What are neurological disorders and how can they be treated?

Brain disorders are among the most serious health problems facing our society. Neurological diseases affect the ability to move, swallow, remember, speak, feel and breathe. Early life events can result in disordered behaviour, including a range of neurological and psychiatric conditions such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Many neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s occur as a result of nerve cells being damaged or dying. Stroke causes more serious long-term disabilities than any other disease.

Brain disorders are also among the most mysterious of all diseases, and our ignorance of the underlying disease mechanisms is a major obstacle to the development of better treatments. CCBN scientists build on a strong foundation of basic discovery research because understanding the causes of neurological disease is essential to advancing better treatment practices and, ultimately, a cure.

Taking advantage of their diverse expertise, CCBN researchers use an array of technologies and, together, approach this challenge at many different levels. They are investigating the factors that lead to the onset and progression of neurological disorders, as well as the pathological mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases and stroke. They are studying the brain’s capacity for functional recovery and compensation. They are researching how one’s sex can impact recovery and how different regions of the brain contribute to limb use, even after injury. And, they are developing new behaviour assessment strategies, evaluating factors involved in the pathology of the disease and investigating best therapeutic interventions.

A U of L team of scholars is at the forefront of providing new insights into the many facets of neuronal function and furthering an understanding of neural and behavioural correlates of recovery from brain injury.