Mélanie Plourde Granted Her First Research Chair

Can taking supplements rich in omega-3 prevent memory loss among the elderly? The question lingers, and Researcher Mélanie Plourde of the CSSS-IUGS Research Centre on Aging has just been granted her first research chair from the Centre de recherche médicale de l’Université de Sherbrooke (CRMUS) to study lipid metabolism in aging.

A professor and researcher at the faculty of medicine and health sciences of the Université de Sherbrooke, Dr. Plourde is leading a research program intended to promote brain health. The researcher aims to improve nutritional guidelines for the elderly, one of the population groups most vulnerable to cognitive problems.

By 2031, some 1.4 million Canadians will suffer from latent Alzheimer's disease," noted Dr. Plourde, who has a doctorate in food science and technology. "No medication currently exists to treat the disease's systems or to slow down its progress, which suggests that the best strategy remains the prevention of the onset of memory loss."

Omega-3 supplements?

The benefits of supplementing the diet with fish oil containing omega-3 is widely questioned. Studies conducted at the CRMUS Chair on fat metabolism in aging will make it possible to determine whether this type of supplement should be administered to seniors who are at risk of suffering from memory loss. In the long term, this program also aims to come up with customized doses for fish oil. Furthermore, Dr. Plourde and her research team hope to find new (genetic) markers to identify people who are most vulnerable to eventually suffering from memory loss.

Thanks to the CRMUS Chair, Dr. Plourde, in collaboration with Dr. Kevin Whittingstall, a professor and researcher at the FMSS and at the Centre de recherche du CHUS (CRCHUS), will be able to develop new tools to evaluate cerebral functioning with a brand new infrared spectroscopy device and with functional imaging methods.

(Source: FMSS)

About the CRMUS - The mission of the Centre de recherche médicale de l’Université de Sherbrooke is to encourage research development at the FMSS. In order to do so, the board of directors of the CRMUS has a budget to create research chairs. The objective of these research chairs is to support the careers of young researchers.

To learn more about Dr. Mélanie Plourde

Read the researcher's profile

Caption: Supplementation with fish oil containing omega-3 is the subject of Dr. Mélanie Plourd's latest research. (Photo : Martin Blache)

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