April 2016

April is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month
The Neuro – A Major Force in Parkinson’s Disease Research and Treatment

For many years, the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital has conducted studies that have led to a greater understanding of the nature of Parkinson’s disease (PD). About 100,000 Canadians have PD, a motor neuron disease generally associated with old age, but which can also appear in a person’s thirties or forties. Characteristic symptoms include tremor, rigidity and gait dysfunction as well as mood and sleep disorders, and cognitive degeneration. Learn more.

Teens test their smarts in the Brain Bee

Fifty students from nine Montreal area high schools assembled at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital on March 15th to be quizzed about synapses, axons and other cerebral facts in the international contest known as the Brain Bee. The winner will go on to the Canadian National Brain Bee at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON. The national winner travels to Denmark for the International Brain Bee. Learn more.

The Neuro enrolls Canada’s first patient in a new clinical trial for the treatment of brain tumours

Dr. Kevin Petrecca, William Feindel Chair in NeuroOncology at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, enrolled and treated Canada’s first patient in a new clinical trial for patients with first or second recurrence of glioblastoma or anaplastic astrocytoma who are undergoing resection. “Brain tumors are extremely challenging to treat, and with 27 Canadians diagnosed each day there is an urgent need for new therapies,” said Dr. Petrecca. “This trial using cancer-selective gene therapy is the kind of cutting-edge investigational treatment that we want to offer patients at our site – the largest specialized neuroscience research and clinical center in Canada. Our team is thrilled to be the first site to open the Toca 5 study in Canada.” Learn more.

Purple Day for Epilepsy, March 26

Saturday, March 26 was Purple Day, a time to recognize the effect epilepsy has on millions of people around the world. It is estimated that 1 in a 100 people worldwide have epilepsy. Of those, one in three require surgery to prevent a lifetime of seizures. Purple Day was created in 2008 by Cassidy Megan, a girl from Nova Scotia, to get people talking about epilepsy in an effort to dispel myths and inform those with seizures that they are not alone.

For almost 60 years, The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital at McGill University and the McGill University Health Centre – The Neuro- has been at the forefront of epilepsy treatment and research. The Neuro’s founder, Dr. Wilder Penfield, and his colleagues developed the “Montreal Procedure,” which revolutionized the surgical treatment for epilepsy. Thanks to this procedure, many thousands of epilepsy patients became free of seizures. The Neuro also pioneered the use of electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the study and treatment of epilepsy. Learn more.

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