Brain-Metabolism and Aging Laboratory


  • Description
    • The Brain-Metabolism and Aging Laboratory studies how the brain is nourished and how it functions during the aging process. As it ages, the brain is less effective in using its main fuel—glucose (a sugar)—which can affect its normal functioning. The brain, however, can use other types of fuel, such as ketone bodies (derived from fat), which can have beneficial effects in patients with Alzheimer's disease.

      By studying the brain's fuels, the laboratory hopes to gain insight into why brain functions are maintained in certain elderly people, while they deteriorate rapidly in others. Such findings could be used in developing treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. 

  • Expertise
    • The laboratory has a number of pieces of equipment at the cutting edge of technology, including:

      • Two gas chromatographs / mass spectrometers (CMs/MSs) to separate and analyze fatty acids
      •  Automated biochemical analyzer (Device: Siemens DimensionEXL™) for blood work
      •  Isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) for carbon-13 breath tests

      The laboratory also uses clinical medical-imaging tools (PET and MRI; available at the CHUS) to better understand the brain's neuroanatomical functioning.

  • Researcher
    • Stephen Cunnane
Perreault, Audrey
819 780-2220 , 45249

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