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 ACMS 

Official title: Technology Concept Studies of Health Technologies for Deep Space Missions – Decision Support Systems

Timeline: 2019-2021

Summary: Future deep space exploration missions will require medical autonomy. Support technologies may assist the flight crew in reaching decisions related to the diagnosis and treatment of medical emergencies. Other mission risks associated to potential cognitive impairments should also be mitigated using crew state monitoring technologies. This project proposal aims to develop the design of such a system, while focusing on two specific use cases (acute coronary syndrome and hypovigilance). We aim to develope this technology both for space-based and Earth-based applications.

Primary investigator: Thalès Canada

In collaboration with: S. Duchesne, P. Archambault, N. Pollock (U. Laval)

Funded by: Canadian Space Agency

 BRAIN HEALTH MODEL 

CCNA

Code:AIR

Official title: Brain health model and simulator: image synthesis, visualization and processing

Timeline: 2020-2025

Summary: We propose solutions to multiple science and engineering (S&E) problems, namely as pertains to: a) missing modalities (e.g. positron emission tomography scans), via image synthesis; b) interpretability of simulator output, via image generation; and c) a significant increase in data, via a flexible image processing capacity. 

Principal investigator: S. Duchesne

Funded by: National Science and Engineering Research Council

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 Discovery 

 INACTIVITY 

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 RAD-PATH 

Official title: A novel, ex-vivo, in-situ method to study the human brain through MRI and histology

Timeline: 2019-2021

Summary: Ex vivo brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and subsequent histologic analysis are central to understanding and validating MRI findings, typically by means of autopsy extraction of the brain and fixation by immersion in a formalin solution prior to imaging.

Our project proposes and validates a new paradigm: fixation of the ex vivo brain in situ by perfusion, currently in place in the Department of Anatomy of the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivieres. We hypothesize that fixation by perfusion, specifically with a salt saturated solution, will be superior to other perfusion techniques (using other types of formalin solutions) and to standard fixation by immersion. Additionally, we foresee a gain in the quality of the ex-vivo imaging, since the acquisition is done in situ.

Principal investigator: J. Maranzano (UQTR)

In collaboration with: S. Duchesne

Funded by: Quebec Bio-Imaging Network (FRQ-Santé)

ACMS
Brain Health
CCNA
CIMA-Q
Inactivity
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Discovery
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Official title: Ensuring mission success and optimal aging: disentangling the impact of simulated microgravity on brain health

Timeline: 2018-2022

Summary: Optimal brain health is necessary to maintain a high level of brain function. Prolonged exposure to the space environment however has an impact on brain health which is similar, while due to different causes, than that due to sub-optimal aging and diseases like Alzheimer’s. We aim to test the effect of inactivity in the CIHR-CSA bed rest study, which will simulate the lack of gravity in space, by tracking various metrics obtained from magnetic resonance imaging. Further, we will determine if physicial activity can help alleviate some of these effects. Finally, we will track both impact on cognition. The knowledge gained will be useful for future space exploration as well as present-day care of our at-risk elderly population.

Principal investigator: S. Duchesne

In collaboration with: Carol Hudon (U. Laval), Megan O'Connell (U. Saskatchewan), and G. Iaria (U. Calgary)

Funded by: Canadian Space Agency and Canadian Institutes for Health Research

Official title: Brain health model and simulator: image synthesis, visualization and processing

Timeline: 2020-2025

Summary: We propose solutions to multiple science and engineering (S&E) problems, namely as pertains to: a) missing modalities (e.g. positron emission tomography scans), via image synthesis; b) interpretability of simulator output, via image generation; and c) a significant increase in data, via a flexible image processing capacity. 

Principal investigator: S. Duchesne

Funded by: National Science and Engineering Research Council

Official title: Le Consortium pour l'Identification précoce de la Maladie d'Alzheimer - Québec

Timeline: 2013-2023

Summary: The Consortium for the Early Identification of Alzheimer’s Disease (CIMA-Q) brings together more than 90 Quebec researchers and clinicians who share the common goal of advancing knowledge about Alzheimer’s disease. More specifically, our mission is to develop tools to detect the first signs of its appearance. The early identification of Alzheimer’s disease greatly increases the likelihood of successful interventions, thus improving the quality of life for seniors struggling with this terrible condition.

Principal investigator: Sylvie Belleville (Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal)

In collaboration with: S. Duchesne and Marie-Jeanne Kergoatco-directors (Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal)

Funded by: Fonds de recherche Québec-Santé and partners

 CIMA-Q 

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Official title: The Canadian Consortium for Neurodegeneration and Aging

Timeline: 2016-2024

Summary: 350+ clinicians and researchers throughout Canada came together to form CCNA in 2014 with the goal of accelerating progress in research on age-related neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Vascular dementia, Frontotemporal dementia, and Lewy body dementia.

CCNA entered a Phase II of activities in 2019. Based on their area of specialization, CCNA’s researchers are divided into 19 teams throughout Canada, and are working in the areas of prevention, treatment, and quality of life. They draw on the data of national platforms, and are supported by cross-cutting programs, who assist teams in overarching aspects of research such as training and capacity building, engagement of people with lived experience, knowledge translation, ethical, legal, and social issues, and consideration of sex and gender, stigma, and indigenous peoples.

Principal Investigator: Howard Chertkow (U. Toronto)

In collaboration with: S. Duchesne (Platform 3 Leader)

Funded by: Canadian Institutes for Health Research and partners

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Official title: An integrative brain health model for the individual prediction of cognitive decline

Timeline: 2018-2022

Summary: The concept of “brain health” has been proposed to capture the relationship between the state of the brain and cognitive fitness. We propose to model this brain health by looking at various elements of neuronal health. We further wish to link brain health to cognition, in the context of healthy aging and probable Alzheimer's disease. We wish to test the hypothesis that as brain health declines, so does cognition. This type of integrative work is missing in the field, and we feel confident, using large scale databases and state of the art mathematical modelling and machine learning approaches, that we can produce a model which will predict decline years ahead of diagnostic. This would provide individuals with sufficient time to take measures to improve their general health and lifestyle in order to maintain brain health and cognition.

Primary investigator: S. Duchesne

In collaboration with: N. Doyon (U. Laval), Kevin Whittingstall (U. Sherbrooke)

Funded by: Canadian Institutes for Health Research

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