, such as depression post-traumatic stress disorder and borderline personality.

What happens when we experience an emotion? How does it evolve over time? Research on emotional dynamics is fairly recent. The various methods developed have highlighted two main phases in emotional dynamics. First is the start of the emotion, either brutal or progressive, referred to as the degree of explosiveness. Next comes the emotional compensation phase, meaning a deepening or mitigation of the emotion with time, assessed with a degree of accumulation.

Neural bases of these two phases and their possible variations over time remain unclear. Recent studies have identified certain areas of the brain involved in the establishment of emotions such as the medial prefrontal cortex, the amygdala and the insula.

HOW DOES THE ACTIVITY OF THE VARIOUS AREAS OF THE BRAIN VARY THROUGHOUT THE DIFFERENT PHASES OF AN EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE?

To find out, researchers from the ICM, KU Leuven and Maastricht University conducted an experiment on 31 participants.
They asked them to write several short texts on personal topics such as their dreams and aspirations. The texts were then read by a jury who inferred the personality of participants. All participants actually received the same negative or neutral responses regarding their personality independently from their texts. Researchers then asked participants to read and think about the responses during 90 seconds and indicate emotional changes felt over time. Meanwhile, brain activity was recorded using functional MRI for real-time observation brain area activity.

Researchers were therefore able to study brain areas involved in explosiveness and accumulation of emotional response following negative social experiences, known to generate long-lasting emotional response enabling
differentiation of both phases.

Results show that emotional trigger and compensation phases are the two main components of emotional change over time and are associated with distinct areas of the brain. Differences in emotional trigger explosiveness are linked to medial prefrontal cortex activity. This area is supposedly involved in self-perception. In this case, activation may reflect the difference between the jury’s evaluation and the self-perception of participants.

Differences in accumulation are linked to activation of the posterior insula, an area known to play a key role in integration of emotional signals.

This is the first study to show the varying activity in areas of the brain that orchestrate emotional response. It underlines how important it is to take the time component into account to understand underlying neural bases in the evolution of emotions, from initiation to intensification or mitigation, following social exclusion.

These results could have an impact on treatments for mental health disorders.

Source : The neural basis of emotions varies over time: Different regions go with onset- and offset-bound processes underlying emotion intensity. Résibois M, Verduyn P, Delaveau P, Rotgé JY, Kuppens P, Van Mechelen I, Fossati P. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2017 Apr 11.

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Towards european healthcare https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/towards-european-healthcare/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/towards-european-healthcare/#respond Mon, 03 Jul 2017 13:01:45 +0000 Armance Gelaude https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=11973 The ICM belongs to a European reference center on rare neurological diseases. The launch seminar for the European Reference Network, or ERN, dedicated to rare For more information ]]> The ICM belongs to a European reference center on rare neurological diseases. The launch seminar for the European Reference Network, or ERN, dedicated to rare neurological diseases took place on May 15th and 16th and the ICM is a member.

This initiative brings together members from 13 European countries and aims at encouraging interaction, discussions, sharing of expertise and data transfer between European Reference Centers to benefit patients.
Ségolène Aymé, Rare Diseases Project Manager at the ICM and founder of Orphanet, tells us more about the Network’s goals.

HOW IS HEALTHCARE MANAGED AT THE EUROPEAN LEVEL?

Every European country is independent in its healthcare policy. Healthcare is not a European Community competency as it is out of treaty and cannot be managed on a European level. The only possible European action is helping countries cooperate.

Currently and for the past couple of years, an increasing number of travelers visit Europe and receive care in countries other than theirs. Countries must therefore agree on various points such as medical fee reimbursement or patient rights. In this context, a guideline on cross-border medical care was implemented two years ago. It aims at opening healthcare to all European citizens in every member country as well as allowing collaboration and resource-sharing among countries.

HOW WERE EUROPEAN REFERENCE NETWORKS CREATED AND WHAT IS THEIR OBJECTIVE?

A very important aspect of the guideline was the creation of European Reference Networks (ERN), especially focused on rare illnesses. The goal is to identify expertise and cutting-edge platform technology in each country so that every European citizen can access these resources, even if they are located outside of their home country. These ERN are a way of improving overall quality of healthcare.

Expertise travels, not the patient. The ERN’s main mission is patient care: organizing teleconsultations, meetings among experts to solve difficult cases, involving a larger number of patients in clinical trials, as well as homogenizing clinical methods and collecting comparable data.

WHAT WAS THE GOAL OF THE RARE NEUROLOGICAL DISEASES NETWORK LAUNCH SEMINAR?

The goal of the seminar was to agree on a work package and define a roadmap for the 5 coming years.

ICM clinicians are very proactive within the network. Alexandra Durr, leader of the task force dedicated to clinical diagnosis, presented a roadmap on European organization of rare neurological disease diagnosis. The goal of the work package is to advise on the best way of setting a clinical and molecular diagnosis on a European level. Isabelle Leber is coordinator for the task force dedicated to fronto-temporal dementia and Marie Vidailhet is coordinator for the task force dedicated to dystonia, paroxysmal disorders and neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation.

WHAT IS THE FOCUS FOR THE NEXT 5 YEARS?

Nearly one half of patients affected by a rare neurological disease cannot be classified as a specific pathology. The network will enable the design of a shared database to help make a precise diagnosis for as many patients as possible and in hopes of identifying new neurological illnesses. 50% of rare neurological diseases currently remain unidentified.

This cooperation will also facilitate clinical trials and patient recruitment when new therapy options are made available. Healthcare and research inseparable!

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NeoNeuro SAS and AIBL group enter into a collaboration https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/neoneuro-sas-and-aibl-group-enter-into-a-collaboration/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/neoneuro-sas-and-aibl-group-enter-into-a-collaboration/#respond Tue, 20 Jun 2017 08:24:19 +0000 Armance Gelaude https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=11774 NeoNeuro SAS and the Australian Imaging, Biomarker & Lifestyle Flagship Study of Ageing (AIBL) group are pleased to announce that they have entered into a For more information ]]> NeoNeuro SAS and the Australian Imaging, Biomarker & Lifestyle Flagship Study of Ageing (AIBL) group are pleased to announce that they have entered into a collaboration to validate the performance of the Aptamarker platform for Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis.

The Aptamarker platform is a global first in terms of enabling the characterization of millions of biomarkers simultaneously against a pathology in blood serum. Success with this project has the potential to provide new insights into subtypes of the disease by providing personalized characterization of individuals over time.

NeoNeuro is a French subsidiary of the Canadian aptamer company, NeoVentures Biotechnology Inc. The Aptamarker platform was developed by NeoNeuro with collaboration from the Institut du cerveau et de la moelle épinière (ICM) within the IPEPS incubator in Paris with financial support from the Banque Publique d’Investissement (BPI).

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A blood test designed to detect a rare neurological illness https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/a-blood-test-designed-to-detect-a-rare-neurological-illness/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/a-blood-test-designed-to-detect-a-rare-neurological-illness/#respond Tue, 13 Jun 2017 12:49:04 +0000 Armance Gelaude https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=11979 Teams from AP-HP in collaboration with ICM researchers (Inserm/CNRS/UPMC) and CNRS-derived startup Metafora Biosystems have developed a diagnostic blood test for De For more information ]]> Teams from AP-HP in collaboration with ICM researchers (Inserm/CNRS/UPMC) and CNRS-derived startup Metafora Biosystems have developed a diagnostic blood test for De Vivo disease, a rare yet treatable neurological illness.

De Vivo disease, also known as GLUT-1 deficiency syndrome, is most often characterized by developmental delay, epilepsy and/or motor skill disorders in children. It has been described in children, with abnormal movement, as well as adults. Based on estimated prevalence of 1 in 83,000 individuals in the Danish population, an estimated 800 individuals are affected in France, with roughly one hundred diagnosed. Once patients are diagnosed, they have access to metabolic therapy that eases symptoms.

Dr Fanny Mochel from AP-HP Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, in collaboration with teams from various AP-HP hospitals (Bichat, Raymond-Poincaré and Robert-Debré) and the Brain and Spine Institute (Inserm/CNRS/UPMC), developed a simple and rapid (under 48 hours) diagnostic blood test for De Vivo disease with startup Metafora Biosystems. Currently, diagnosis is complicated by the fact that it relies on invasive lumbar puncture and complex genetic analysis.

In this study, blood samples from 30 affected patients with profiles varying in age and symptoms were analyzed. Results were compared with 346 samples from control subjects and showed that the test is significantly conclusive, with a 78% diagnosis rate including patients for whom genetic testing was insufficient for diagnosis.

Based on these results, researchers recommend including this test in a clinical routine in all neuropediatrics and neurology units. They suggest that the test’s ease of use may increase the number of identified patients in France.

Thanks to this innovative blood test, screening for the disease will be possible in all patients exhibiting intellectual deficiency and/or epilepsy and/or gait disorders. Treatment considerably alleviates symptoms, eliminating epileptic seizures, for example. Efficacy is increased when treatment is started early on, underlining the importance of early diagnosis.

Source : A simple blood test expedites the diagnosis of GLUT1 deficiency syndrome. Domitille Gras, Christelle Cousin, Caroline Kappeler, Cheuk-Wing Fung, Stéphane Auvin, Nouha Essid, Brian Hy Chung, Lydie Da Costa, Elodie, Hainque, Marie-Pierre Luton, Vincent Petit, Sandrine Vuillaumier-Barrot, Odile Boespflug-Tanguy, Emmanuel Roze, Fanny Mochel. Ann Neurol. 2017 May 26. doi: 10.1002/ana.24970.

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GUEST RESEARCHER: EVA MARIA KRAMER ALBERS, “EXOSOSOMES, SUPPORT FOR NEURONS” https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/guest-researcher-eva-maria-kramer-albers-exososomes-support-for-neurons/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/guest-researcher-eva-maria-kramer-albers-exososomes-support-for-neurons/#respond Wed, 07 Jun 2017 11:13:22 +0000 Armance Gelaude https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=11996 Prof. Eva Maria Kramer Albers from Johannes Gutenberg University, visited the Brain and Spine Institute - ICM on April 24, 2017 to give a talk on exosomes, For more information ]]> Prof. Eva Maria Kramer Albers from Johannes Gutenberg University, visited the Brain and Spine Institute – ICM on April 24, 2017 to give a talk on exosomes, biomolecular sacs that may play a part in maintaining neural axon structure.


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Towards better understanding of inflammation in parkinson’s disease https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/towards-better-understanding-of-inflammation-in-parkinsons-disease/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/towards-better-understanding-of-inflammation-in-parkinsons-disease/#respond Wed, 31 May 2017 12:48:30 +0000 Armance Gelaude https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=11980 A study conducted by a team at the ICM focused on infiltration and effects of a certain type of immune cells in the substantia nigra, the main area affected by For more information ]]> A study conducted by a team at the ICM focused on infiltration and effects of a certain type of immune cells in the substantia nigra, the main area affected by Parkinson’s disease.

One of the main characteristics of Parkinson’s disease is progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the brain’s substantia nigra. Molecules called “chemokines” are produced during this process on the site of the inflammation. In this zone, they attract immune cells that flow through the bloodstream. These cells have specific “receptors” for these factors. The process leads to peripheral immune cell infiltration in the central nervous system.

In this context, ICM researchers used an experimental model for Parkinson’s disease to focus on monocytes, a specific type of immune cell with an unclear cerebral infiltration process and role in dopaminergic neuron degeneration.

Lack of data is mainly due to technical limitations. Until recently, it was very difficult to reliably differentiate “infiltrated” monocytes from the bloodstream and microglia, the brain’s “resident” immune cells. Recent discoveries enabled differentiation and provided new instruments to further study these two populations.

Traditionally, monocytes have a surface “receptor”, CCR2: these monocytes are labeled CCR2+. The receptor responds to “chemokine ligand” CCL2. When CCL2 is present in the inflammatory area, monocytes with CCR2 receptors are attracted to the spot where CCL2 is produced, and that is where neurons degenerate.

Results show that there is indeed an infiltration of CCR2+ monocytes in the substantia nigra when neurons degenerate, however it is limited and does not play a role in neuronal death.

Researchers also showed that the CCL2 ligand, necessary for monocyte infiltration, originates from astrocytes, central nervous system support cells. Results proved that excessive CCL2 production by astrocytes has a neurotoxic effect associated with massive CCR2+ monocyte infiltration. To prevent this effect, CCL2 induction by astrocytes is controlled by microglia, the brain’s “resident” macrophages.

The results of the study as a whole suggest the existence of a microglial mechanisms that may protect neurons from CCL2 over-induction by astrocytes, thereby controlling neurotoxic monocyte infiltration in the brain.

Source: Analysis of monocyte infiltration in MPTP mice reveals that microglial CX3CR1 protects against neurotoxic over-induction of monocyte-attracting CCL2 by astrocytes. Parillaud VR, Lornet G, Monnet Y, Privat AL,Haddad AT, Brochard V, Bekaert A, de Chanville CB, Hirsch EC, Combadière C, Hunot S, Lobsiger CS. J Neuroinflammation. 2017 Mar 21;14(1):60.

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A NEW LEAD IN TREATING CHRONIC SOCIAL DEFEAT STRESS https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/a-new-lead-in-treating-chronic-social-defeat-stress/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/a-new-lead-in-treating-chronic-social-defeat-stress/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 08:42:21 +0000 Armance Gelaude https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=12005 24Chronic social defeat stress is a cause in many cases of depression. In humans, chronic social stress is built over time based on our past social interaction, with For more information ]]> 24Chronic social defeat stress is a cause in many cases of depression. In humans, chronic social stress is built over time based on our past social interaction, with numerous consequences on both a psychological and neurological level.

Beyond depression, many patients display cognitive disorders including memory and attention loss, and complicated decision-making. Current therapy is focused on treating depression, yet its impact on cognitive deficiency remains unclear.

ICM researchers focused on the behavioral and molecular impact of chronic social defeat stress in an experimental model summarizing similar symptoms to those observed in humans. They also studied the effect of a molecule named agomelatine that has demonstrated antidepressant and anxiolytic effects.

In addition to behavioral modifications and memory disorders observed in animals, researchers highlighted a decrease in the expression of certain genes of the hippocampus, an area of the brain that plays a crucial role in memory and known to be directly affected in social stress. Results showed that agomelatine has an effect on cognitive disorders and gene expression in the hippocampus.

This data suggests that agomelatine may be of particular interest in treating cognitive disorders associated with depression. Complementary studies will focus on studying the molecule’s mechanisms.

Source : Effect of agomelatine on memory deficits and hippocampal gene expression induced by chronic social defeat stress in mice. Martin V, Allaïli N, Euvrard M, Marday T, Riffaud A, Franc B, Mocaër E, Gabriel C, Fossati P, Lehericy S, Lanfumey L. Sci Rep. 2017 Apr 4;8:45907

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A NEW SEROLOGIC MARKER TO PREDICT ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE? https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/a-new-serologic-marker-to-predict-alzheimers-disease/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/a-new-serologic-marker-to-predict-alzheimers-disease/#respond Tue, 09 May 2017 11:29:39 +0000 Armance Gelaude https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=11997 A recent study directed by Professor Harald Hampel, researcher at the ICM, highlights the predictive potential for Alzheimer’s disease of a serological biomarker.

For more information ]]> A recent study directed by Professor Harald Hampel, researcher at the ICM, highlights the predictive potential for Alzheimer’s disease of a serological biomarker.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative illness and the main cause of dementia in the elderly. It is characterized by the accumulation of amyloid plaques in the brain.

This accumulation stems from a reaction between an “amyloid precursor protein” and enzymes, including β or γ-secretase, and begins several years prior to onset.

Activity of one specific molecule, β -Secretase 1 (BACE1), increases in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid of patient with mild cognitive impairment and probable Alzheimer’s disease cases. The presence of this molecule may be an interesting biomarker for detecting the illness, however research on the molecule is complicated as cerebropsinal liquid analysis required lumbar puncture, a very invasive procedure.

To circumvent this issue, researchers studied detection of BACE1 activity and changes in the blood of patients with mild cognitive impairment and probable Alzheimer’s disease cases.

The study was conducted on 75 patients with probable Alzheimer’s, 96 with mild cognitive impairment and 53 healthy control subjects. All patients received clinical monitoring of symptom evolution over the course of several years.

Results show a significant increase in BACE1 plasmatic activity in patients with mild cognitive impairment (+53%) and in probable Alzheimer’s disease patients (+69%) compared to healthy subjects. Additionally, patients with “mild cognitive impairment” that evolved into “probable Alzheimer’s disease” during clinical monitoring show higher BACE1 activity than patients with stable “mild cognitive impairment” as well as patient’s with Alzheimer’s disease.

 
Overall, the results support the use of BACE1 plasmatic activity measures as a biomarker in individuals with mild cognitive impairment and probable Alzheimer’s disease. There are many advantages to the test as it is available with a simple blood test, meaning it is quick, easy to implement, cheap and non-invasive. This may represent a promising diagnostic marker for patients at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

“Designing a biomarker for BACE1 activity is a major breakthrough in targeting the first stage of reactions that lead to amyloid protein development in early-stage Alzheimer’s disease patients. This non-invasive diagnosis and prognosis instrument will be extremely useful for current BACE1 inhibitor clinical trials. We are now researching the preclinical asymptomatic stage of Alzheimer’s disease using the newly-developed BACE1 test within the INSIGHT-preAD protocal with 380 healthy at-risk patients.”, Professor Harald Hampel

 

Source : Increased Plasma Beta-Secretase 1 May Predict Conversion to Alzheimer’s Disease Dementia in Individuals With Mild Cognitive Impairment. Shen Y, Wang H, Sun Q, Yao H, Keegan AP, Mullan M, Wilson J, Lista S, Leyhe T, Laske C, Rujescu D, Levey A, Wallin A, Blennow K, Li R, Hampel H. Biol Psychiatry. 2017 Mar 27. pii: S0006-3223(17)30098-7. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.02.007.

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2 startups from the iPEPS-ICM incubator won the Soft Landing Boston Program https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/2-startups-from-the-ipeps-icm-incubator-won-the-soft-landing-boston-program/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/2-startups-from-the-ipeps-icm-incubator-won-the-soft-landing-boston-program/#respond Thu, 04 May 2017 12:09:44 +0000 Armance Gelaude https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=11444 Soft Landing Boston is a program for medtech and eHealth companies (medical devices, wearables or diagnostics products). Designed by Medicen Paris Region, Bpifrance, For more information ]]> Soft Landing Boston is a program for medtech and eHealth companies (medical devices, wearables or diagnostics products). Designed by Medicen Paris Region, Bpifrance, French Tech Hub, Mednest and MassMEDIC, this programis aimed at helping companies to develop their innovative products in North America. For this second edition, eight companies have been selected to attend an intensive program during the MassMEDIC event in Boston in May.

A bilateral expert judging panel composed of healthcare experts, investors and representatives of innovation organizations from Paris and Boston, such as Brown Rudnick, Acceleration International and Bpifrance, selected 8 startups amongst 24 to participate to the Soft Landing Boston Program.

These eight companies were selected based on their innovative solutions, team expertise and business potential for the US market. BioSerenity and Neurallys, two startups from the iPEPS-ICM incubator, are among this final selection.

BioSerenity is a company specialized in developing mobile neurology diagnostic devices. Their offer, The Neuronaute, uses smart clothing to allow monitoring and diagnosis of epilepsy. This solution simplifies monitoring for healthcare professionals and allows for long term in or outpatient monitoring.
Neurallys aims to develop medical devices in the field of neurology and neurosurgery. Neurallys develops a smart sensor offering continuous measurement of intracranial pressure for patients living with hydrocephalus to diagnose valve dysfunction, increasing patient comfort and preventing exploratory surgeries for people who have a shunt.

The winners will attend an intensive five-day program in Boston in early May. This
Includes workshops focusing on reimbursement, healthcare economics and fundraising strategy, and qualified mentoring sessions as well as further Pitching opportunities. They will also benefit from increased visibility in the US market.

“We are delighted to be part of this high-level program in Boston, organized for the eight winners selected for the Soft Landing scheme. This initiative perfectly matches the dynamic of international immersion of startups that Bpifrance wishes to strenghten.” said Evelyne Scuto Gaillard, director of development and innovation support at Bpifrance.

Following the one-week immersion program, two companies will be selected and will have the opportunity to pitch at the MassMEDIC medtech showcase in October 2017.

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GUEST RESEARCHER: H. LOCHMÜLLER, “RARE DISEASES: IMPROVING UNDERSTANDING TO IMPROVE CARE” https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/guest-researcher-h-lochmuller-rare-diseases-improving-understanding-to-improve-care/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/guest-researcher-h-lochmuller-rare-diseases-improving-understanding-to-improve-care/#respond Wed, 03 May 2017 08:24:10 +0000 Armance Gelaude https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=12004 Hanns Lochmuller, Honorary Consultant in Neuromuscular Genetics, Newcastle University, visited the Brain and Spine Institute - ICM on March 20, 2017 to give a talk For more information ]]> Hanns Lochmuller, Honorary Consultant in Neuromuscular Genetics, Newcastle University, visited the Brain and Spine Institute – ICM on March 20, 2017 to give a talk on rare genetic disorders linked to psychomotor disorders.


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An estimated 7,000 rare illnesses are genetic in origin. These illnesses concern 8% of the world population and 14 million individuals in Europe, often affecting the nervous system. Gaining a better understanding of the genetic origin of these illnesses means enabling researchers to develop treatments that will improve patient quality of life.

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The role of Wnt proteins in neuromuscular junction formation https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/the-role-of-wnt-proteins-in-neuromuscular-junction-formation/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/the-role-of-wnt-proteins-in-neuromuscular-junction-formation/#respond Thu, 27 Apr 2017 08:40:07 +0000 Armance Gelaude https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=12082 2727The neuromuscular junction is the area that enables transfer of information from the nervous system to muscles. It is composed of a motor neuron that transfers For more information ]]> 2727The neuromuscular junction is the area that enables transfer of information from the nervous system to muscles. It is composed of a motor neuron that transfers information to a muscle thanks to a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. The contact zone between the two creates a synapse, with a presynaptic neuron and a postsynaptic muscle.

Understanding how this junction is formed is essential given that dysfunction is involved in many pathologies including myasthenia.

An increasing number of studies suggest that a family of proteins called Wnts may play a key role in neuromuscular junction formation in several vertebrate species. Functions and molecular mechanisms they are involved in, however, remain unclear.

Laure Strochlic from the team led by Bertrand Fontaine and collaborators used experimental modelling to test the role of different Wnt proteins in neuromuscular junction formation and signaling cascades, meaning the sequence of events within cells they act upon.

Results show that Wnt4 and Wnt11 proteins play a key role in neuromuscular junction formation. They regulate axon growth (neuron extension that conducts the electric signal) in motor neurons and, additionally, they activate acetylcholine receptor grouping in muscles. Researchers also found that the action of these proteins is mediated by two different Wnt signaling pathways that are essential in development: the “β-catenin” pathway and the PCP pathway (Planar Cell Polarity).

As a whole, these results shed new light on a mechanism that enables neuromuscular junction implementation. This data opens up new perspectives in treatment of illnesses that affect neuromuscular transmission including myasthenia using Wnt pathway-modulating pharmacological molecules.

Source: Wnts contribute to neuromuscular junction formation through distinct signaling pathways. Messéant J, Ezan J, Delers P, Glebov K, Marchiol C, Lager F, Renault G, Tissir F, Montcouquiol M, Sans N, Legay C, Strochlic L. Development. 2017 Mar 27.

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New findings in myelin-related disorders! https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/new-findings-in-myelin-related-disorders/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/new-findings-in-myelin-related-disorders/#respond Tue, 25 Apr 2017 08:56:08 +0000 Armance Gelaude https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=12083 Could there be another strategy for oligodendrocyte generation using induced stem cells? This is what results of a collaborative study involving the team led by Anne For more information ]]> Could there be another strategy for oligodendrocyte generation using induced stem cells? This is what results of a collaborative study involving the team led by Anne Baron-Van Evercooren at the ICM point to. The cells, produced in a laboratory setting, may be of particular interest in understanding myelin-related disorders such as multiple sclerosis or leukodystrophy, and in developing new treatment.

Oligodendrocytes are central nervous system cells responsible for producing myelin sheathing, the insulating layer that enables proper transfer of information within neurons and, in certain pathologies, is destroyed.

Currently, hope for new therapy including remyelinating therapy or immunotherapy, through modulation of the immune system’s actions, is slowed due to lack of human cell models and especially for oligodendrocytes.

This is where researchers come in ! Their work focuses on induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS. These cells are laboratory-developed and can transform into different types of cells: liver cells, muscular cells, or neurons, as long as they are exposed to the right type of signal. Researchers then implemented a protocol associating three key molecules in oligodendrocyte development: SOX10, OLIG2, and NKX6.2, enabling rapid and efficient generation of human oligodendrocytes from iPS.

These “induced” oligodendrocytes have demonstrated nervous system myelination capabilities in mouse models, during the developmental stage and in the demyelinated spinal cord in humans.

This discovery is a major step towards modelling myelin-related disorders and gaining a deeper understanding of these illnesses, as well as a major step towards testing the therapeutic potential of pro-myelinating compounds.

Source: Rapid and efficient generation of oligodendrocytes from human induced pluripotent stem cells using transcription factors. Ehrlich M, Mozafari S, Glatza M, Starost L, Velychko S, Hallmann AL, Cui QL, Schambach A, Kim KP, Bachelin C, Marteyn A, Hargus G, Johnson RM, Antel J, Sterneckert J, Zaehres H, Schöler HR, Baron-Van Evercooren A, Kuhlmann T. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Mar 14;114(11):E2243-E2252.

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The ICM engaged with the march of science https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/icm-researchers-in-favor-of-cross-border-research-for-today-and-tomorrow/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/icm-researchers-in-favor-of-cross-border-research-for-today-and-tomorrow/#respond Thu, 20 Apr 2017 13:44:30 +0000 Antoine Bonvoisin https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=10689 The Brain and Spine Institute (ICM) is fully engaged with the march of science, because we consider it as an important national and international issue. In those For more information ]]> The Brain and Spine Institute (ICM) is fully engaged with the march of science, because we consider it as an important national and international issue. In those moments when great scientific achievements are contested, it seems important that the ICM can express the scientist’s opinion and bring our perspectives based on knowledges and experiments in the debate.

In this context, ICM is and will remain a place of welcome, exchange and cooperation for scientists from all over the world. We are ready to welcome all our colleagues who are in France, in Europe, and who need a place of reception during this difficult period.

We are an Institute where 700 researchers, engineers and clinicians from 40 different countries work hand in hand. Inventiveness, creativity and the transmission of knowledge come precisely from this richness and diversity.

Science has neither walls nor borders. To isolate it by fierce protectionism would only undermine the quality and impact of our discoveries, the necessary international collaboration between researchers, and would be a hindrance to our freedom.

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Motivation and apathy: which molecules are at work in our brain? https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/motivation-and-apathy-which-molecules-are-at-work-in-our-brain/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/motivation-and-apathy-which-molecules-are-at-work-in-our-brain/#respond Thu, 20 Apr 2017 13:16:32 +0000 Armance Gelaude https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=12099 It’s all about motivation: sports feats, high-risk professions, even going to the museum. How can we define motivation and which molecules are involved ? Mathias For more information ]]> It’s all about motivation: sports feats, high-risk professions, even going to the museum. How can we define motivation and which molecules are involved ? Mathias Pessiglione and Sébastien Bouret, co-managers of the « Motivation, Brain and Behavior » team at the ICM, answer these questions and more.

How can we define motivation?

Motivation is what regulates behavior. We can summarize it as “What am I going to do, with what energy?” In order to study motivation from a scientific point of view, we need to define it using equations. We use decision theory for this, which describes motivation as the difference between the cost of an action and its benefit.

In other terms, the degree of motivation is the difference between what an action brings and what it costs.

Apathy, however, is the opposite of motivation. When an individual is apathetic, he or she has desire for absolutely nothing.

What molecules are involved in motivation?

Our brain produces molecules called neuromodulators, that are directly involved in motivation. They either increase benefit or decrease cost.

The first is dopamine. It is well known because dopaminergic neurons, that produce dopamine, degenerate in Parkinson’s disease which causes motor disorders as well as apathy. Treatment for Parkinson’s disease involves dopamine prodrugs that boost dopamine production with a positive effect on motor symptoms and apathy.

In our equation, dopamine has an impact on benefit. It makes subjects more sensitive to reward, amplifies benefit prospects or activity desirability. Dopamine is involved in what we used to call the « reward pathway ». For example, cocaine increases dopamine release, which in turn generates excitability leading to overmotivated subjects.

Another neurotransmitter is serotonin, well known since antidepressants are serotonin prodrugs. This means that they inhibit serotonin reuptake to make it available in larger quantities. Contrary to dopamine that acts on benefits, serotonin decreases action-related cost. With serotonin, actions appear less costly.

Finally, noradrenaline is the lesser-known neuromodulator. It influences effort, just like serotonin, however few treatments use noradrenaline, none in France. It is used in the United States to treat ADHD, although its underlying mechanisms are unknown. We carried out numerous experiments on noradrenaline. Our results suggest that noradrenaline regulates effort.

When we are faced with a difficult and unpleasant task, be it mentally or physically, noradrenaline helps us face difficulty and muster up the energy needed for action.

How do you consider apathy within patient care?

Using computational models, we are attempting to characterize an individual’s motivational profile. The underlying idea is that we could use these models to identify sub-groups for apathy. For example, using the cost/benefit model, we may be apathetic because we are underestimating benefits, or overestimating costs. Depending on the situation, we will adapt the necessary treatment for patients.

The advantage of our model is that we formalized, in a very precise manner, the mechanisms involved in apathy allowing us to get a quantitative snapshot for each subject. This allows us, in turn, to establish connections between the mechanisms involved in the model and the activity of specific neural networks. We hope this type of model will lead to improved characterization of motivation disorder with tailored treatment for patients.

Very often, apathy is not treated as such, although we see it in many neurological and psychiatric disorders.

There are also situations where therapy hits a dead end, which is the case for schizophrenia. Currently, schizophrenia is treated with antipsychotics, which are actually dopamine antagonists. They are able to treat what are referred to as positive symptoms, such as delusions or hallucinations, however negative symptoms such as apathy or withdrawal are not treated by these drugs and these symptoms may even worsen.

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The Brain to Market Summer School 2017 : light on depression https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/brain-market-summer-school-2017/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/brain-market-summer-school-2017/#respond Tue, 18 Apr 2017 15:49:46 +0000 Armance Gelaude https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=11376 The Brain to Market Summer School will take place from 4th to 8th September 2017, at Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière (ICM), in Paris, on topic of For more information ]]> The Brain to Market Summer School will take place from 4th to 8th September 2017, at Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière (ICM), in Paris, on topic of depression.

The Brain to Market Summer School is a program combining translational neuroscience and entrepreneurship training in a boot-camp format. At the Institut du Cerveau et de la Moëlle épinière (Paris, France), a 5 days meeting with neuroscience and entrepreneurship courses (all in English) are offered to researchers and engineers from both national and international origins. The Brain to Market Summer School is an executive education program that will leave participants with a new mind-set and the skills needed to innovate and make a real difference for patients, research, development and health care systems.

This summer school is addressed to scientists (PhD, Post-doc, MD), Engineers, and Executives. Note that there is a selection process for admission based on motivation and background.

The first day, the scientific topic is introduced through lectures about the disease by all the care workflow (researchers, clinicians, paramedical staff). The goal of this day is to highlight the main disease challenges and pave the way for the project thinking.

The second and third day, the basis of marketing, business, health economy, ethic and regulatory aspects are provided by actors of the Health and Wellbeing Business Community examples (companies, patients, regulators professionals).

During three days, the participants work in teams of five on projects, while a coach works with participants to help them pitch their ideas. The projects are presented and reviewed by a panel of experts.
Working in multidisciplinary teams, the aim of the working groups is to develop a valuable proposal and improve their knowledge transferable from research to business and vice versa.

Find all informations (program, registration…) about Summer School 2017.

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Loss of spatacsin function is accompanied by motoneuron degeneration. https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/loss-of-spatacsin-function-is-accompanied-by-motoneuron-degeneration/ https://icm-institute.org/en/actualite/loss-of-spatacsin-function-is-accompanied-by-motoneuron-degeneration/#respond Mon, 03 Apr 2017 13:26:10 +0000 Armance Gelaude https://icm-institute.org/?post_type=actualite&p=12100 A recent study carried out by Frédéric Darios in the team led by Alexis Brice at the ICM highlights the importance of spatacsin, a protein affected in pathologies For more information ]]> A recent study carried out by Frédéric Darios in the team led by Alexis Brice at the ICM highlights the importance of spatacsin, a protein affected in pathologies such as hereditary spastic paraplegia.

Hereditary spastic paraplegia, or HSP, is a diverse group of diseases in terms of clinical symptoms as well as on a genetic and neuropathological level. HSPs are the second most frequent group of illnesses affecting motoneurons, responsible for transferring nerve signals to muscles.

From a clinical perspective, these illnesses are characterized by progressive weakening of the lower limbs along with spasticity, a type of muscle stiffness, and loss of sensitivity. These symptoms are primarily due to degeneration of the corticospinal tract (neurons are located in the motor cortex and their axons project to the spinal cord), which controls voluntary movement.

The primary cause of hereditary spastic paraplegia is mutation of gene SPG11. These types of mutations are also linked to rare forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease.

SPG11 codes for spatacsin, a protein involved in various cellular mechanisms. The vast majority of mutations identified in patients appear to lead to loss of function of spatacsin. What happens in this case? This is what ICM researchers set out to discover.

To do so, they used a mouse model that replicates the most frequent SPG11 mutation. Mice with non-functioning SPG11 genes display the same group of symptoms as patients with SPG11 mutation-induced HSP, ALS and CMT:

  • Early onset of motor and cognitive disorders.
  • Progressive cerebral atrophy with neuron loss in several areas of the brain and spinal cord as well as an accumulation of defective axons in the corticospinal tract.
  • Neuromuscular junction alterations and muscular atrophy.

Based on this model, researchers focused on the effects of loss of spatacsin at the cellular level. Results show that this loss alters function of lysosomes, degeneration “factories” inside cells. Consequently, cells can no longer get rid of degradation by-products and lipids build up inside lysosomes.

The present study highlights the relationship between neuron degeneration, lysosome malfunction, and lipid metabolism. Many proteins that are coded by affected genes in hereditary spastic paraplegia are also involved in lysosome function and lipid metabolism in a recurring manner. Understanding this mechanism may therefore create new opportunities for future treatment.

Reference: Loss of spatacsin function alters lysosomal lipid clearance leading to upper and lower motor neuron degeneration. Branchu J, Boutry M, Sourd L, Depp M, Leone C, Corriger A, Vallucci M, Esteves T, Matusiak R, Dumont M, Muriel MP, Santorelli FM, Brice A, El Hachimi KH, Stevanin G, Darios F.

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